Joyce DeWitt

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Joyce DeWitt
DeWitt at the New York Comic Con in Manhattan, October 10, 2010
Born (1949-04-23) April 23, 1949 (age 74)
EducationSpeedway Senior High School
Alma materBall State University (BA)
University of California, Los Angeles (MFA)
  • Actress
  • comedian
Years active1962–1984; 1991–present
Known forThree's Company

Joyce DeWitt (born April 23, 1949) is an American actress and comedian known for playing Janet Wood on the ABC sitcom Three's Company from 1977 to 1984.

Early life[edit]

Joyce DeWitt was born April 23, 1949, in Wheeling, West Virginia, and grew up in Speedway, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis.[1] She is of Italian descent from her mother.[2][3] DeWitt began appearing on stage at the age of 13. She competed in speech and debate through the Indiana High School Forensic Association. She graduated from Speedway Senior High School, and once worked at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ticket office.[4]

She earned her bachelor's degree in theater from Ball State University. Subsequently, while she was performing in summer stock, the director convinced her to enroll in UCLA's Department of Theater MFA program,[5] where she was awarded the Master of Fine Arts Fellowship as well as the Clifton Webb Scholarship.[6] She graduated in 1974.[1][7]


DeWitt (left) with John Ritter and Suzanne Somers in the promotional photo of the series premiere of Three's Company, 1977

While attending UCLA, she worked as a secretary until her television debut on an episode of Baretta.[1] Contrary to rumors that she was mentored by actor Abe Vigoda, Dewitt has said that the two never met.[8]

DeWitt is best known for her role as Janet Wood during the 1977–1984 run of the sitcom Three's Company, a job she obtained after being cast in the show's second pilot.[5] She also played Janet in a 1979 episode of the spinoff series The Ropers.

After Three's Company ended in 1984, DeWitt appeared in an episode of Finder of Lost Loves in 1984, after which she quit acting for several years. She resumed acting with a part in a production of Noises Off at Michigan's Cherry County Playhouse in June 1991.[1] She later appeared in the 1995 TV comedy film Spring Fling! A character based on her, voiced by another actress, appeared in a 1997 episode of Pinky and the Brain. She made an appearance in an episode of Cybill, and had a cameo on the penultimate episode of Living Single.[5] Her 2000s works includes TV shows such as Hope Island, The Nick at Nite Holiday Special and Call of the Wild.

DeWitt co-produced and hosted the 2003 NBC-TV television film Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three's Company. In the film, DeWitt is portrayed by Melanie Paxson.

In 2008, she appeared in the indie film Failing Better Now. In 2009, DeWitt starred in a stage production of Married Alive in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.[9]

In June 2011, DeWitt succeeded Eve Plumb in the title role of the play Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage at the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre in New York City's Times Square.[5][6] That same year, she appeared in a Canadian stage production of Dinner with Friends at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton, Ontario.[10]

In 2012, DeWitt appeared in two separate stage productions of Love Letters starring opposite Tab Hunter and Tony Dow, respectively.[11][12] In August 2012, she starred with her niece, Katharine DeWitt, in a production of Remember Me at the Alhambra Dinner Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida.[13]

Also in 2012, DeWitt appeared on Suzanne Somers' talk show, Suzanne Somers: Breaking Through, during which she and Somers reminisced about their time on Three's Company together. Somers apologized for the conflict that arose between them, and they exchanged anecdotes about the last time they each spoke to their late co-star John Ritter.[14] DeWitt's appearance on Somers' program marked the first time the two actresses had seen or spoken to each other since having a major falling out 31 years earlier, involving a salary dispute.[15]

In 2018, DeWitt played Mother Superior in a stage production of Nunsense at the Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in New Jersey.[16]

Charity work[edit]

DeWitt participated with members of the House and Senate at the Capitol Hill Forum on Hunger and Homelessness, and has hosted presentations for the Family Assistance Program of Hollywood. She hosted the International Awards Ceremony at the White House for the Presidential End Hunger Awards, and co-hosted, with Jeff Bridges, the World Food Day Gala at the Kennedy Center.[5]

Personal life[edit]

DeWitt was in a romantic relationship with actor and director Ray Buktenica from 1973 to 1980.[17]


On July 4, 2009, DeWitt was arrested in El Segundo, California, and cited for drunken driving. According to press reports, police pulled her over after she drove past a barricade near a park. An officer arrested the actress after he observed signs she had been drinking and administered a field sobriety test. She was booked at the police station, cited, and released on her own recognizance.[18] On May 27, 2010, she pleaded no contest to one count misdemeanor and was placed on three years' probation and ordered to undergo a nine-month alcohol program. She was also ordered to pay a $510 fine, plus penalty assessments. In exchange for her plea, a second misdemeanor count was dismissed.[19]


Year Title Role Notes
1975 Baretta Mother Earth Episode: "Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth"
1976 Most Wanted Cindy TV movie
1977–1984 Three's Company Janet Wood Main cast (170 episodes)
1978 With This Ring Jilly Weston TV movie
1979 Supertrain Natalie Smithburne Episode: "Pirouette"
1979 The Ropers Janet Wood Episode: "The Party"
1979 The Love Boat Jackie Landers Episode: "The Audit Couple/The Scoop/My Boyfriend's Back"
1980 The B.B. Beegle Show Herself (guest star) TV pilot episode
1984 Finder of Lost Loves Lynn Powell Episode: "Portraits"
1995 Spring Fling! Linda Hayden TV movie
1995 Cybill Psychic Pals Host Episode: "The Odd Couples"
1998 Living Single Herself (guest star) Episode: "To Catch A Thief"
1998 Twitch City Herself (guest star) Episode: "I Look Like Joyce DeWitt"
2000 Hope Island Laetitia Barton Episode: "A Rising Tide Takes All Boats"
2003 The Nick at Nite Holiday Special Miss DeWitt, The Housekeeper TV special
2009 Call of the Wild Jolene Feature film
2010 Failing Better Now Irene Feature film
2011 The Great Fight Randi Toney Feature film
2014 Snapshot First Lady Feature film
2014 My Boyfriends' Dogs Nikki TV movie
2015 Rock Story Judge Carol Anne Connelly Feature film
2018 The Savant Detective Randi Toney Feature film
2022 Ask Me to Dance Nana Feature film


  1. ^ a b c d Peterson, Bettelou (July 21, 1991). "Joyce DeWitt has quit acting". The Beaver County Times. Archived from the original on December 15, 2019. Retrieved December 29, 2009 – via Google News.
  2. ^ Heyman, Marshall (June 2, 2011). "Sitcom Star Takes the Stage". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on July 20, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  3. ^ Fadal, Tamsen (March 9, 2017). "Three's Company 40th Anniversary Cast Reunion for Antenna TV". Antenna TV. Archived from the original on May 23, 2022. Retrieved May 23, 2022 – via YouTube.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) DeWeitt states that she is Italian at the 48:08 mark.
  4. ^ Mullinax, Donna S. (May 23, 1981). "Joyce DeWitt back home again for '500'". The Indianapolis Star. p. 9. Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved November 4, 2016 – via
  5. ^ a b c d e "Seven Questions with Joyce DeWitt of Three's Company; The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations". Sitcoms Online. July 14, 2011. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Rosky, Nicole (May 31, 2011). "Photo Flash: Joyce DeWitt Joins MISS ABIGAIL'S GUIDE". Broadway World. Archived from the original on December 25, 2015. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  7. ^ "Notable Alumni Actors". UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  8. ^ Anderson, Chris (July 12, 2009). "Opportunity knocks for Dewitt". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on July 30, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  9. ^ Clevett, Jason. "Married Alive". Gay Calgary Magazine. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  10. ^ Pope, Amanda (August 26, 2013). "Joyce DeWitt stars in "Dinner with Friends" at Theatre Aquarius". CHCH News. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew (January 13, 2012). "Joyce DeWitt and Tab Hunter Will Share Love Letters Jan. 19-22". Playbill. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  12. ^ Rizzo, Frank (January 14, 2018). "Tony Dow on 'Love Letters,' Facing Depression and Growing Up With the Cleaver Clan". Connecticut Magazine. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  13. ^ Gans, Andrew (August 31, 2012). "Joyce DeWitt and Niece Katharine DeWitt Will Co-Star in Florida Production of 'Remember Me'". Playbill. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  14. ^ "Three's Company Reunion with Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt". Suzanne Somers Breaking Through, CafeMom Studios. February 2, 2012. Archived from the original on April 27, 2022. Retrieved May 23, 2022 – via YouTube.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  15. ^ Marikar, Sheila (February 3, 2012). "Suzanne Somers, Joyce Dewitt Lay 'Three's Company' Feud to Rest". ABC News. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  16. ^ Antonucci, Alexandra (July 6, 2018). "Television sitcom star Joyce DeWitt to star in "Nunsense" at Hunterdon Hills Playhouse". Courier News. Somerville, New Jersey.
  17. ^ Armstrong, Lois (August 4, 1980). "Success and Self-Doubt Had Joyce Dewitt Licked—Until She Shed Her Man and Found Herself". People. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  18. ^ "Joyce DeWitt cited for drunken driving". Today. Associated Press. July 7, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  19. ^ "Actress Joyce DeWitt Sentenced to Probation in DUI Case". KNBC News. May 27, 2010. Retrieved January 6, 2021.

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