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'Simple tool for honoring Ritter

July 16, 2004|Susan King

A posthumous nomination for John Ritter is the TV industry's way of bidding a fond farewell to one of its favorites.

The move seems sentimental. Ritter, nominated for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for ABC's "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," died unexpectedly at the age of 55 on Sept. 11, 2003, after completing only three episodes of the sitcom's sophomore season.

Though Ritter was overlooked during the premiere season of "8 Simple Rules," which marked the actor's return to series TV after a long absence, he had been nominated for an Emmy five times before. He won an Emmy in the same category 20 years ago for "Three's Company." The only other nomination that "8 Simple Rules" picked up on Thursday was in the category of cinematography for a multi-camera series.

The series continued without Ritter, adding veteran James Garner and David Spade to the cast.

What are the chances of Ritter winning? Not bad. Several actors have won posthumous Emmys, including Raul Julia for the HBO movie "The Burning Season," David Burns for the Hallmark Hall of Fame film "The Price," and Marion Lorne and Alice Pearce for the ABC sitcom "Bewitched."


-- Susan King

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