Of all the "modern day" comedic performers, perhaps Lucy's favorite was John Ritter. Ritter passed away last week (ironically) of the same heart ailment (technically, an aortic dissection) that took Lucy in 1989. We offer these pictures in his memory...
Like many people, Lucy first "noticed" John Ritter's comedic abilities -- particularly his adeptness at slapstick -- during the long run of his Three's Company series on ABC (1977-1984). When ABC decided to do a "best of..." retrospective of the show in 1982, Ritter asked Lucy to host.
Four years later, when Lucy herself went back to work with Life with Lucy, Ritter was the show's first guest star. Lucy later remembered that week as "golden. We had so much fun during rehearsals, we hated to see show-night roll around." Indeed, even after the cameras started filming, Ritter's quick reactions and facial expressions sent Lucy into hysterics. She stopped the scene, and, still giggling, explained to the audience what had happened, then started the scene again.
Later that night, after the show was finished, John returned to the soundstage and thanked everyone in sight, cast and crew alike, for a wonderful week. As he turned to leave, Lucy grabbed him one last time and called to Rick Carl (who was always on hand with a camera), "Take our picture!" Rick graciously lent us a copy (photo, top pf page) for this web-page.
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