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How John Ritter's Widow Helped Reunite Him with Suzanne Somers Before His Death

Ritter's widow, Amy Yasbeck, encouraged the actor to say hello to Somers at a Broadway premiere in 1995

<p>Abc/Kobal/Shutterstock, Cindy Ord/Getty Images</p> John Ritter, Suzanne Somers

Abc/Kobal/Shutterstock, Cindy Ord/Getty Images

John Ritter, Suzanne Somers

John Ritter has his wife to thank for helping him clear the air with Suzanne Somers before his death.

In a recent episode of the Still Here Hollywood Podcast with Steve Kmetko, Ritter's widow, Amy Yasbeck, opened up about how she orchestrated a reunion between her husband and Somers, where they finally thawed the ice between them after a long falling-out.

The two famously starred opposite each other in the hit sitcom Three's Company, but Somers — who died in October 2023 — exited the show in season 5 amid a reported salary dispute with producers. Somers had wanted a pay hike that would put her on equal standing with her male costar, Ritter, but was denied.

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Related: Suzanne Somers' Husband Reflects on the Fallout of Her Three's Company Salary Fight and Firing (Exclusive)

<p> Ralph Dominguez/MediaPunch /IPX</p> Suzanne Somers and John Ritter

Ralph Dominguez/MediaPunch /IPX

Suzanne Somers and John Ritter

"I didn't do it in a sneaky way," Yasbeck, 61, recalled to Kmetko of bringing Ritter and Somers together. "We were at the premiere of Victor/Victoria on Broadway [in 1995], and at the intermission, I went to the ladies room and all of a sudden, Suzanne is standing there next to me."

She said she introduced herself to Somers and told her she was with Ritter. Somers mentioned that she would be singing at the afterparty and Yasbeck remembered replying, "Awesome, I’ll make sure he says hi."

When Yasbeck got back to her seat in the theater, she said to Ritter, "John, who is the last person you want to see here?" She recalled the Bad Santa actor looking a bit shocked for the rest of the Broadway performance after he heard Somers was there.

Later, at the afterparty, Somers performed "Can't Dance, Don't Ask Me," and Ritter approached her.

"And she like, turned around. And they hugged it out and stuff, which was great. You know, it was a big thing," Yasbeck remembered of the moment, adding that she believes their falling-out was partly driven by them misunderstanding each other.

"I think they were great together and I don’t think they ever maybe got each other, like where each other was coming from after that kind of split," she told Kmetko. "Beause John never felt like it was never about a woman being paid — and John was, like, the most liberal and whatever. It was pretty even [as far as their pay was concerned]. And John, he didn’t ever want to talk about it."

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<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty </p> Suzanne Somers and John Ritter in a 1980 episode of 'Three's Company'

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Suzanne Somers and John Ritter in a 1980 episode of 'Three's Company'

Yasbeck said that while Ritter felt comfortable talking to her about the situation with Somers, he was careful not to speak about it publicly.

"He didn’t want to refute anything that Suzanne was saying or get into any kind of a weird thing," she explained. "He just loved her — and for a while, from afar. So it was tricky."

"And it was sad when she passed away. It was sad when John passed away because that’s then 20 years lost for a friendship or any kind of furthering of a reunion," she added.

Ritter died suddenly in September 2003 at age 54 after suffering an aortic dissection. Somers later revealed to Fox News in 2017 that just one month before his death, she received a phone call out of the blue from Ritter, and it would turn out to be their final conversation.

Related: Suzanne Somers Recalls Being Fired from 'Three's Company' for Asking for Equal Pay: 'I Was Ostracized'

“He said, ‘Hey babe,’ and I knew his voice right away. And then he said, ‘I forgive you.’ I had a moment of, ‘Uh, you forgive me?’ And then I thought, ‘Be the grownup.’ And so I said, ‘Thanks,' " Somers recalled to the outlet.

"And he said, ‘I’m doing a show called Eight Simple Rules and there’s a dream sequence and I want to have a nightmare, and in my nightmare, you ... are in the dream.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’d love to work with you again, but … This isn’t the way I want to come back, a nightmare. Really?' ” Somers continued.

She went on to share that the former costars even threw out the idea of finding a project they could work on together.

"And a month later, he died. So there was resolution, which feels good. We probably would’ve found a project, which would’ve worked," Somers told Fox News. "I always thought Jack Tripper should’ve married Chrissy Snow anyway and that should be the spin-off. I’m glad I had that resolution with him. Really glad.”

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