Three’s Company aired for 8 seasons, leaving fans in awe. The storyline was based around 3 single friends and roommates. This includes Janet Wood, played by Joyce DeWitt, Chrissy Snow, played by Suzanne Somers and Jack Tripper played by John Ritter. The roommates resided in Santa Monica, California. The sitcom follows the trio’s arguments, social lives and financial situations. With a controversial living situation, the trio’s misunderstandings had viewers laughing out of their seats. However, numerous events occurred behind closed doors while filming. Here are the 10 most shocking revelations about Three’s Company.
Fact Verse Presents: Don Knotts was Intimidated by Three’s Company (10 Facts)
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NUMBER TEN: First Day Friendships
The three main characters on the show met…at their first film day. The natural chemistry between on-screen roommates Suzanne Somers, Joyce DeWitt and John Ritter, played a large role in the success of the series. Fans would have never guessed the trio met on the first episode of season 1. All three of the cast members, Suzanne, Joyce and John were put together on the first day of filming, expected to read their lines and act with one another. The producer’s assumptions were validated after witnessing how well the actors got along. Strong on-screen chemistry between actors/ actresses is the foundation of any successful TV series.
NUMBER NINE: Blonde Locks
Suzanne Somers is known for her platinum blonde hair. Her trademark feature is recognizable, as Chrissy Snow was the only blonde roommate. However, during the well-known opening scene and theme song, Jack rides his bike alongside the beach. A beautiful brunette woman walks past him and he falls off his bike. Little did fans know, the woman was actually Suzanne Somers with brunette hair. Suzanne Somers wore a wig for the clip and disguised her blonde locks. Fans would be shocked to know the woman who caught Jack’s eye was actually fellow roommate Chrissy… in a wig.
NUMBER EIGHT: Almost, But Not Quite
John Ritter was the perfect selection for the character of Jack Tripper. After 8 seasons, fans loved and adored Jack for his goofy personality. However, Ritter almost didn’t get the part! Actor Billy Crystal was also up for the male roommate role. Had Billy been casted as Jack, Three’s Company would not be what it is today. In fact, the show may not have run for 8 seasons with Billy as Jack. The chemistry of the actors/ actresses was a major component to its long-standing success. Ritter eventually got the part and Crystal became successful in his own right. Billy Crystal portrayed Harry Burns in the iconic movie When Harry Met Sally as well as Michael Max in the classic film, The Princess Bride.
NUMBER SEVEN: All Are Created Equal
Suzanne Somers was popular in her role as Chrissy. However, after her exit from the show in 1981, fans were curious and heartbroken over her departure. This may come as a surprise, but Suzanne actually left over unequal pay. During the 70’s and 80’s, male actors earning triple what their female co-stars made was all too common. Somers earned $30,000 per episode, while male costar Ritter earned $150,000 per episode… That’s 5x more! As a result, Somers demanded the same compensation as her male co-stars. After production denied her request, they found a way to quietly write her off the iconic series.
Even after this incident, Somers continued to gain roles and success in Hollywood. She starred in another popular sitcom called “Step by Step.” While rumors speculate there may have been another reason for her exit, Somers confirmed unequal pay was the sole reason for her departure. In fact, when she met with the executives of the show, she was removed just for requesting equal pay. Even ranking as a top actress at the time, Somers was not able to keep her role as Chrissy and receive the same compensation as John Ritter.
Difficulties in Three’s Company
After six seasons, Suzanne believed she should earn the same amount as her male co-stars. During an interview, she stated finishing the show was painful and difficult. Her role was reduced to a few minutes at the end of each episode where she was forced to finish out her character Chrissy. Suzanne said it was a difficult time, as she was not allowed to see any other cast members. The only people she interacted with during those final scenes are wardrobe personnel. Even being the highest-rated actress for her desired demographic, Suzanne was not able to retain her role in Three’s Company, something fans have been largely unaware of. Many have called Suzanne Somers “ahead of her time” for taking a strong stance on gender equality in the early 80s.
NUMBER SIX: Stay a Little Longer Larry
Jack Tripper’s best friend, Larry, was well-known for being a funny Casanova. He always had a humorous line that made the cast and audience crack up. The show would not have the same sparkle without Larry. However, his character was originally written as a one-time appearance. After the reaction from fans, production decided to make him a regular on the cast. Not only did the audience enjoy his character, but Larry and Jack had great on-screen chemistry. Richard Cline (Larry) and John Ritter (Jack) got along well in real life, adding to their authentic friendship in the sitcom.
NUMBER FIVE: Stanley Roper is Real
Stanley Roper was played by Norman Fell. Fans instantly loved his stubborn personality and comical relationship with wife, Helen Roper. The character of Stanley Roper is a real person, someone Norman knew personally. That’s right, the fictional landlord of Chrissy, Janet and Jack was a real person. Norman Fell knew someone who was obsessed with money and materialistic. The character of Mr. Roper was important for the storyline of the series. Due to his personal experience, Norman created an authentic and genuine version of Mr. Roper. His character also blended well with his wife, Helen, played by Audra Lindley. While Norman may not have been the biggest fan of “Mr. Roper” in real life, the inspiration served him well as fans loved the character.
NUMBER FOUR: Last Minute Suzanne
Suzanne Somers got the part of Chrissy Snow at the last minute. Production was scheduled to begin soon, while the role of Chrissy was still pending. The deadline was drawing nearer, yet executives couldn’t seem to fill the role. Luckily, after scrolling through hours of audition tapes, Suzanne’s tape was discovered. Executive Fred Silverman instantly knew she was the woman for the role. Suzanne was hired the same day. This was essential as production was scheduled to begin the next morning. This was why the trio never met prior to their first day.
NUMBER THREE: Knotts Gets Nervous
Don Knotts, known by fans as Mr. Furley, was nervous and intimidated by Three’s Company. This comes as a shock to many as Knotts was already a successful actor and comedian in Hollywood prior to the series. In fact, Knotts starred in The Andy Griffith Show, playing the role of Barney Fife during the 60’s. The reason Knotts was intimidated was due to cameras. During the 60’s, only one camera was used to film shows. By the time production began for Three’s Company, teams were using 3 cameras to shoot. This upgrade initially overwhelmed Knotts, however his jitters were calmed after his first on-screen appearance. After receiving a standing ovation, he quickly adjusted to the new set up and continued to play his character as Mr. Furley.
NUMBER TWO: Pricilla Barnes Was Unhappy
After Suzanne Somers’ exit from the show during 1981, the role was filled by Priscilla Barnes. Priscilla played Terri Alden. She was a nurse who became the third roommate. Barnes was featured on the show for the final three seasons. While many would assume this show was the opportunity of a lifetime for Priscilla, she was unhappy with her job. Barnes said producers were demanding and controlling. She was even called out for her hair being “too blonde.” She noted she got in trouble for “small things.”
NUMBER ONE: Third Time’s a Charm
Three’s Company gained instant success after airing, however hard work and dedication played a large role. After a total of 8 seasons, the series is still celebrated for its funny and entertaining storylines. Even after 43 years since the first episode aired, Three’s Company remains quintessential. The cast worked hard during production. In fact, two other pilots were made for the show. The cast was rewarded for their time, effort and hard work during the Emmys and Golden Globes where the show won for their category, along with other prestigious awards. Receiving a Primetime Emmy or Golden Globe is a big deal in the entertainment industry and Three’s Company was able to pull through, even with numerous changes.
Thanks for joining us to learn more about Three’s Company. No wonder this show has stuck around after all these years. Let us know down in the comment box below which Three’s Company character is your favorite and which fact surprised you most. And don’t forget to give this video a thumbs up if you enjoyed and subscribe to Facts Verse for more awesome content.