Death 1, Good Guys 0
I donât want to dwell on the sadness of John Ritterâs passing. But I have to admit, Iâm really fucking sad about it.
He didnât meet the usual criteria to be called a great actor. He wasnât classically trained, and I donât remember him ever starring in any âimportantâ films. But I fell in love with the man during his years on Threeâs Company. I enjoyed him in Hooperman, I even liked the guy when he was stuck in shitty movies like Problem Child. And how could you help but like him?
He was a good guy.
Because if thereâs one thing I always felt emanated from John Ritter, it was a basic decency. Itâs why he was so likeable onscreen. Jack Tripper was a horny lech, but you knew he would sooner die than let Janet and Chrissie down. And you knew the reason Jack was like that was because John Ritter was like that. You could see it in his eyes.
In fact, growing up watching Threeâs Company, I wanted to be just like Jack. He was smart, he was funny, he had a way with the ladies, but first and foremost he was a truly good guy. He made me want to be a good guy, too.
Looking back, though, the good guy I wanted to be wasn't really Jack Tripper. It was John Ritter.
Ritter was one of those TV stars that would periodically disappear from the public consciousness. And though he might not always be in the spotlight, somehow it was a comfort just to know that he was out there, being funny and smart and good and most of all making people happy. Heâs not out there anymore, and it makes my heart sore.
I donât want to dwell on the sadness of it, though.
John would have wanted us to laugh. We should laugh.
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