Childhood & Early Life
Jason Ritter was born on February 17, 1980 in Los Angeles, California to Nancy Morgan and John Ritter. His family had a history in entertainment industry, what with his grandparents, Tex Ritter and Dorothy Fay working as musician and actor. His step mother Amy Yasbeck was an actress as well. He has three siblings, including actor Tyler Ritter.
On the academic front, Ritter attained his formal education from Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California. He then enrolled at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, wherein he studied at the Atlantic Theatre Company. Graduating from the same, he did a course at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as well.
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Ritter first ever onscreen appearance was for his father's show, ‘Three's Company’. He was barely one year old then. He was seen in the opening credits from Seasons 6 to 8, standing next to ‘Janet Wood’ as she pets a goat.
It was the made for television biographical film ‘The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story’ that marked Ritter’s big debut on screen in 1990. However, after ‘The Dreamer of Oz’, Ritter disappeared from screen only to return in 1999 with a lead role in the third season of the televisions series ‘Undressed’.
In 1999, Ritter was seen playing a supporting role in the popular show ‘Days of Our Lives’. He even made his foray in films, playing the character of Martin Brockett in ‘Mumford’.
In 2002, Ritter had two releases slated for the year, ‘PG’ and ‘Swimfan’. Meanwhile, he also guest appeared as Teddy Griffin in ‘Hack’. The following year, Ritter played a lead role in the horror film, ‘Freddy vs Jason’. He also did a couple of guest appearances before finally bagging a lead role in the televisions series ‘Joan of Arcadia’. It changed the fate of Ritter’s acting career thereafter.
Though a major breakthrough in films evaded Ritter, he nevertheless was extremely busy with his hands full with projects. He played supporting characters in several films including ‘Raise Your Voice’, ‘Happy Endings’, ‘Our Very Own’, ‘The Wicker Man’, ‘The Deal’, ‘W’, and so on.
Ritter’s television appearances also widened as he no longer was seen as a guest actor. After his stint of a full time role of Kevin Girardi in ‘Joan of Arcadia’, numerous offers came rolling in for him. From 2006 to 2007 he was seen in ‘The Class’ and later played Jack Yusen in ‘WWII in HD’.
Films and television apart, Ritter also was active as a theatre artist. He played the titular role in Wendy Wasserstein's ‘Third’. The play was loved by the audience and even won him two awards, the Clarence Derwent Award and the Martin E. Segal Award. He was seen in an Off-Broadway production ‘The Beginning of August’ and in Neil LaBute’s play ‘The Distance from Here’.
In 2010, Ritter was seen capping the role of Sean Walker for the NBC drama ‘The Event’. Around the same time, he bagged a recurring role of Mark Cyr in ‘Parenthood’. His performance on the show earned him an Emmy Award nomination in 2012.
In 2012, Ritter gave the voice for the character of Dipper Pines in ‘Gravity Falls’. The year also saw him in the comedy film ‘Free Samples’ besides his appearance in various television films.
2013 was a busy year for Ritter. While ‘The Big Ask’ marked his only film outing for the year, television kept him busy. He had guest roles in ‘Robot Chicken’, ‘Modern Family’, ‘Call Me Crazy’ and a recurring role in ‘Drunk History’. Same year, he also signed FOX’s sitcom ‘Us & Them’ to play the character of Gavin opposite Alexis Bledel's Stacey. Sadly, the show never went on air.
Having established his versatility as an actor, Ritter found a wide variety of projects coming his way. In 2014, he played as a supporting artist in seven films that were variedly different. From drama to romcom, crime thriller to dramedy, he did it all. Some of his films include, ‘Hits’, ‘There’s Always Woodstock’, ‘7 Minutes’, ‘You Are Not You’ and so on.
In 2015, Ritter found a recurring role in the television series ‘Girls’. Same year, he bagged himself the lead role as Lord Federick Bellacourt in ‘Another Period’, a role which he is still seen in.
His upcoming projects include the ABC sitcom ‘Kevin (Probably) Saves the World’, a high concept angelic themed fantasy drama. The show is expected to go on air on October 3, 2017.