The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62871   Message #1017631
Posted By: katlaughing
12-Sep-03 - 01:52 PM
Thread Name: Obit: John Ritter
Subject: RE: Obit: John Ritter
This seems worth a read...from less than a year ago:

By Judith S. Gillies
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 1, 2002; Page Y07

John Ritter stars in "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," a sitcom that has been extended by ABC for 26 episodes. It airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

Ritter plays Paul Hennessy, a dad who spent a lot of time on the road as a sportswriter but now is taking on more parenting responsibilities because his wife has decided to work as a hospital nurse.

Katey Sagal, who played Peg Bundy in "Married . . . With Children," is the mom; Kaley Cuoco, Amy Davidson and Martin Spanjers are the teenage children.

Ritter--whose father was Tex Ritter, the singing cowboy--made his movie debut in "The Barefoot Executive" in 1971 and has had a wide variety of roles since.

He also has hosted several national telethons helping to raise funds and awareness for United Cerebral Palsy with his older brother Tom, a lawyer with cerebral palsy.

Ritter is divorced from his first wife, actress Nancy Morgan, with whom he had three children, and is married to actress Amy Yasbeck, with whom he has a daughter.

He made his comedic mark in television playing bachelor Jack Tripper in "Three's Company" from 1977-84. He sees the irony in now playing a protective dad. "It's pretty funny," he said. "Jack Tripper didn't think about the fact that these are somebody's daughters. It's not one of his concerns."

1) What insight can you give us into your character, Paul Hennessy?

"It's real hard for him to realize his girls don't look up at him with the awe and adoration that they used to. Now they are a little embarrassed by his presence and annoyed by restrictions. . . . In one episode, I say to the kids that I was scared that you actually hated me and they say, that's just the way they talk. I say, 'Well, it hurt.' And they say, 'We never thought we could possibly hurt your feelings.'

"So for one little moment there's an airing of real honest fears and realizations. But there's not preaching. We just get off it and move to comedy. But there's a little moment in each show where something happens that you don't usually see."

2) What are the similarities and differences between you and Paul Hennessy?

"I think it's all sort of wrapped up. It's hard to unravel all of that. [In my real family] I have three older children--two have gone through the teen-age years and one is right in the middle. My 4-year-old has all of this ahead of her."

3) What can you tell us about your real-life family?

"My son Jason is 22 and an actor. He's been working in Canada on 'Freddy Vs. Jason,' a Freddy Krueger movie--my son, who studied at NYU and the Atlantic Theater Company . . .

"My daughter Carly is 20 and a college student, studying in Scotland at the University of St Andrews--it's just a coincidence that Prince William goes there. . .

"Tyler is 17 and a star baseball player in high school, a shortstop.

"Stella is 4, just a child who wants to be something--empress, I have a hunch that's what she's going to go for. The country will be named Stellaland."

4) What was it like for you growing up the son of a performer?

"I was around a lot of music. Something was always going on around our house. My brother and I went touring with Dad around the country. We would have dinner with people who worked in government, dinner with rodeo clowns. We would meet children of country stars. But my own friends from the neighborhood didn't know what my dad did."

5) What are your thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of celebrity?

"The advantage is that you get a nice table [at a restaurant]. But the disadvantage is that it's like being out in the sun. It feels warm and you get a nice tan--but if you're out there too long, it can kill you. The real joy is in the work, the trap is in the celebrity."

6) How is the show produced--and what's it like on the set?

"The show starts on Monday and we film Friday in front of a live audience. I love it. It's real exciting to know the show is funny to people with opinions as opposed to a laugh track . . . There are people who know about the show and want to come every week, but the seating is tight. There's not a dry seat in the house. There are only 15 in the audience but they are very loud--no, actually, there are about 350 in the audience."

7) What are strengths of the show? And where would you like to see "Rules" go?

"I don't know. We're so happy audiences are tuning in. People can use a laugh these days and the situations may be familiar--or viewers may be glad that they don't have these problems. I know several families who like to watch the show together.

"The writing is so good . . . I'd like to see [several] seasons, then start 'Simple Rules for Dating My Granddaughters.'

8) At home, what are Ritter's Rules for life or parenting?

"Just one, when it comes to my kids: When in doubt, just listen to them."

Eight Simple Rules . . .

These are guidelines by W. Bruce Cameron, who wrote the book "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter":

1. Use your hands on my daughter and you'll lose them later.

2. You make her cry, I make you cry.

3. Safe sex is a myth. Anything you try will be hazardous to your health.

4. Bring her home late, there's no next date.

5. Only delivery men honk. Dates ring the doorbell. Once.

6. No complaining while waiting for her. If you're bored, change my oil.

7. If your pants hang off your hips, I'll gladly secure them with my staple gun.

8. Date must be in crowded public places. You want romance? Read a book.

© 2002 The Washington Post Company