Joyce DeWitt

Joyce DeWitt

DeWitt at New York Comic Con on October 10, 2010
Born Joyce Anne DeWitt
(1949-04-23) April 23, 1949[1]
Wheeling, West Virginia
United States
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Other names Joycey
Education Ball State University
Occupation Actress
Years active 1972–present
Partner(s) Ray Buktenica (1979–1986)

Joyce Anne DeWitt (born April 23, 1949) is an American actress most famous for playing Janet Wood on the ABC sitcom Three's Company.

Early life

Joyce DeWitt was born April 23, 1949 in Wheeling, West Virginia, and grew up in Speedway, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis.[1] She graduated from Speedway Senior High School, and once worked at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ticket office.[2] She is of Italian descent[3] on her mother's side, and Dutch from her father.[4] She competed in speech and debate through the Indiana High School Forensic Association. After she received a bachelor's degree in theater from Ball State University, she moved to California to earn her master's degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and graduated in 1974.[1][5]


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

DeWitt began appearing on stage at the age of 13.[6] While attending university, she worked as a secretary until her debut on Baretta.[1] Contrary to reports, she has never painted actor Abe Vigoda's garage, though she did touch up the trim of his shed, which was the pride of Mr. Vigoda's collection of storage spaces.[7] While performing in summer stock in the year following her graduation, a director and UCLA Theater professor convinced her to go to California for the school's MFA program.[6]

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.[6]

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.[6] Her 2000s works includes TV shows such as Hope Island, 18, The Nick at Nite Holiday Special, and Call of the Wild.

DeWitt later co-produced and hosted the 2003 NBC-TV television film Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three's Company; actress Melanie Paxson portrayed De Witt in the film. In late 2008, she also earned a part in an independent film called Failing Better Now.

As of 2011, DeWitt was starring in the play Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating & Marriage in New York.[6][8]

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 John Ritter.[4] The appearance on her show marked the first time the two ever saw or spoke to each other since having a major falling out in 1981.

Charity work

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.[6]


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.[9] 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.[10]


Year Title Role Notes
1975 Baretta Mother Earth Episode: "Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth"
1976 Most Wanted TV pilot episode
1977–1984 Three's Company Janet Wood Main role (170 episodes)
1978 With This Ring Jilly Weston TV film
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 TV pilot episode
1982 Airplane II: The Sequel Juror Feature film; uncredited role
1984 Finder of Lost Loves Lynn Powell Episode: "Portraits"
1995 Spring Fling! Linda Hayden TV film
2000 Hope Island Laetitia Barton Episode: "A Rising Tide Takes All Boats"
2001 18 Jay's Mom Feature film
2003 The Nick at Nite Holiday Special Miss DeWitt, The Housekeeper TV special
2009 Call of the Wild Jolene Feature film
2009 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 film
2015 Rock Story Judge Carol Anne Connelly Feature film
2016 Renaissance Man Joycee Feature film (post-production)
TBA Street Signs: Homeless But Not Hopeless Narrator Documentary


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Bettelou Peterson (1991-07-21). "Joyce DeWitt has quit acting". The Times/Beaver Newspapers. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
  2. Mullinax, Donna S. (May 23, 1981). "Joyce DeWitt back home again for '500'". The Indianapolis Star. p. 9. Retrieved November 4, 2016 via
  3. Heyman, Marshall (June 2, 2011). "Sitcom Star Takes the Stage". The Wall Street Journal.
  4. 1 2 "Three's Company Reunion with Suzanne Somers and Joyce DeWitt" on YouTube. February 2, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  5. "NOTABLE ALUMNI ACTORS". UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Seven Questions with Joyce DeWitt of Three's Company; The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations". Sitcoms Online. July 14, 2011
  7. Chris Anderson (2009-07-12). "Opportunity knocks for Dewitt". The Star. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
  8. Cast & Creative. accessed July 30, 2011.
  9. "Joyce DeWitt cited for drunken driving", MSNBC, July 6, 2009.
  10. "Actress Joyce DeWitt Sentenced to Probation in DUI Case", NBC, May 27, 2010
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Joyce DeWitt.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.