The Ottawa Journal from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on May 17, 1980 · Page 122
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The Ottawa Journal from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · Page 122

Publication:
Location:
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Saturday, May 17, 1980
Page:
Page 122
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Emitter: A man on the move John Ritter, the popular male star of Three's Company, has two more seasons left with the hit series, but he's already heavily involved in films. John Ritter hams it up in a scene from Hero at Large. The young man looked quite scholarly. Hair cut to a stylishly-mod length, wearing hornrimmed glasses, a tweed jacket, pin-striped shirt and narrow tie. He didn't look like a Hollywood star Seated in the popular Sardi's restaurant in New York's theater . district, John Ritter, star of the popular TV show, ABC's Three's Company, looked almost like any tourist enjoying the city with his family, wife Nancy and their six-week-old-son Jason. The usual lunchtime buzz echoed through the restaurant where show business folk vie for front tables and the crowd scans them, feeding their egos. Ritter sat in the rear, but if the actors, authors, newspapermen and producers seemed not to know him, Vincent Sardi, the proprietor, certainly was well aware of the star. Star treatment Sardi came over to the table, greeted Ritter warmly; then he proffered the ultimate distinction for a star. He wanted Ritter "hung" on the wall. That meant that a caricature of Ritter would take this place on . Sardi's wall of fame,-alongside the great of Broadway and Hollywood, ft would hang there with Bette Davis, Fred Astaire, Garland, Hepburn, Olivier, and so many others. Ritter was flattered and assured Sardi he would be in New York long enough to sit for the artist. In fact, Ritter intended to be in New York for seven weeks during hiatus from the series. He intends to complete a feature film which is taking up most of his time before Three's Company resumes production for next season with cast members Suzanne Sommers and Joyce DeWitt. Ritter, fortified with his success on the series, is carving out a solid career for himself. He has diversified his performances to include specials, television films and new feature films. His first starring role in a feature film established his credentials. Hero At Large proved to the cynics that he can act, Ritter declares. Now, he's co-starring in They All Laughed with Ben Gazzara and Audrey Hepburn. The film is being directed by Peter Bogdon-ovich. "I play a total romantic who falls in love with his. fantasy girl," Ritter explains. Ritter can make all the theatrical films he desires. The only restricton is the production schedule of Three's Company. While allowing him his freedom to work in films, ABC has paid him handsomely above his series salary to ensure that he doesn't go to work for either of the rival networks. ' The restriction doesn't seem to bother him. ABC has been keeping him busy beyond the series. In fact, one recent week was a John -Ritter Festival on ABC. There was the regular weekly episode of Three's Company on Tuesday night. Then John's pro-motable name helped a special episode of The Associates. The same week, Ritter starred in a two-hour made-for-television movie, The Comeback, Kid on ABC. Series of plays t Ritter's ABC deal includes specials. He already has finished one which will air sometime later in the spring. It's titled. John Ritter. . . Being of Sound Mind and Bodylt includes his two friends from Three's Company, Sommers and DeWitt, who will join him as guests. "It's a series of one-act plays," Ritter explains. David Doyle and Vincent Price co-star. "I'm on the move," Ritter acknowledges. He still has two more seasons remaining with Three's Company. Then what? "I won't continue," Ritter responds. ."There's too much happening in my career. Nothing could tempt me to stay on." What of the show's critics who have complained that it is sopho-moric? "There are a lot of shows I don't like on television," Ritter answers. "I can understand poe-ple who don't like our show. We do our best."

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