|First appearance||"A Man About the House" (in Three's Company)
"Family Affair" (in Three's a Crowd)
"Friends and Lovers" (in Three's Company)
|Portrayed by||John Ritter|
|Family||Jack Tripper, Sr. (father)
Lee Tripper (brother)
Jack Tripper is a San Diego native who served in the United States Navy, in which he was a member of the boxing team. He was discovered in Janet Wood and Chrissy Snow's shower in Santa Monica on the morning after a party they threw, explaining, "I came with a friend who knew one of the gate-crashers." He previously lived at the YMCA and needed a place to stay, and the girls needed a new roommate to replace Eleanor, who had moved out. Janet reasoned with the landlord, Stanley Roper, who lived downstairs, and he agreed that Jack could stay because Janet told Mr. Roper that Jack was gay, without Jack's knowledge. Jack was, however, actually straight (the comedy stemming from having to "play gay" provided much of the story for the sitcom). He has an older brother named Lee who once came to visit the apartment and Jack displayed his feelings of inferiority when compared to Lee (Jack felt perpetually in his shadow when they were children). Jack Tripper Sr. was played on the series by comedian Dick Shawn. In the Season 7 episode "Extra, Extra", Jack's mother was played by actress Georgann Johnson.
Jack is known for being a klutz. Much of the character's humor is derived from slapstick comedy. He is extremely clumsy and accident-prone, and is well known for his comic pratfalls. Jack is something of a ladies' man, but is also kind-hearted, loyal and protective of the girls. Despite having been a boxer in the navy, he often cowered and allowed other men to bully him. Jack has his own bedroom while the two girls share a second bedroom. Jack has a poster of The Beatles, as they appeared late in their career, hanging on the wall above his bed.
Jack attended a local technical college on the G.I. Bill for a degree in culinary arts and held down odd jobs in his spare time. After completion of his schooling, he found full-time work as a chef working for a popular restaurateur named Frank Angelino (Jordan Charney). Later, with Angelino's help and financial support, he eventually opened his own restaurant, Jack's Bistro.
When one of his roommates (Janet Wood) gets married to Phillip Dawson in the Three's Company series finale, Jack proposes to flight attendant Vicky Bradford. Even though she loves him, Vicky turns him down since she doesn't want to get married and wants them to live together instead. Jack refuses at first but then changes his mind and they move into the apartment above his bistro. Three's Company then ends and the spinoff series Three's a Crowd begins, with Vicky and Jack living above the bistro and Vicky's father having purchased the restaurant from Mr. Angelino.