Former 8 Simple Rules star, Kaley Cuoco, recently revealed that show co-star, the late John Ritter once told her that she needed to dress less sexy.
Before Big Bang Theory was 8 Simple Rules
While Kaley Cuoco is best known for her role as the carefree and sometimes airheaded ‘Penny’ on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, she did have a few significant roles prior — including her 3 season stint as ‘Briget’ on ABC’s short-lived sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter.
The show revolved around male patriarch, Paul Hennessy, his wife, played by Katey Segal and their three teenage children. This short-lived but beloved situational comedy highlighted the chaotic and sometimes humorous aspects of parenting and family life in general. Sadly, despite good ratings – the show only made it through three seasons, with their finale airing in April of 2005.
John Ritter Tells Kaley Cuoco to Dress Less Sexy
Those who remember 8 Simple Rules will likely remember that Kaley’s Character, Briget, was a sassy teenager with a tendency to be boy crazy. Naturally, the young actress assumed that a more provocative style of dress would be appropriate for this character. Lead actor John Ritter, who played Cuoco’s father on the series – did not agree with this interpretation.
During a recent podcast interview, Kaley spoke with Dax Shepherd about her favorite interaction with Ritter. She told the story of the day she first met John on set. Cuoco says she introduced herself to her co-star, letting him know that she would be playing his daughter. After taking a moment to digest her appearance, Cuoco says John took off his jacket and put it gently over her shoulders and asked her to refrain from dressing like this anymore.
“I played a little hot 16-year-old, right? So I was dressed really sexy, thinking that’s what I should do, right? So John walks in, and he sees me, and I go, ‘Hi, I’m Kaley. I play your daughter.’ And he takes his jacket off and puts it over me and says, ‘Don’t ever dress like this again.” – Kaley Cuoco on Dax Shepherd’s Armchair Expert Podcast
Now 34, the former Big Bang actress looks back fondly on this memory. She reminisced that even early in their relationship, Ritter really did treat her as his own daughter. Cinema Blend reports that Ritter filled the fatherly role vary naturally – and was protective of Kaley both on set and behind the scenes.
The Show Goes On
Sadly, television legend, John Ritter, would pass away not long after this interaction. During the filming of the show’s second season, Ritter passed away suddenly. The actor’s death left a very noticeable hole in the show. It also left a hole in the hearts of fellow cast-mates and fans.
The show continued for another season and a half after John’s death. Instead of replacing John with a new male actor, writers opted to right in Ritter’s death into the show. They used it as a plot point for the show’s continued story. Ritters fans grieved with his television daughters, as the death of his 8 Simple Rules character really made his actual death more real and tangible.
Nearly 17 years later, Kaley says that the time she spent working with John Ritter would prove invaluable to her later on in her career. She describes her late mentor as ‘an unbelievable actor’. She says she looks back fondly on this time, remembering her friend with love and respect.
If you are looking forward to Kaley’s next project – you can catch her in the new series The Flight Attendant, scheduled to start streaming on HBO Max on November 26. You can also relive the magic of all 12 seasons of The Big Bang Theory. All episodes are currently streaming on CBS All Access.