At the beginning of Three’s Company season 5 in 1980, actress Suzanne Somers made a bold move. Though John Ritter was the star of the show, she decided to demand a lot more pay.
“John was the star of the show but, I can’t help it, so was I, so was I. That’s what the public had decided, my demographics had decided the advertisers had decided, the magazine covers had decided,” says Somers in REELZ’s new docuseries, John Ritter: Behind Closed Doors.
Though many actors and fans agree that Ritter was a one-of-a-kind actor and comedian, Somers argues that she too was extremely talented—and much less appreciated.
“All the men were making more than me and John Ritter was making more than me and yet I had the number one demographics of all women in television at that time. And so, when my contract was up, my husband went in to negotiate and there [was] a lot of dynamics going on.”
Sommers’ request for higher pay was not well received by ABC executives.
John Ritter: Behind Closed Doors airs Saturday, September 8 at 9:00 ET / 8:00 PT on REELZ.