Photo from source, AP News
My high school and college years happened in the 1980s, but I'll always consider myself a child of the 70s. I started getting interested in pop culture around 1976 or so. It was at this time that I got my first stereo, and started a record collection. I even had a nifty disco-light machine that flashed lights to the beat of the music.
But 70s television is where it was at for me. I knew every TV theme song, could name every star, and was more reliable than the TV Guide for time slots. Of course, even though we had a very rudimentary version of cable, we basically had three channels to choose from. And it was at this time, from 1976 to 1980 or so that ABC--a perennial ratings loser--had a ratings resurgence (or just a surgence?).
Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Soap, Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Starsky & Hutch, Hart to Hart, Charlie's Angels--they were all on ABC. And right in the mix, in fact near the top of it, was Three's Company. The show doesn't hold up well in reruns, but it was a classic in its day. When they wanted to do a special episode, they even brought in Lucille Ball for a tribute to the show.
But the key to the show's success was not the jiggly Suzanne Somers. It wasn't the smart, funny tomboy (and later ridiculous sexpot), Joyce DeWitt. It wasn't even the Ropers or Don Knotts' brilliant Ralph Furley. It was John Ritter. It was always, and to the end, John Ritter. He was good actor, a funny comedian, and an amazing physical comic. It didn't hurt that he was also boyishly handsome.
His untimely death at a relatively young age was very sad for this child of the 70s. And while I'm often suspicious of medical malpractice suits, this one was odd. How could a man in his 50s, with such a severe medical problem have been misdiagnosed for so long? So, I wish his wife good luck with the effort, and hope that it prevents similar fates for other unfortunate early deaths.
John Ritter's Medical Treatment Disputed
More than four years after his death, John Ritter's relatives are taking their $67 million lawsuit to trial Tuesday, claiming the actor would have survived if two doctors had recognized his heart abnormality and not treated it as a heart attack. . .
Read more at: AP News
And here's ABC's 20/20 video, from right after he died: