‘Three’s Company’: Joyce DeWitt Reportedly Felt John Ritter Betrayed Her

Three’s Company is a popular television sitcom, that, for many viewers, perfectly defines the culture of the ’70s and ’80s. Full of farcical humor and outrageous situations, Three’s Company helped John Ritter rise to prominence and boosted the careers of several other talented character actors.

Although Ritter was able to take his newfound fame and spin it to his advantage, Joyce DeWitt, who was Ritter’s co-star for many years on Three’s Company, was reportedly not so thrilled by several of his career movies — with one, in particular, sounding a death knell on their working relationship. 

When did ‘Three’s Company’ run on television?

Joyce DeWitt as Janet, John Ritter as Jack, and Suzanne Somers as Chrissy Snow on 'Three's Company.'
Joyce DeWitt as Janet, John Ritter as Jack, and Suzanne Somers as Chrissy Snow on ‘Three’s Company.’ | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

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Three’s Company first debuted on television in 1977. Running on the ABC network, the series was based on the popular British sitcom Man About the House. The show tells the story of three roommates, Janet, Chrissy, and Jack, who live platonically in an apartment in Santa Monica, California.

Three’s Company became popular for the way that it expounded on the joke of one male roommate living with two women — and the near-constant misunderstandings by neighbors and friends. 

In short order, Ritter, who played Jack on Three’s Company, became one of the biggest male stars on television. Critics and fans praised his hilarious work on the show and gave props to showrunners for the inventive writing and character development. Three’s Company remained a mainstay on television until 1984 when the final season aired. 

Who did Joyce DeWitt play on ‘Three’s Company’?

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Although Ritter was the early-on runaway star of Three’s Company, he was joined on the show by several talented actresses. Suzanne Somers, who would go on to become a popular pinup and fitness guru, portrayed Chrissy Snow, while Joyce DeWitt played Janet Wood.

Janet often acted as the grounding influence in the apartment, and although she had big dreams of dance stardom, she worked during the day at a local flower shop. Along with Ritter, DeWitt appeared in every single season of Three’s Company.

The show was DeWitt’s first major acting role out of college, and she became very popular with fans as the level-headed Janet. Still, headlines have long held that there was a lot of drama behind the scenes and that DeWitt had problems not only with Somers but with Ritter as well — issues that were compounded when Three’s Company wound to a close and a spinoff series was announced. 

Why did Joyce DeWitt feel betrayed by John Ritter?

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When the last season of Three’s Company debuted in 1984, fans were disappointed — but they didn’t have long to wait before a spinoff show was unveiled, titled Three’s a Crowd. The spinoff series was heavily influenced by the British series that inspired Three’s Company, and also starred John Ritter.

Noticeably absent, however, was Joyce DeWitt. According to a report by Closer Weekly, when DeWitt found out that Ritter would be starring in the spinoff series, she was surprised and upset.

TV Guide had done a cover story titled, ‘John Ritter: He’s Looking For a Different Trip Now’,” Chris Mann, a pop culture expert and historian, detailed. “So I think the writing was sort of on the wall that Three’s Company would be winding down, but for whatever reason John followed the producers’ advice not to disclose to Joyce that they had planned to spin off his character at the end of Season 8. So there was deception there that she took personally. John was in a very tricky situation, and maybe there was a better way to handle it, but there were certainly differences on the set then.”

Ultimately, after Three’s Company went off the air, DeWitt took a break from acting before eventually returning for various stage shows and productions. She remains best known for her work in Three’s Company