John Ritter is gone but not forgotten in the hearts of fans — and his co-stars, including Kaley Cuoco.
The Three’s Company star died 15 years ago this Tuesday, on Sept. 11, 2003, from an undiagnosed aortic dissection after experiencing chest pains on the set of 8 Simple Rules. Cuoco, who played his TV daughter on the series, which was her first big TV gig, paid tribute to him Tuesday on Instagram with a sweet remembrance in which she told him that she loves him “forever” and that he still makes her laugh “every single day.”
In the photo, she uses her hand to plant a kiss on Ritter’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star. The picture is a throwback and was taken at her own star ceremony in 2014. She said during her speech, “They asked if I had a preference” as to where her star would be located. “I said, ‘Wow, if I had any dream it would be near John Ritter’s. I’m going to go find it after this and give it a big kiss.'”
Last month, Cuoco talked about the first time she met Ritter after being cast as his boy-crazy kid in the show that debuted in 2002. “We had a table read. I had just turned 16 and I wanted to look the part — I played kind of this sexy 16-year-old,” she recalled on Behind Closed Doors With Natalie Morales. “So, I wore this, like, spaghetti-strap shirt with, like, a bra strap showing. I’m sitting at the table read and John walks in, he looks at me and he’s like, ‘You’re playing my daughter. Put a sweater on.’ Then he barrels over in this laughter. He took a sweater off a random person in the room — this whole physical act he did — he pulls it off and puts it on me. And he goes, ‘Dress like that from now on.'” She added, “That was it. It was amazing. That was my introduction to him. I was in love from that moment on.”
Ritter, who was just 54 at the time of his death, passed away during the second season of the show, which also starred Katey Sagal, Amy Davidson, and Martin Spanjers. Although the show went off the air in 2005, the cast still has reunions. Spanjers also paid tribute to Ritter. He called him a “legend” and a “mentor.”
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