Jason Ritter Calls First Hollywood Gig “Full-On Nepotism Hire”


Hollywood can be considered a big, extended family. Generations have popped up in movies. Such has been the case for Jason Ritter, son of Three’s Company star John Ritter and Grand Theft Auto actress Nacy Morgan.

While plenty of stars land each job – especially their first one – on their own merit, reflecting on the start of his career, Jason considers his first film a hire based entirely on his family. Appearing on the SiriusXM show The Jess Cagle Show, Jason reflected on his first job and the role he feels nepotism played in him landing the job.


Jason Ritter reflects on his first acting job, ‘The Real Story of Christmas Tree’

THREE’S A CROWD, John Ritter, wife Nancy, son Jason, 1984-85, © ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Jason, today 43, landed his first film job when he was just six years old. The movie was the 1991 short film The Real Story Of Christmas Tree, where Jason played the voice of Little Acorn. “I will say, without any hesitation, this was like a full-on nepotism hire,” Ritter said. “I will admit that. He for sure got me the job.”


RELATED: Meet ‘Three’s Company’ Star John Ritter’s Children, Including His Transgender Son

He did not have much certainty in his skills; looking back, Jason was sure the crew sped up his voice to make it sound higher, so they had to meet him in the middle of his skill level. Jason was mindful of nepotism even early on in his career and shared, “I did try to stay away from that later. But yeah, I got to play Little Acorn in The Real Story of Christmas Tree and he played my Uncle Piney.”

Life with a famous family

Father and son / Lee Roth STAR MAX, Inc. – copyright 2003. 8/14/03 / ImageCollect

Today, Jason is an established actor and family man in his own right; he was first partners with Marianna Palka from 1999 to 2013, then married to New Zealand actress Melanie Lynskey as of 2020. At the end of 2018, Jason became a father to a little girl. He’s taken leaf out of John and Nancy’s book and ensures his child always knows how loved she is.

Jason credits nepotism for getting him his first gig / ImageCollect

It’s a lesson that Nancy, 73, gets to see Jason carry on to the next generation. But it’s one that John never got to see passed on, as he died in 2003 at the age of just 54. The cause of death was an aortic dissection, which occurs when an injury to the inner aorta allows blood to flow between the aortic walls, causing them to separate.

John is gone, but Jason still holds close memories of being on set whenever his dad was working. “I remember the first time I went, I don’t even know what he was shooting,” he shared, “but it was a night shoot … So like the idea of staying up all night was so exciting and so crazy to me.”

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