John Ritter

John Ritter – 2003 Runway For Life Fashion Show Benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Arrivals – Beverly Hilton – Beverly Hills, CA, USA – Keywords: – False – – Photo Credit: Lee Roth / RothStock / PR Photos

Birth Name: Johnathan Southworth Ritter

Date of Birth: September 17, 1948

Place of Birth: Burbank, Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Death: September 11, 2003

Place of Death: Burbank, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, with small amounts of Northern Irish, Scottish, German, Dutch, and French Huguenot

John Ritter was an American actor and comedian. His roles included television’s Three’s Company, 8 Simple Rules, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and It, and the films Americathon, Hero at Large, Problem Child, Sling Blade, Bride of Chucky, Panic, Terror Tract, and Bad Santa.

He was the son of Dorothy Fay (Southworth), an actress, and Tex Ritter (born Woodward Maurice Ritter), an actor, country music singer, and politician. John was married to actress Amy Yasbeck, until his death. He had four children: three, including actor Jason Ritter (Jason Morgan Ritter), with his former wife, actress Nancy Morgan; and a daughter with Amy.

Most branches of his family had lived in the United States for many generations. Much of his ancestry was English, with small amounts of Northern Irish, Scottish, German, Dutch, and French Huguenot. His surname, Ritter, likely also came from distant German ancestors.

John’s paternal grandfather was James Everett Ritter (the son of Benjamin Franklin/Frank Ritter and Margaret Ann Ball). James was born in Murvaul, Panola, Texas. Benjamin was the son of Everett S. Ritter and Anna Goodwin. Margaret was the daughter of William F. Ball and Martha Morris.

John’s paternal grandmother was Martha Elizabeth/Lizzie Matthews (the daughter of James Pinkney H. Matthews and Edna A. Murray/Murry). Martha was born in Texas. James was the son of James L. Matthews/Mathis and Catherine/Katherine L. Golden.

John’s maternal grandfather was Harry Thomas Southworth (the son of Thomas F. Southworth and Elizabeth Lamb “Eliza” Livesay). Harry was born in Ohio. John’s great-grandfather Thomas was the son of Thomas F. Southworth and Altha W. Aldrich. Eliza was the daughter of Judah M. Livesay and Caroline Post/Hathorn.

John’s maternal grandmother was Harriett/Harriette/Harriet Fay Fox (the daughter of William P. L. Fox and Harriett/Hattie Lucina Tilton). John’s grandmother Harriett was born in Illinois, and had deep Colonial American ancestry, with roots in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. William was the son of Pliny Lothrop Fox and Laura Utley Riddle. John’s great-grandmother Harriett was the daughter of William Franklin Tilton and Susan Estabrooks.

Sources: Genealogies of John Ritter –

Genealogy of John Ritter (focusing on his father’s side) –


Curious about ethnicity

9 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    Ritter is German brand of chocolate

  2. beckyphantom says:
    John Ritter is at least 25% German because his father is Tex Ritter.Tex Ritter’s father (John Ritter’s paternal grandfather) is a German American.

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