by Kristin Dos Santos | Thu., Sep. 18, 2014 6:00 AM
Fact: Today marks the 30th Anniversary—to the day—that Three's Company went off the air.
Crazy but true fact: John Ritter was 29 years old when he got his first series-regular gig on a TV show (Three's Company)—which just so happens to be the exact same age as his son Tyler Ritter is now, as he launches his first job as a series regular on a TV show, CBS' The McCarthys.
Both shows are comedies with messy communication styles and gay jokes a plenty—though, of course, in a sign that times have most definitely changed, Tyler is playing a guy who is openly gay, not a guy pretending to be gay in order to shack up with two girls, a la Jack Tripper. Tyler is a standout among his show, and, we can only hope, similarly destined for greatness.
SGranitz/WireImage.com; Lisette M. Azar/CBS via Getty Images
And not to get all sappy here, but we can't help but think that somewhere, John Ritter is smiling. Not only are his two sons, Tyler (29) and Jason (34), doing really well in their acting careers—please tell me you already know the greatness that is Jason Ritter—they are quickly developing a reputation as two of the nicest and most sincere guys in Hollywood.
Kind. Humble. Grounded. And just...normal.
Not necessarily what you'd expect from two boys who grew up in the thick of Hollywood, surrounded by A-list celebrities, in a family of actors. There isn't the slightest whiff of ego or entitlement about them.
Tyler, for example, celebrated his college graduation by moving to Argentina to do charity work. (But hey, if you celebrated by going to a kegger in a basement, that's cool, too. You, um...are not alone.)
When I sat down with Tyler, he told me that his father (John) and mother (actress Nancy Morgan) did a lot of things right during his childhood.
You can watch the whole, very touching interview in the video player at top.
But here is one highlight, which I'm basically using as my own parenting Bible for my two sons:
"It was a balance of really practicing what they both preached," Tyler explained. "They were both obsessed with The Beatles, which by the way is a great role model. You have ‘All you need is love,' and the work ethic that The Beatles had, of just working hard every day. And also, we were always comfortable talking to each other. Every meal was about talking about what was going on. Always an open communication. And there was a lot of just telling each other that we loved each other. And on top of that, school comes first. And then fun. And hopefully, if you're prepared and you work hard, then hopefully, those two things will merge. And they really were just honest with themselves and with us. And that was what was most important. I have grown up the youngest, and I get to use them as my role models, all of them. And I have been very fortunate. They had to think about what they had to do because they had a youngster running around, and I just got to soak it all in. I was the luckiest of the bunch." As for not getting too sucked into Hollywood nonsense, Tyler remarked, "we spent a lot of time outdoors and going to hiking camps, and staying in touch with the world outside of LA."
Check out the video at top for all the very sweet things Tyler says about his parents, and his big brother—and the prospect of him guest starring on The McCarthys.
I'm off to take my boys hiking.
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