During the 1970s and ‘80s, Three’s Company was one of the most popular sitcoms on TV. Each week, viewers eagerly tuned in to see Jack Tripper (played by John Ritter) navigate life with his two female roommates, Janet Wood (played by Joyce DeWitt) and Chrissy Snow (played by Suzanne Sommers). At the time, platonic co-ed living situations were pretty taboo, which made for plenty of racy jokes and risqué double entendres. Over the course of its eight-season run, the show featured memorable performances by a long list of talented actors, many of whom are no longer with us. Here’s a list of actors on Three’s Company who have since passed away.
Three’s Company Character: Jack Tripper
Date of Death: September 11, 2003
Also Known For: Problem Child, 8 Simple Rules… for Dating My Teenage Daughter, Bad Santa
The world was heartbroken when beloved actor and comedian John Ritter passed away at the young age of 54. At the time, he was starring on the sitcom 8 Simple Rules… for Dating My Teenage Daughter (which featured a then-unknown Kaley Cuoco). One day while on set, Ritter began experiencing severe chest pains and nausea and was rushed to the emergency room where he was treated for a heart attack. Unfortunately, his condition worsened, and only then did doctors realize that he had been misdiagnosed and was actually suffering from an aortic dissection. He was taken into surgery but it was too late to repair the rupture—Ritter died in the hospital that night.
While best known for his role in Three’s Company, Ritter left behind a legacy of comedic and dramatic work. He was survived by his widow, actress Amy Yasbeck, and their young child, Stella Lee, who has reportedly transitioned and now goes by Noah. Ritter also had three children from his first marriage: Tyler, Carly, and Raising Dion actor Jason Ritter—who is husband to Yellowjackets actress Melanie Lynskey.
Three’s Company Character: Ralph Furley
Date of Death: February 24, 2006
Also Known For: The Andy Griffith Show, The Incredible Mr. Limpet, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
Don Knotts had a long and successful career before appearing on Three’s Company as the group’s wacky landlord Ralph Furley. He was well known for playing Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on the ‘60s sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, a role that earned him five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Knotts also appeared in a slew of successful comedy films including the 1964 hit The Incredible Mr. Limpet and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken in 1966.
Knotts joined the cast of Three’s Company during its fourth season as a replacement for Normal Fell, who was leaving the show to star in his own spin-off, The Ropers. Knotts’ character became an instant favorite and stayed on the show for the remainder of its run. Knotts passed away in 2006 at 81 due to complications from lung cancer.
Three’s Company Character: Lana Shields
Date of Death: November 16, 2017
Also Known For: Steel Magnolias, The Edge of Night, Evening Shade
Ann Wedgewood played Lana Shields, an amorous divorcée who had a serious crush on Jack Tripper. Unfortunately, Jack did not share the attraction and spent much of the show trying to thwart Lana’s unwanted and very obvious advances. Wedgewood joined the cast in 1979 and appeared on 13 episodes of the fourth season, but her character did not return after that.
Wedgewood was a successful character actress who won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for Chapter Two in 1978. She also appeared in more than two dozen movies, including the 1989 hit Steel Magnolias, and spent four seasons playing Merleen Elldridge on the CBS sitcom Evening Shade. She passed away at age 83 after a long illness.
Three’s Company Character: Stanley Roper
Date of Death: December 14, 1998
Also Known For: Bullitt, It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Ropers
One of the show’s original cast members, Normal Fell played the gang’s grumpy landlord, Stanley Roper. He lived in the apartment below Jack, Janet, and Chrissy with his wife, Helen, and the pair was constantly fighting. After three seasons on Three’s Company, the bickering couple was given their own spin-off called The Ropers. It was much less popular than its parent show and only lasted two seasons.
Before Three’s Company, Fell was a successful character actor who had appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows, including Ocean’s 11, Bullitt, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Perry Mason, and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. He passed away at age 74 shortly after being diagnosed with bone marrow cancer.
Three‘s Company Character: Helen Roper
Date of Death: October 17, 1997
Also Known For: The Heartbreak Kid, Cannery Row, Troop Beverly Hills
Audra Lindley played Mr. Roper’s other half, the sexually frustrated Helen Roper. She was always decked out in colorful housecoats and starved for attention from her disinterested husband. When The Ropers first debuted on Tuesday nights right after Three’s Company, it earned high ratings and was considered a success. However, after the network moved the show to a Saturday night time slot for its second season, the ratings immediately dropped.
Lindley started her career as a stage actress, appearing on Broadway in plays like On Golden Pond, Long Day’s Journey into Night, and Horse Heavens. She also appeared on TV both before and after her time on Three’s Company. According to her obituary in the Los Angeles Times, she had taped an episode of the TV show Cybill just one month before her death from leukemia at the age of 79.
Three’s Company Character: Jack Tripper, Sr.
Date of Death: April 17, 1987
Also Known For: The Producers, It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Love At First Bite
Dick Shawn played Jack’s father, Jack Tripper, Sr., in a season eight episode of Three’s Company. A shrewd salesman, he helped his son negotiate a deal to save his struggling restaurant, Jack’s Bistro.
By the time Shawn appeared on Three’s Company, he was a veteran actor of both stage and screen. His resume includes movies such as It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and The Producers, and TV shows like Love, American Style, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, and Magnum, P.I. When Shawn was 63 years old, he suffered a fatal heart attack while performing onstage at the University of California, San Diego. According to his obituary in the Los Angeles Times, the audience thought his collapse was part of the act until the paramedics arrived and the audience was ushered out of the theater.
Three’s Company Character: Mrs. Snow
Date of Death: November 9, 1994
Also Known For: The Mary Tyler Moore Show, All In The Family, Newhart
Priscilla Morrill played Chrissy’s mother, Mrs. Snow, in the second episode of the show’s very first season. The plot revolved around Janet and Chrissy’s attempts to hide Jack from Mrs. Snow, whom they feared would not approve of their male roommate.
Morrill was a popular television actress when she appeared on Three’s Company, best-known for playing Lou Grant’s wife, Edie, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She also had recurring roles on Family, Bret Maverick, the soap opera Santa Barbara, and Newhart. Morrill passed away at the age of 67 due to complications from a kidney infection.
Three’s Company Character: Aunt Martha and Miss Arlington
Date of Death: March 10, 1995
Also Known For: Dennis the Menace, The Cincinnati Kid, The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Irene Tedrow appeared on Three’s Company two times as different characters. In season three, she played Helen Roper’s Aunt Martha, whom Chrissy and Janet mistakenly believe is dating Jack. In season nine, she played Miss Arlington, a guest dining at Jack’s Bistro.
Tedrow began her acting career back in 1929 as a radio performer. She appeared on Broadway numerous times and had notable roles on classic TV shows like Dragnet, Leave It to Beaver, The Real McCoys, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She also played Mrs. Lucy Elkins on Dennis the Menace from 1959 until 1963. Tedrow was 87 years old when she passed away after suffering a stroke.
Three’s Company Character: Jack’s great uncle, Fremont Tripper
Date of Death: February 11, 1997
Also known for: Green Acres, Hawaii Five-O, The Bionic Woman
During the second season of Three’s Company, veteran actor Don Porter appeared as Jack’s uncle, Freemont Tripper. In the episode, the character gets his nephew in some serious hot water after writing a bad check to the landlord, Mr. Roper.
Porter was a popular sitcom actor, best known for playing Peter Sands on Private Secretary and Gidget’s dad on Gidget. He also appeared on shows like Green Acres, Hawaii Five-O, Here’s Lucy, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, and Matlock. He died of natural causes at the age of 84.
Three’s Company Character: Marge Andrews, desk nurse, and more
Date of Death: June 7, 2003
Also Known For: The Kentucky Fried Movie, Donna Reed Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show
Sheila Rogers played an assortment of minor characters on Three’s Company, including the mother of a baby Jack and Chrissy babysat for in season two and a desk nurse in season six. She also appeared in two of season eight’s episodes as Marge Andrews, a nurse who works with Terri, who is one of the show’s main characters in later seasons.
Rogers was no stranger to sitcoms when she started showing up on Three’s Company. She had appeared on a long list of popular shows, including The Donna Reed Show, Dennis the Menace, My Three Sons, and What’s Happening!!! She also popped up on an episode of the Three’s Company spin-off, The Ropers. She died at the age of 78 and her cause of death is unknown.
Three’s Company Character: Henry Travers
Date of Death: August 27, 2004
Also Known For: All In The Family, Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life
During the first four seasons of Three’s Company, Jack Tripper was studying to become a chef. William Pierson appeared on the show as Henry Travers, the headmaster and dean of Jack’s culinary school. In addition to being very hard on his students, Travers was often the victim of some misunderstanding involving Jack and his two female roommates.
Pierson began his acting career on Broadway playing Marko in the original production of Stalag 17. He also appeared in the show’s 1953 film adaptation directed by Billy Wilder. After landing roles in other movies like Operation Mad Ball and Fun with Dick and Jane, he found success in the ‘70s and ‘80s guest starring on sitcoms including Good Times, All In The Family, Alice, and Diff’rent Strokes. Pierson passed away at the age of 78 as a result of respiratory failure.
Three’s Company Character: Mr. Penrose and Roland Wood
Date of Death: November 29, 2005
Also Known For: Deliverance, Starsky & Hutch, The Jeffersons
Macon McCalman made his first appearance on Three’s Company in the show’s third season as a lecherous lawyer who hits on Chrissy. He popped up again in seasons five and six, this time as Janet’s dad, Ronald Wood. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Wood is unaware that his daughter is living with a man and Janet goes to great lengths to keep this fact a secret.
In addition to playing Deputy Queen in the 1972 film Deliverance, McCalman appeared in movies like Slap Shot, Smokey and the Bandit, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, and Fried Green Tomatoes. He also had roles on some of the most popular sitcoms of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, including The Jeffersons, Cheers, Family Ties, Designing Women, and The Wonder Years. He died at the age of 72 after suffering a series of strokes.
Three’s Company Character: Mr. Hadley and Mr. Franklin
Date of Death: February 4, 2007
Also Known For: The A-Team, Barney Miller, Harper Valley P.T.A.
Though Rod Colbin played two different characters on Three’s Company, they were very similar in nature. He appeared as Cindy’s boss, Mr. Hadley, in a season five episode, and as Janet’s boss, Mr. Franklin, in an episode during season six.
Colbin was a familiar face on the small screen. He appeared on a slew of shows, including Sanford And Son, Charlie’s Angels, Lou Grant, Remington Steele, and Hardcastle and McCormick. He also popped up on the Three’s Company spin-off, The Ropers, as Hubert Armbrewster, Helen Roper’s brother-in-law. At the age of 83, he died after suffering a series of strokes.
Three’s Company Character: Jim the bartender
Date of Death: January 19, 2013
Also Known For: Wings, Weird Science, Babylon 5
Paul Ainsley appeared on 13 episodes of Three’s Company as Jim, the friendly bartender at the gang’s favorite watering hole, the Regal Beagle. While Ainsley made appearances on a handful of TV shows, he was best known for originating the role of King Herod in the first Broadway production of Jesus Christ Superstar. He went on to play the part for years on national tours and at benefits. His other notable stage credits include Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance and Herbie in Gypsy. Ainsley died at age 67 from heart-related complications.
Three’s Company Character: Mr. Hubbard, a singing telegram man, and more
Date of Death: April 14, 2014
Also Known For: Trapper John, MD, Laverne & Shirley, The Jeffersons
Mickey Deems had a few bit parts on Three’s Company throughout the years. He appeared twice in season five, first as a character named Gimbel, then as a singing telegram man. In season six, he was cast as a maitre’d, and in season seven he played a character called Mr. Hubbard. He also played an unnamed drunk guy in an episode of the Three’s Company spin-off, The Ropers.
While Mickey Deems appeared on a number of other TV shows, including The Jeffersons, Operation Petticoat, and Laverne & Shirley, he’s best known for being the fifth husband and widower of legendary actress Judy Garland. Deems passed away from congestive heart failure at the age of 68.
Three’s Company Character: Mike the bartender
Date of Death: December 26, 2018
Also Known For: Happy Days, Family Matters, Criminal Minds
After Paul Ainsley departed the show as the Regal Beagle’s bartender, Brad Blaisdell stepped in as a new barkeep named Mike. He appeared on 13 episodes of the show during the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth seasons.
Blaisdell was a popular character actor, appearing on TV shows such as Criminal Minds, The Mentalist, Chicago Hope, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He died at the age of 69 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Three’s Company Character: Mrs. Tripper
Date of Death: June 4, 2018
Also Known For: Midnight Cowboy, The Day After, Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman
We met Jack Tripper’s mother, Mrs. Tripper, in season seven. She was played by actress Georgann Johnson, who later became known for playing Elizabeth Quinn on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Johnson also had roles on Archie Bunker’s Place, The Colbys, Wiseguy, and Thirtysomething, and appeared in movies like Midnight Cowboy, The Slugger’s Wife, Murphy’s Romance, and Quicksilver. She died of natural causes at the age of 91.
Peter Mark Richman
Three’s Company Character: Reverend Luther Snow
Date of Death: January 14, 2021
Also Known For: Cain’s Hundred, The Fugitive, The Man From U.N.C.L.E
Peter Mark Richman appeared on three episodes of Three’s Company as Reverend Luther Snow, Chrissy’s dad. If his face looks familiar, it’s because he has appeared in more than 24 films and 150 TV shows, including Fantasy Island, Dynasty, Hart to Hart, Knight Rider, Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Beverly Hills, 90210. Richman died of natural causes at the ripe old age of 93.