These Two “Three’s Company” Stars Didn’t Speak for 30 Years
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  • Post published:11/01/2022
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Three’s Company was all about the bond between three roommates—Chrissy Snow, Janet Wood, and Jack Tripper—but in real life, the relationship between the actors who played them soured suddenly after the fifth season of the show. Going into the sixth season of the sitcom, Suzanne Somers, who played Chrissy, asked for a pay raise, but a dispute with production led to her leaving the series and being replaced by a new actor. And when Somers left Three’s Company, she left everything behind, including her friendships with co-stars Joyce DeWitt (Janet) and John Ritter (Jack).

Thirty years later, Somers and DeWitt finally reunited and shared some behind-the-scenes insights into their differing outlooks on the show at the time. They pair have also spoken publicly about the ways in which they both connected with Ritter prior to his 2003 death. Read on to learn more about the longstanding rift.

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Somers left the show after requesting a raise.

Don Knotts, Joyce DeWitt, John Ritter, and Suzanne Somers in 1979Don Knotts, Joyce DeWitt, John Ritter, and Suzanne Somers in 1979
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

As Somers has explained, when she was renegotiating her contract, she asked to be paid the same amount as Ritter. “So, we went in to renegotiate for year six because we had to, my contract was up,” she told Entertainment Tonight in 2020. “And they fired me. They fired me for asking to be paid commensurate with the men. … They need you as the example so no other woman in television will get uppity and think that they could ask for parity with men.”

She says she was seen as “greedy” for wanting equal pay.

Suzanne Somers at the 2019 Palm Springs International Film FestivalSuzanne Somers at the 2019 Palm Springs International Film Festival
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Somers said that after she was let go from the series, other people still working on the show kept their distance. “It was so sad. It was like being shunned from your family and whatever those producers said to them when they went back to the rehearsal hall, they painted me as greedy,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “They painted me as she’s trying to ruin the show, and so the whole show—cast and crew—shunned me. … So, I never talked to anybody on that show ever again. Ever again.”

But, she did reunite with her co-stars eventually.

Joyce DeWitt and Suzanne Somers on "Suzanne Somers Breaking Through"Joyce DeWitt and Suzanne Somers on "Suzanne Somers Breaking Through"
CafeMom Studios / YouTube

Somers and DeWitt met up for the first time in 30 years when DeWitt joined Somers on her talk show, Suzanne Somers Breaking Through, in 2012. On the show, Somers explained that her goal in being on Three’s Company was to make money to support herself and her child, because she was a single mother. “I always saw this as a business venture—show business,” Somers told DeWitt. “In a group of serious actors, I probably pissed you all off, and if I did, I’m really sorry. I just really needed money at the time.”

DeWitt and Somers acknowledged their differences.

Joyce Dewitt on "Suzanne Somers Breaking Through"Joyce Dewitt on "Suzanne Somers Breaking Through"
CafeMom Studios / YouTube

DeWitt told Somers that she decided to join her on her talk show because “it’s time” and she knew she needed to “walk [her] talk” when it came to celebrating the joy the show has brought to people.

DeWitt explained of the distance between herself and Somers, “We had very different approaches to our careers. We had very different needs. I did not have a child that I was supporting on my own. I didn’t have a business head, so I didn’t understand someone who did.”

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Somers also got back in contact with Ritter.

John Ritter and Suzanne Somers at a CBS TV City Taping in 1978John Ritter and Suzanne Somers at a CBS TV City Taping in 1978
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

During the conversation, DeWitt and Somers talked about how Ritter had contacted them to propose that they appear all together on his early 2000s series 8 Simple Rules. The women weren’t happy with the script, so the show went in another direction.

Somers shared more about her interaction with Ritter in the Entertainment Tonight interview.

“He said, ‘I forgive you,’ which took a lot of maturity on my part to say, ‘You forgive me?’ So I said, ‘Thanks,'” Somers said of their phone call. “He said, ‘You know, I’m doing a show, 8 Simple Rules, and we’ve got this dream sequence and I have this nightmare, and in the nightmare you and Joyce [DeWitt] are in the nightmare. So I was kind of silent. I said, ‘You know, the public has such a craving for you and I to be together again. I don’t think my coming back as a nightmare is the best thing that we can do.’ I said, ‘Why don’t we look for a proper project for the two of us?’ and so we decided to do that. Let’s find a show for the two of us, and then a month later, he died.”

DeWitt and Ritter remained friendly, on the other hand.

Jenilee Harrison, John Ritter, and Joyce DeWitt at a screening of "Angel Dusted" in 1981Jenilee Harrison, John Ritter, and Joyce DeWitt at a screening of "Angel Dusted" in 1981
Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

As for DeWitt, she shared a story of spending a final fun night with Ritter prior to his death. They happened to be staying in nearby hotels in New York City, and when she found out he was there, she contacted his hotel and left a message. “As I’m walking out the door, the phone rings, and I pick it up and it’s Johnathan,” DeWitt told Somers. “And he goes, ‘Baby, we’ve got three parties and a dinner to do tonight. I’ll pick you up at 7!” She added of their evening hanging out together, “It was so delicious … and a month later, he passed.”

RELATED: The Most Hated TV Finales of All Time.

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