Like father, like son

Tyler Rit­ter is fol­low­ing in his late dad’s foot­steps as the lead in The McCarthys.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS - By COLIN VICK­ERY

JOHN Rit­ter would be chuff ed to see that his 31- year- old son Tyler has scored the lead role in US sit­com The McCarthys.

John was best known for his star­ring roles as Jack Trip­per in Three’s Com­pany and Paul Hen­nessy in 8 Sim­ple Rules For Dat­ing My Teenage Daugh­ter.

John died from heart com­pli­ca­tions – a torn aorta – at the age of 54 in Septem­ber 2003 shortly af­ter film­ing an episode of 8 Sim­ple Rules.

His sud­den death shocked Hol­ly­wood, but Tyler and brother Ja­son ( Joan of Ar­ca­dia, Grav­ity Falls) are con­tin­u­ing his legacy.

Tyler has guest starred on Mod­ern Fam­ily and Grey’s Anatomy, and has just ap­peared in NCIS, but play­ing the lead on The McCarthys has been a big step for­ward.

“It is a great op­por­tu­nity to get to play Ronny,” Tyler says. “It is a huge get for any ac­tor. I know that my dad is proud and I’ve got the rest of my fam­ily here show­ing their sup­port.

“I got to grow up and see my dad in this ( sit­com) for­mat and then my brother in this for­mat, and both of them over­whelmed with the joy of mak­ing a live au­di­ence laugh over and over all night.”

Tyler plays Ronny McCarthy, the gay son of a sports- lov­ing Bos­ton fam­ily headed by out­spo­ken father Arthur ( Jack McGee) and overly pro­tec­tive mother Mar­jorie ( Roseanne’s Lau­rie Met­calf).

Ronny wants noth­ing more than to move from Bos­ton, join the sin­gles scene and find a part­ner, but events con­spire against him.

The se­ries is based on the real- life ex­pe­ri­ences of cre­ator Brian Gal­li­van whose TV cred­its in­clude Happy End­ings and Are You There, Chelsea?

“Ronny is a high- school guid­ance coun­sel­lor who is two years com­ing out of the closet to his fam­ily,” Tyler ex­plains.

“Ronny and his mum are best friends. She is up­set that he is think­ing about mov­ing more than two blocks away from her or spend­ing a night watch­ing The Good Wife with­out her.

“It creates a re­ally fun bond. Ronny knows it ( friend­ship with his mother) is not go­ing to help him find a boyfriend, but they share so many in­ter­ests.

“Ronny is the youngest of four and I am the youngest of three in real life. Be­ing the last one to leave the nest can

be dif­fi­cult for both( child and mother).”

Tyler is mar­ried to Ar­gen­tinian di­rec­tor Lelia Parma and spent time in South Amer­ica teach­ing and study­ing psy­chol­ogy be­fore re­turn­ing to Los An­ge­les to pur­sue act­ing.

“I stum­bled into the au­di­tion for Ronny and here we are,” Tyler says. “Brian has been an amaz­ing as­set to keep Ronny real and grounded.

“At the core of this show is a fam­ily that, even though you don’t see it at first, re­ally love and sup­port each other.

“From the time I was a lit­tle kid I’ve al­ways wanted to make peo­ple laugh and tell a story. My fam­ily paved the way for me.”

THE McCARTHYS

ONE, TUES­DAY, 8PM

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