Joyce DeWitt, a veteran actress, originally showed an interest in performing in high school when she began taking stage acting lessons at the age of 13. Young DeWitt was born on April 13, 1949, in Wheeling, West Virginia, to Paul and Norma DeWitt. Her father was unsupportive of her ambition.
But she eventually persuaded him to let her major in theater in college. DeWitt obtained her bachelor’s degree in acting from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. The future Hollywood star eventually earned a master’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.
After graduating, DeWitt worked as a legal assistant while auditioning. Months later, ABC gave her the option of choosing between two comedy pilots, but she was expected to respond within 24 hours.
She quickly looked through both screenplays and chose «Three’s Company,» about a single guy living with two women, which later won the People’s Choice Award. DeWitt made a smart decision because the other show did not work out.
«Three’s Company» was one of the most popular shows during that time period, running for eight seasons from 1977 to 1984. It was about three housemates in Santa Monica, two of whom were women and one of whom was a guy.
Because of their unusual living circumstances at the time, many misunderstandings provided fodder for humor. During most of its run, the series ranked in the top ten in the ratings.
Although DeWitt had previously appeared on an episode of «Barretta» as well as in other plays, she rose to prominence as Janet Wood.
She always wore pantyhose or tights while filming the show and refused to work with her legs visible. As a result, she and the producers had a fallout. However, it had a beneficial effect because she eventually became the spokeswoman for «L’Eggs» pantyhose in the late 1970s.
DeWitt co-starred in the sitcom with Suzanne Somers (Chrissy Snow) and John Ritter (Jack Tripper). To keep landlords away, they all assumed that Jack was gay.
While Ritter was already a famous figure on television and Somers desired superstardom, DeWitt, despite her acting career, was uninterested in recognition. Chris Mann, the author, disclosed in a March 2019 interview: «Joyce was a stage actor.» I don’t think she was prepared for the intrigues of Hollywood. I don’t think she was ready for the PR machine either, and she backtracked after deciding to put herself out there.»
DeWitt and Somers became friends before splitting up over a money disagreement. Somers had requested an increase in pay from $30,000 to $150,000 per episode.
Not only did this cause a schism between her and DeWitt, but also between her and Ritter. Somers and her husband, Alan Hamel, exposed Ritter’s pay while fighting her case with the producers, and she aired her issues from the program to the public, which did not sit well with the Emmy Award winner.
DeWitt addressed the topic in 2009, explaining that she and Somers never clashed about the events in season five of the program. Somers, she claims, tried to make her case to the public while presenting her and Ritter in a negative light.
DeWitt attempted to contact Somers via several means of communication, but she never answered. Instead, she said DeWitt was the one who ignored her.
Despite the public controversy and her discomfort in the limelight, DeWitt’s acting career earned her a million dollars. Aside from «Three’s Company,» she has made a number of other film appearances throughout the years.
The television celebrity was supposedly worth $2 million in 2012, according to The Richest.com. There were speculations that she had retired, but that has since been proven false since she has appeared in numerous films throughout the years.
DeWitt, who now has gray hair, has maintained her aversion to public attention throughout the years by being low-key. Although she is still active in the performing world, she does so in the theater rather than on the big screen.
Since «Three’s Company» finished, the comic has apparently not taken many TV or film roles. In the decade following her on-screen debut, she has appeared in series such as «Cybill» and «Hope Island,» among others.
DeWitt, on the other hand, has mostly been playing on stages around the country. She was featured in the musical «Scattered, Smothered, and Covered Christmas» in 2020.
Back in 2009, the «The Ropers» veteran disclosed her plans following her spell on «Three’s Company» and claimed she wanted to take a few months off from acting to relax: «I saw Hollywood and the way it behaved, and it was not a natural moral code to me.» If this is how the game is played, I’m not sure I want to play it.»
She took a sabbatical to meet and study with other spiritual masters from other nations. The star thought it would only be a few months, but the absence lasted over ten years. DeWitt traversed the world during her hiatus and finally landed in New Mexico. She has gradually returned to acting since then.
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Furthermore, she and her former co-star, Somers, had not talked in years since Somers’ departure from «Three’s Company» in 1981. However, the two ladies reconnected in February 2012 when DeWitt appeared as a guest on Suzanne Somers’ online series, «Suzanne Somers: Breaking Through.»
Somers openly apologized to DeWitt, and the two moved on. Somers excused her behavior at the time, stating she went on the program to make a living as a single mom to support her child: «In a room full of serious performers, I’m sure I irritated you all. And if I did, I apologize profusely. I simply needed the cash at the moment.»
Somers had given birth to her one and only child, Bruce Jr., in November 1965, before the start of the show. The author has a son with her ex-husband, Bruce Sr. Somers, whom she married from 1965 to 1968.
She married for the second time to Hamel, a Canadian entertainer, the same year «Three’s Company» premiered. Meanwhile, Ritter married actress Nancy Morgan in 1977, and the couple had three children: Jason, Carly, and Tyler. After 19 years of marriage, they divorced in 1996.
Ritter married actress Amy Yasbeck three years later, in 1999, and they remained together until his death. They starred as love characters in two films and on «The Cosby Show.»
DeWitt dated actor Randolph Mantooth and was also dating Ray Buktenica throughout the show’s run. The couple apparently had a committed relationship for seven years. During a 1980 interview, DeWitt called it quits and explained why she and the actor didn’t work out:
«My self-esteem and confidence vanished. They were given to me. He, on the other hand, believed I was spoilt and wanted to be served hand and foot. I didn’t have time to clean the home, cook supper, and attend to him.»
DeWitt, who has been to fan conventions, divides her time between her two residences in California and New Mexico.
She is supposed to spend a lot of time in Santa Fe, New Mexico. An overhead image of her California property indicates that it is surrounded by woods and looks secluded.
In 2020, DeWitt’s former co-star, Somers, talked candidly about her departure from «Three’s Company,» claiming that the show’s producers sacked her when she demanded the same pay as Ritter.
Despite her desire to be paid more for her efforts, Somers had become the villain and was shunned by the crew and co-stars.
According to the singer, she was accused of tarnishing the show’s reputation. After that, she resolved not to speak to anyone from the production again until she and DeWitt reconciled three decades later. During their conversation, DeWitt explained, «We approached our careers in very different ways.» We had extremely different requirements. «I didn’t have a child to support on my own.»
Meanwhile, Somers stated that she had studied acting and that Ritter had also studied the profession and had featured on the legendary TV show «The Waltons,» despite the fact that she just appeared on the show to get money.
Somers asked DeWitt why she decided to participate in her internet program during the interview, to which the brunette answered, «It’s time.» «I believe you have given me the opportunity to ensure that I walk my talk.»
Since they hadn’t interacted in years, DeWitt claimed that anytime she was questioned about the show, she always kept quiet about what happened between them and Ritter.
Instead, she’d explain why the series was memorable, noting that it provided them with an opportunity to laugh together as a group. She called the event a «gift.»
Furthermore, Somers stated that they had not foreseen the conflict’s ramifications. Furthermore, the TV personality acknowledged that she had doubts about her ability at the time, did not feel she was «worth it,» and believed she lacked something.
Even if it were the truth, the mother of one stated that she was no longer the same person she was during that time period since she had developed over the years.
Somers informed DeWitt that she admired her craft’s training and gained a lot from seeing her perform her job. On the other hand, she didn’t know anything about it, and every time producers entered the room, she felt like she didn’t belong there.
«Well, you were fabulous, and I never thought they would let you go,» DeWitt consoled her. She went on to say that Somers’ fight for equal pay with the producers threw everything off since they couldn’t accept the feminine contribution. Somers responded by saying, «In my opinion, you and I deserved to be paid equally with what the men were being paid, so it was their loss.»
DeWitt joined in with a compliment, saying that what she had accomplished since being kicked from the program was «immeasurable,» whereas she had not done anything.
Somers went on to say that what happened decades ago was a teaching moment for her, from which she learned a lot and evolved, and that it required guts for DeWitt to agree to be on her show.
The blonde beauty was terrified of having a sit-down interview with her former co-star about what happened many years ago, which led to their estrangement in the years that followed. She was overwhelmed by the prospect of revisiting the past with DeWitt in order to reconcile.
The health official stated that she and the «Call of the Wild» star are two separate people who had a wonderful encounter. The two Hollywood stars hugged at the end of their lengthy talk.
While the women were finally able to put the past behind them, their beloved co-star Ritter died on September 11, 2003, after a heart attack that was subsequently determined to be an aortic dissection.
In 2011, Somers stated that Ritter had found her down at a hair shop. They hadn’t spoken since the 1982 salary disagreement, and she acknowledged being concerned about the situation since she admired him.
A receptionist informed her that Ritter was on the phone, and when she answered it, he told her that he had forgiven her, which was a tough thing for him to do, and that he was letting it go. Somers responded by telling him that she had always loved him.
Meanwhile, DeWitt reminisced about the last time she saw the Golden Globe Award winner in a December 2021 interview. He happened to stay near the hotel where she stayed when she was in New York City. She contacted his hotel and left a message, and he returned her call just as she was about to leave.
«Baby, we’ve got three parties and a dinner to do tonight,» he said. «I’ll pick you up at 7 p.m.» «It was so delicious,» DeWitt recalled of their evening together, «and a month later, he passed.»