‘Three’s Company’: John Ritter Took Suzanne Somers’ 1 Move as a ‘Personal Betrayal’

In 1977 ABC launched Three’s Company and the television series instantly gained a lot of fans and positive attention. The show revolved around Chrissy Snow, Janet Wood, Jack Tripper, and their interestingly complex living situation.

The three main characters lived together in Santa Monica as a way to save money, but there was a bit of a catch. In the television series, Ralph Furley was the landlord. Furley was led to believe that Jack was gay, which, at the time, was ironically considered more socially acceptable than the possibility of a straight man living with two unwed and single women.

Three’s Company aired for 8 seasons before sadly coming to an end. Take a closer look at the talented and beloved cast of Three’s Company and the drama that took place between them. 

A closer look at the actors and actresses on ‘Three’s Company’ 

Joyce Dewitt, John Ritter, and Suzanne Somers as Janet, Jack, and Chrissy on 'Three's Company.'
Joyce Dewitt, John Ritter, and Suzanne Somers as Janet, Jack, and Chrissy on ‘Three’s Company.’ | ABC PHOTO ARCHIVES

Three’s Company officially came off the air all the way back in 1984, but many people still watch and adore the show today. It is safe to say the television series was doing something right, and the characters definitely seemed to be one of them. 

Janet Wood’s character was known to be the responsible and reliable roommate. Joyce DeWitt played Janet, and it seemed like the actress struggled with stardom.

Chris Mann, a published author on the manner, has often spoken and written about the characters and individuals on Three’s CompanyCloser Weekly highlighted some of Mann’s thoughts on the series and the roles within it.

Mann emphasized DeWitt’s background in theatre and how this probably played a factor in navigating her fame. The author explained: “She, I don’t think, was prepared for the machinations of Hollywood at all. I don’t think she was ready for the publicity machine either, and she pulled back when she decided to put herself out there. It was not an easy experience for her.”

RELATED: ‘Three’s Company’: Why Did the Series Come to an End

The experience was very different from her co-star Suzanne Somers. She was eager for opportunities in the spotlight and wanted to make her name and career in Hollywood well-known. On Three’s Company Somers was cast as Chrissy Snow. Chrissy’s character was known for her ditzy yet ambitious nature, and, of course, her trademark negligees.  

John Ritter was an impressive actor who took on the role of Jack Tripper in Three’s Company. When looking at Ritter’s character, Mann has stated, “John Ritter was the star and the show was designed around his acting experience and his comedic talents. He had also done improv classes with Robin Williams, so he had this talent that was undeniable. And the producers, of course, saw him as the star.”

Though it might have sounded a tad harsh, it seemed to be the unfortunate and true reality that would eventually lead to the show’s demise and even bad blood between the cast. 

What happened between John Ritter and Suzanne Somers while working on ‘Three’s Company’?

Ritter’s role on Three’s Company in many ways did portray Jack as the main character, but, on the same hand, it was never explicitly stated. This vague area of Three’s Company matched with Somers’ ambitious drive was ultimately what ended up bringing the beloved television series a lot of troubles. 

When season five of Three’s Company began to wrap up so did Somers’ contract. When it came time to renew her deal with the network the actress requested she got paid the same amount as her co-star Ritter.

At the time Ritter was making upwards of $100,000 more than Somers an episode. When Somers refused to speak to Ritter one-to-one and instead spoke with the press, the damage between the co-stars seemed irreversible.

John Ritter took Suzanne Somers’ one move as a ‘personal betrayal’

Somers was not welcomed back for season six of Three’s Company, and the actress and Ritter over two decades to repair their relationship.

As Mann broke it down: “There was a lot of love on that show, and he came onto that set every week, by all accounts, and just exuded love, made guest stars feel welcome, people feel important. He helped, I think, punch up some of the comedy bits for Joyce and Suzanne where they might have been lacking, and certainly afterward with the other women. And I think he took it as a personal betrayal by her. He took it personally when she did what she did in Season 5.”

Though it definitely is far from ideal, many fans of Three’s Company can take solace in knowing the co-stars eventually made up.