This morning brought the surprising and sad news of John Ritter's death. He was 54, and had died of an undetected heart defect, at Providence St. Joseph in Burbank, the same hospital he was born in according to the Today show. Ritter had been hospitalized since last Thursday, when he collapsed on the set of his new hit, 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Daughter.

While Ritter has played many roles, he will be fondly remembered as randy and bumbling Jack Tripper on Three's Company. Gothamist submits that Ritter's physical comedy ranks up there with Dick Van Dyke and Michael Richards, and his natural warmth made Jack's mix of incorrigibility and naivete more believable. For many children, Three's Company repeated airings in syndications on weekday afternoons meant we grew up with Janet, Chrissy, and Jack. We'll miss you, John.

John Ritter's filmography. A John Ritter appreciation site. A Three's Company fan site, Jack's Bistro. Also, Ritter starred in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as her mom's strange boyfriend.