John Ritter's Brother Remembers He Was My BEST FRIEND
Closer US|July 08, 2024
THE LATE COMEDIAN’S OLDER SIBLING SHARES HIS FAVORITE MEMORIES WITH CLOSER
LOUISE A. BARILE
John Ritter's Brother Remembers He Was My BEST FRIEND

Like most boys, John Ritter and his brother Tom used to fight sometimes. “[There were] lots of arguments in the backyard over the Wiffle ball that ended up in fits of laughter,” Tom tells Closer.

Tom remembers their childhood as a “fairly typical suburban Los Angeles upbringing,” but the Ritter family had ties to show business. Dad Tex Ritter was a popular singing cowboy who made movies in the 1930s and 1940s, while mom Dorothy Fay had acted in The Philadelphia Story with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. From a very early age, John knew he wanted to continue in the family business. “I remember he was mesmerized when we went to see our cousin Jamie in a play,” says Tom, 77. “John was about 8 years old, and he was determined to be an actor.”

Young John studied the comic routines of idols like Dick Van Dyke and Jerry Lewis. “He practiced their moves and came up with plenty of his own,” recalls Tom. “There was a lot of joy and laughter in the house. And a lot of play.”

During the summer, the family traveled together when Tex went on a concert tour. He and Dorothy used the opportunity to instill good values in their sons. “We learned to be patient and cordial with people by watching Mom and Dad,” says Tom, adding, “My mom was the most positive and upbeat person on the earth.” Above all, Tex and Dorothy taught the boys that kindness really mattered.

This story is from the July 08, 2024 edition of Closer US.

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This story is from the July 08, 2024 edition of Closer US.

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