What Happened To Them?: The Cast of 'Three's Company'
If you’re a girl whose ever lived with a guy who wasn’t your boyfriend, people probably didn’t think it was super weird. After all – that’s kind of the whole plot of Three’s Company, right? Janet Wood, Chrissy Snow and Jack Tripper had a platonic relationship while dealing with their landlords, The Ropers. The show started after the success of British comedy Man About The House, and was adapted towards an American audience to great success. After all, it was on the air for an impressive eight seasons.
Fans might also remember the spin-off The Ropers – which only lasted two seasons, but was extremely popular when it premiered. A second spin-off that featured Jack Tripper also aired, called Three’s A Crowd, but it failed to find an audience.
So – where’s the cast today?
John Ritter as Jack Tripper
In order for Jack to get around the fact that he was a male living with females, he had to convince Mr. Roper that he was gay. Of course, he wasn’t. Hilarity ensued. Not based on that storyline necessarily, but based on the fact that John was a pretty convincing and versatile actor.
Before the show, John did a lot of stage work. Being cast definitely upped his television profile, even though he mostly worked on TV movies (and the aforementioned Three’s A Crowd) after the end of Three’s Company. His next big role was on the show Hooperman, where he played the lead of Harry Hooperman until the show ended in 1989.
John was involved with the Problem Child franchise, which gave us two classic (sort of!) films, and later appeared as John Hartman in the TV series Harts Afire, which ended in 1995. The later ’90s brought him a few small one-off roles in hits like Wings, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Ally McBeal. Oh, and he also made me cry during his final episode of Scrubs.
In 2000, John had a cameo role in a few episodes of Felicity playing Mr. Andrew Covington, and lead the movie Man of the Year in 2002. If you were young in the early 2000’s, you probably recognized his voice in Clifford The Big Red Dog, which actually earned him four Emmy nominations.
He was just starting the second season of his show 8 Simple Rules when he felt nauseous. Physicians misdiagnosed Ritter and treated him for a heart attack, when he truly had an aortic dissection. Unfortunately, he died during his surgery on September 11th, 2003. His death hit his family, fans, and co-stars hard, as he was notoriously a joy to work with, and only 54-years-old.
Kaley Cuoco, who played his daughter on the show, said that “working with him showed me that I loved sitcoms.”
His final live-action film was Bad Santa, which was posthumously released and dedicated in his memory.
Suzanne Somers as Chrissy Snow
Suzanne was actually the fourth actress to win the role of the flaky Chrissy. Prior to, Susanne Zenor was picked, and then the role was given to Denise Galik, who was very quickly fired. Suze Lanier was the next actress to drop the role. Later, Suzanne was found to be the best fit. I’m wondering how many other variations of “Susan” tried out for the part. Denise never, ever stood a chance with that one.
She didn’t last throughout the entire run of the series – probably due to the very public dispute she had over her contract.
Suzanne’s next big role was in the TV series She’s the Sheriff, which was on the air until 1989. Right after she bagged the big role of Carol Foster Lambert in the TGIF hit Step By Step, and also acted in a few TV movies in between.
She ended her on-screen acting career in 1999 with the TV Movie The Darklings, but you can always relive the greatness of Suzanne through her web series “Suzanne Somers: Breaking Through”, or even better – through her infomercials. Remember the Thighmaster? That’ll live on forever. Warning: Might be weird to watch at work.
She’s also released a bunch of books, from autobiographies to books that advise on food, wellness, and hormones. Whatever it is, Suzanne Somers probably has an opinion about it.
Joyce DeWitt as Janet Wood
Janet was the perfect person to balance out Chrissy – not only was she more dependable, but she was smart as well, eventually running the Arcade Flower Shop.
Off screen, Joyce and Suzanne had a pretty massive falling out. After Suzanne left the show, the two didn’t speak for 30 years. But as all good girl friends do, they managed to put their differences aside. Here’s their sweet reunion, set up by Suzanne herself.
After the show ended, Joyce took some time off to travel, and later resumed acting with a part in a production of “Noises Off” at Michigan’s Cherry County Playhouse in 1991. In 1995 she starred in a TV Movie called Spring Fling! where she played Linda Hayden, and took another long break (five years!) before appearing in an episode of the series Hope Island.
In 2003, Joyce co-produced Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three’s Company, with actress Melanie Paxson portraying her own role on the show. 2011 brought her an appearance in the boxing film The Great Fight, and in 2013, she played the important role of the First Lady in the paparazzi-drama Snapshot.
While Janet was levelheaded, Joyce doesn’t necessarily have a clean slate. She was arrested for drunk driving in 2009 in California after a police officer noticed her crossing a barricade, and had to undergo nine months of alcohol programs.
Hopefully Joyce cleaned up her act, since she’s really talented!
Don Knotts as Ralph Furley
After the Ropers left, Don Knotts came in to play the new apartment building superintendent. Don was already super famous for his work on The Andy Griffith Show, so he was quite a welcomed addition to the cast.
In 1987, Don played the role of Bud on a few episodes of What a Country, and in 1998 he took a pretty substantial role on the TV hit Matlock as Les Calhoun. If you were a fan of the film Pleasantville, Don was the infamous TV repairman. (So really, he’s the one to blame for Reese Witherspoon missing that big date.)
Don did a bunch of voice-overs after that, primarly for the Hermie & Friends series. He also lent his voice to 2005’s Chicken Little, playing Mayor Turkey Lurkey.
His last physical role before his death in 2006 was in an episode of That 70’s Show, where he played a landlord.
Richard Kline as Larry Dallas
Larry wasn’t only the trio’s upstairs neighbor, but he was Jack’s best friend. The character was so popular that he appeared in both spin-offs.
He’s had quite a career after the show – for one, he tried his luck as a host and worked on two game show pilots – Jumble in 1988 and To Tell the Truth in 1990. Back in 1998, he also subbed in for (the legendary) Charles Nelson Reilly as a guest panelist on Sweethearts for a week.
He had better luck in the ’90s with the show His & Hers, and also appeared in two episodes of Harry and the Hendersons. In 1995 he reunited with Suzanne on an episode of Step By Step, and also made small appearances on shows like Married With Children and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.
In 2000, he played the role of Jeff Beznick in Noah Knows Best, and he’s currently making appearances on The Americans.
Jenilee Harrison as Cindy Snow
After Suzanne’s departure, Jenilee was temporarily brought in to fill the blonde female gap. Oddly enough, she resembled Suzanne enough to convincingly play her character’s cousin, Cindy.
While Jenilee appeared on The Love Boat playing three different characters throughout the run of the show, she hit a grand slam after being cast on Dallas, which lasted until 1986. She had to chance to meet up with her fictional cousin after she made an appearance on one episode of Suzanne’s show She’s The Sheriff in 1988, and had a few more small parts before calling it quits in 2000 with her final role as Sarah Snyder in the film The Redemption.
Jenilee also did a few infomercials, notably in 2005 for The Ultimate Chopper.
Priscilla Barnes as Terri Alden
Unfortunately, Cindy wasn’t enough for the show. After Jenilee left the cast at the end of the sixth season, Priscilla was brought in to play Terri. And she had a terrible time doing it, admitting that Three’s Company provided the “three worst years” of her life.
Even though her time on the show was a nightmare (despite developing a strong friendship with Joyce DeWitt), she’s still acting – so, at least it wasn’t a career killer.
That being said, none of her roles have had the lasting effect that the role of Terri had. In 1999 she had roles in the films Mumford and Implicated, and played Sheila in the 2003 comedy Shrink Wrap. She played Balinda Parsons in the 2006 horror movie Thr3e and continued with the genre in 2008’s Trailer Park of Terror.
In 2013, she starred in the film Fat Planet as Jill Strong, and she has two more films that’ll be released this year.
Norman Fell as Stanley Roper
After The Ropers failed to be renewed, Norman – who had a mighty impressive resume prior to the show – tried his luck with the TV series Teacher’s Only before acting in a few TV Movies. In 1991 he starred alongside Phyllis Diller in the horror film The Boneyard, and also starred with Bette Midler in the film For The Boys. He made a cameo appearance as Mr. Roper in a 1997 episode of Ellen, and made his last physical appearance in the 1998 film Beach House, which starred Chris Hardwick.
Norman passed away that same year, at the age of 74.
Audra Lindley as Helen Roper
Helen was definitely a feisty female, but unfortunately, Stanley never seemed to be on her level. While she knows that Jack isn’t gay, she hides the secret – and even better, forms a friendship with the group. Audra was a trooper by wearing a wig over her natural hair throughout the course of both shows.
For fans of Troop Beverly Hills, you might recognize Audra playing the part of Frances Temple. She followed the role with a few TV movies, as well as the 1994 movie The New Age (which also featured Samuel L. Jackson and Patricia Heaton, amongst a few more big names.) She appeared on an episode of Friends in 1995, and occasionally appeared throughout three seasons of Cybill until her death in 1997 after a battle with leukemia.
What were some of your favorite Three’s Company moments?