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1 Marriage meets love in 'Chance' country singer and star of B Westerns who sang the ballad in High Noon. His mother was the actress Dorothy Fay. "My dad didn't win the Oscar for the song, but the writers, Ned Washington and Dimitri Tiomkin, did. And Dad got to sing it on the first telecast of the Academy Awards in 1953," he said. "My dad's film career pretty much came to a close before I was born," Ritter remarked. n i v 11 n M I "' - Chance of a Lifetime: 9 tonight, WPEC-Channel 12, WFOR-Channel 4 2542, 11558 By Bob Thomas The Associated Press LOS ANGELES When John Ritter was offered the lead in a TV movie that was a lighthearted romance, he asked his agent: "Are you sure CBS wants to do a romantic comedy?" His incredulity was understandable, given that today's TV movies are largely concerned with heroes and heroines facing tragedy and trauma: teenage pregnancy, date rape, incurable diseases. Chance of a Lifetime is indeed romantic and not that serious, although it starts with infidelity and injury. Ritter plays a roving bachelor who is fired from a magazine after an affair with the boss' wife. His editor, Katey Sagal (Married... with Children) takes him in when he slips a disc pushing her car. "so I wasn't able to hang out on his sets. But I did go many, i many times to my dad's recording sessions." j "I remember Nat King Cole j coming in to the Capitol Records building and Dad and him laughing uproariously John Ritter, Jean Stapleton (left) and Katey Sagal star in Chance of a Lifetime. Because he has no health insurance, she offers to marry him. Jean Stapleton plays her worrying mother. Ritter's biggest TV success was in the sexy comedy Three's Company (1977-1984), but he says he hasn't done comedy in more than a decade. "I've done mostly dramas for the networks." Right now he's wearing a full beard, which comes and goes according to what scripts dictate. He turns up for an interview accompanied by girlfriend Amy Yasbeck, a beauty who appears in the WB series, Alright Already. Ritter, 49, has been around show business all his life. His father was Tex Ritter, the about something. I remember Loretta Young making faces while Dad was on the mike." After graduating from University of Southern California with a degree in psychology, John Ritter began doing stage work and in 1972 landed his first series, as the preacher in The Waltons. That was followed by Three's Company, Three's a Crowd, Hooperman and Hearts Afire. The TV series gave him little time for features, but last year he scored in a dramatic role in Sling Blade, increasing his popularity with independent filmmakers. On the cover John Ritter and Katey Sagal are a bachelor and career woman who find love in the most unlikely place - their own marriage - in Chance of a Lifetime. 'General Hospital' marks 35th year TV IOST 'General Hospital' Anniversary Special: 10 p.m. Thursday, WPBF-Chan-nel 25, WPLG-Channel 1 0 35821, 51289 By lay Bobbin Tribune Media Services Luke and Laura. For many people, those names are the immediate touchstones of a venerable daytime serial, but lots of other characters have passed through General Hospital since it premiered on April 1. 1963. Many of them will be on display Thursday, as ABC marks the 35th anniversary of the drama with a prime-time special (10 p.m. ). Instead of being a literal episode of the series, the nighttime offering serves as a retrospective of memorable moments, with Anthony Geary the show's Luke Spencer joined by Kathy Kinney, Mimi of The Drew Carey Show, providing introductions. Each decade of the serial gets its own portion of the hour, with Jacklyn Zeman, Kin Shriner (who now stars on the spinoff Port Charles), Ingo Rademachcr and Vanessa Mar-cil among the actors conducting those mini-tours. Other General Hospital regulars and alumni make comments, and a Top-Up Video"-style gimmick reveals added facts. Also, Brad Maule (alias Dr. Tony Jones on the show) performs a humorous song recapping many GH events. Program details: Networks and stations provide the latest information available at press time. The daily TV page inside Accent provides the most current list-D ings. VCR Plus codes: For 2 assistance, call (800) 432- i 1827. For advance schedules (95 cents a minute), call (900)454-7587. 3 Contact Information: Call Q- 511 provides numbers and x addresses of networks and stations. Dial 8204511. line 7003. The call is free, but long-distance charges apply.