Americans got to know John Ritter on the sitcom Three’s Company, which ran from 1977 to 1984. Though he may have first come to people’s attention when he was born since his father, Tex Ritter, was a famous country musician, the actor had a long career in the public eye before his sudden passing in 2003. In an interesting parallel to her grandfather, Ritter’s only daughter, Carly, has had a successful country music career. However, Ritter’s sons, Jason, Tyler, and Noah Lee, have followed in the sitcom star’s footsteps, pursuing their own acting careers.
John Ritter married his first wife, Nancy Morgan, in 1977. Three years later in 1980, the couple welcomed their first child together—a boy named Jason. The eldest Ritter child had his first brush with the TV screen in a brief cameo in the Three’s Company opening title sequence. The show’s sequence changed three different times, but the footage with 1-year-old Jason stuck around from season six to the show’s eighth and final season.
Then, at only 10 years old, Jason appeared in the TV movie The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story alongside his father. Of course, he wouldn’t go on to pursue his own acting career until years later. In a 2018 interview with Larry King, Jason credits his father’s love for the industry as his inspiration to take the leap into acting. Starting in the late ’90s, he began landing consistent work appearing in various TV shows and movies.
He voiced Dipper Pines in the breakout Disney animated series Gravity Falls, and he had a prominent role playing Mark Cyr on the NBC dramedy Parenthood. He also starred as the titular character in the ABC series Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, and he voiced the character of Ryder in Frozen 2. His most recent prominent role was as Pat Rollins in the Netflix show Raising Dion.
Ritter has been in a relationship with Yellowjackets actress Melanie Lynskey for over nine years now. The pair got engaged in 2017, welcomed their daughter in 2018, and finally tied the knot in 2020.
In 1985, John Ritter and Nancy Morgan welcomed their second child, Tyler Ritter. When he was in high school, Tyler showed an early interest in acting. However, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007, he chose not to pursue it professionally and moved to Argentina.
He worked as a teacher in the country for three years. He married Argentinian film director Lelia Parma in 2007. It was around this time that he moved back to the United States to pursue acting again. His first son, Benjamin, was born in 2017, and his daughter, Magnolia, was born in 2020.
John Ritter’s second-eldest son is known for his roles in the sitcom The McCarthys, and the DC comics show Arrow. Most recently, he announced his involvement in the Netflix mini-series Painkiller. The series dramatizes the origins of the opioid crisis, and it stars actors Matthew Broderick and Uzo Aduba.
Along with his brother Jason, Tyler often voices support for the John Ritter Foundation. The charity focuses on raising awareness for aortic health. John Ritter passed away in 2003 from an aortic dissection—an aneurysm in the heart’s aorta that causes the vessel walls to split. While the event comes on suddenly and is often fatal, it can be prevented by monitoring the health of the aortic artery and taking preventative when deemed necessary.
Both Tyler and Jason took the foundation’s “purple pinky promise,” painting their pinky nail purple to symbolize their promise to talk to their doctors about their aortic health. Actors Raven Symone, Leslie Jordan, and Mayim Bialik have all participated in the pledge. Notably, the Ritter family has also been outspoken advocates for Huntington’s Disease awareness.
Noah Lee Ritter
John Ritter and Nancy Morgan divorced in 1996, and he went on to marry Amy Yasbeck after. In 1998, John Ritter welcomed his only child with his second wife, Noah Lee. Noah Lee lives a mostly private life. The young actor is actually transgender, and he seems to have publicly began his transition when he was about 18 years old. It was around this time that he made his social media profiles private.
Noah Lee gravitated to acting early in his childhood. In 2007, he landed a role in the TV movie This Is My Friend. Years later, he lent his voice to two animated shorts. He even landed a composing credit at just 14 years old for the short film Namazu. It should be noted that the youngest Ritter’s film credits are all under his dead name, Stella Ritter.
We don’t know much else about the youngest Ritter child, but given how most transgender people in the public eye are treated on social media, that’s completely understandable. We’ll just have to wait and see if he decides to follow in the footsteps of his father and brothers and pursue acting as a career.