Three still company at celeb meet-and-greet

Matt
Matt Gardner
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

The Northern Lights Casino added to its list of celebrity guests on Wednesday when a trio of Three’s Company cast members stopped by the Prince Albert Inn.

Left to right: Former Three’s Company cast members Joyce DeWitt (“Janet Wood”), Richard Kline (“Larry Dallas”) and Priscilla Barnes (“Terri Alden”) appeared at the Prince Albert Inn on Wednesday for a meet-and-greet presented by the Northern Lights Casino.

Actors Joyce DeWitt, Priscilla Barnes and Richard Kline gained prominence for their respective roles as roommates Janet Wood and Terri Alden and sleazy neighbor Larry Dallas. Three’s Company was a big hit in its initial run and is still remembered fondly.

“I meet people on the streets of New York City and they recognize me and start crying,” DeWitt said. “They transfer the love that they feel for these characters to us, whether we deserve it or not … Women will say … ‘Can I bring my husband over? He’s been in love with you his whole life,’ and I’m like, ‘That’s so cool that you’re cool with that! Sure!’ So there is a feeling people have for these characters that, personally, I think we all feel we’re lucky to be associated with.”

Wednesday’s event was invitation-only and targeted at Players Club members and corporate customers. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and posed for pictures with the actors.

The casino’s annual celebrity meet-and-greet has been running for years. Previous guests include Sopranos cast members, Olympic athlete Catriona Le May Doan, and actor George Wendt of Cheers.

“The one thing we try to do is bring celebrities into town that people want to meet,” Northern Lights marketing manager Loren Sproat said. “I think in this particular case, Three’s Company was around long enough, and still is, that most people can associate to them as actors.”

The sitcom originally ran on ABC from 1977 to 1984. Much of the humour came from late star John Ritter, whose 2003 passing hit castmates hard.

“I miss him, profoundly,” DeWitt said. “John and I had the extraordinary good fortune … the moment we met of being able to communicate kinesthetically. Our bodies could talk to each other. We didn’t even have to verbalize … We just had that extraordinary connection, and lucky me, I had that connection with John Ritter.

“He’d make a move and I’d make a counter-move, but he was leading brilliantly, so it was kind of like when you meet a great dance partner and you can just fall into their arms and let them lead.”

I didn’t realize that we were as funny as we were. Richard Kline

Even today, the show’s farcical style still holds up.

“To be honest with you, I kind of have trouble watching the show because of John’s passing, so it always kind of makes me a little sad,” Kline said. “But I’ve caught bits and pieces of it, and I didn’t realize that we were as funny as we were. I always thought the show was a little over-the-top, a little too cartoonish, but it was never topical, so it never dated itself. It’s … I think, just a really good example of how to do farce comedy correctly and successfully.”

In the years since the series ended, its stars have kept busy. DeWitt took a hiatus from acting for several years, travelling around the world and exploring religion, before returning to her old profession.

Kline, a classically-trained singer, has returned to the theatre. He played the Wizard in the first national tour of Wicked, and is scheduled to appear in a play directed by David Hyde Pierce in August 2013.

Barnes has continued to make appearances onscreen, including the James Bond film License to Kill and Rob Zombie horror pic The Devil’s Rejects.

“He used to be a graphic artist,” Barnes said of Zombie. “Actually, he still is … and so he has storyboards for everything. He’s a wonderful director.”

If cast members of popular television shows are more at risk of being associated with particular characters, DeWitt did not see that as a problem.

“The whole point and purpose of Three’s Company was to make people laugh,” she said. “We as actors, because we were allowed to participate in creating this sheer celebration of joy for human hearts, (it) was a gift … I know there are people who don’t like to be identified with their character and whatnot. Personally, I don’t get it, but perhaps that’s because we are talking (about) an act of joy.”

Organizations: Players Club

Geographic location: New York City

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Christiane
    August 04, 2013 - 17:18

    I love Three Company's. I love all the Actors, I am in my fifties and It reminded me when I was young and the clothe styles and hair styles absolutely fantastic. My Love To You All....And Thank You For making laugh even on my worst days. Freedom to All The Animals, stop Animals cruelty. Christiane