In the 1970s and 80s, Richard Kline was best known for playing the goofy character Larry Dallas on the hit sitcom Three’s Company. With his bushy mustache, curly hair, and laidback surfer persona, Kline’s Larry became one of the most memorable characters on the show during its 8 season run.
After Three’s Company ended in 1984, Kline continued acting in smaller comedic roles on shows like The Love Boat and Night Court. He also made guest appearances reprising his character Larry Dallas on the Three’s Company spin-off series The Ropers and Three’s a Crowd.
While Kline kept acting regularly after Three’s Company, he never quite reached the same level of fame again. So what exactly happened to Richard Kline after his Three’s Company heyday? This article will catch up with Kline today and look back on his life and prolific career after becoming a household name playing Larry Dallas.
Richard Kline was born April 29, 1944. He grew up in New York City in a reformed Jewish household that identified with the religion ethnically and culturally, rather than religiously.
Born and raised in Queens, New York, Kline’s introduction to the arts came at a young age. He was initially inspired by his older sister’s ballet performances, which he often attended.
This early exposure to the performing arts, coupled with his natural comedic inclination, set the stage for his future in acting. In junior high school, he participated in a play by Thornton Wilder, which marked a turning point in his life.
The positive feedback he received, especially from a cousin who was moved to tears by his performance, solidified his passion for acting.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Queens College in Speech. He then went on to get a Masters of Fine Arts in theatre from Northwestern University in Illinois. He spent time at the height of his career living in Bel Air in California before eventually returning to his native coast.
The Vietnam War
Richard was a lieutenant in the United States Army when he served in the Vietnam War.
He was in the army for three years, one of which he spent as a Special Services officer posted in Hue, Vietnam.
There, he survived five rocket attacks and being struck by lightening while on active military duty!
He hasn’t spoken much about his experience directly, but did act in 1981 in a play called How I Got That Story by Amlin Gray, written in 1971, which encapsulated the American experience in Vietnam.
Richard started acting upon his return from war.
In 1971, he started his career with the prestigious Lincoln Center Repertory Company. He performed in Shakespeare with Love’s Labour’s Lost, Arthur Miller’s famous Death of a Salesman, and a musical stage production of Titanic, to name a few.
His Broadway debut was in the 1989 production of the musical City of Angels. He was even given the honors of being the eponymous star of By Jeeves in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s American premier of the play.
Before rising to fame as Larry Dallas on “Three’s Company,” Richard Kline had already established himself as a character actor on television throughout the 1970s.
His first credited acting role was “Serpico” in 19764. Over the subsequent years, Kline graced popular shows like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Maude,” and “Eight is Enough.”
Kline also showcased his talent in made-for-TV movies such as “Not Just Another Affair” and took on roles in series like “CHiPs” and “Fantasy Island.”
By the end of the decade, he had built a solid acting resume, culminating in his breakout role as the unforgettable Larry Dallas, the quirky neighbor on “Three’s Company,” which began in 1977.
Three’s Company is a classic American sitcom that aired from 1977 to 1984, captivating audiences with its unique blend of humor, misunderstandings, and comedic timing.
Set in a Santa Monica apartment complex, the show revolves around Jack Tripper, played by John Ritter, who shares an apartment with two women, Janet and Chrissy. Due to societal norms of the time, Jack pretends to be gay to the landlords so he can live with the two women without raising eyebrows.
The show was well-received by audiences and critics alike, praised for its innovative comedic approach and the chemistry between the cast members. A standout character was Larry Dallas, portrayed by Richard Kline. Larry is Jack’s best friend and a frequent visitor to the apartment.
He’s a used car salesman with a penchant for chasing women and often drags Jack into his misadventures.
When reflecting on the character of Larry, Richard defines him as an oxymoron, but not a bad guy, saying he “was never overtly mean or criminally conniving, he just had a fixation on women and money.”
When asked about whether or not he would want to have a Three’s reunion, despite John Ritter having past away and Suzanne Somers not talking to Joyce DeWitt, Richard said a reunion without the whole lot of them would be “ill-advised.”
However, five years after that interview in 2016 there was a reunion at The Hollywood Show.
What was Richard Kline’s relationship wtih John Ritter like?
As for Richard’s relationship with John Ritter, the actor who played main character Jack Tripper, the two who played best friends on screen were also close friends in real life.
Ritter passed away in 2002 at only 54 years of age. In a 2019 interview, Richard said, “John and I were very close friends and I miss him to this day.”
The two were the only actors to carry their characters throughout each of the trio of programs: Three’s Company, The Ropers, and Three’s a Crowd.
After reaching fame as Larry Dallas on Three’s Company, Richard Kline continued to work steadily as a character actor in television throughout the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. He made frequent guest appearances on popular shows like The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote, LA Law, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Kline also had recurring roles on soap operas like The Bold and the Beautiful and series like Step by Step.
While Kline never landed another starring sitcom role, he seemed content playing supporting parts and guest spots that traded on his recognizability from Three’s Company. He reprised his character Larry Dallas a few times in spin-off shows, but otherwise played new characters that often channeled the same goofy persona from his breakout role.
Kline kept busy with TV work through the 2000s, popping up on dramas like NYPD Blue and comedies like That 70s Show. He also appeared in some made-for-TV movies.
What is Richard doing now?
Richard Kline has been anything but idle in recent years.
One of Kline’s most fulfilling roles in recent years has been that of a teacher. He began teaching in Los Angeles in 1998, a decision influenced by his love for directing.
Kline’s teaching approach is rooted in real-world experience, offering students insights from someone who has been both in front of and behind the camera.
His classes cover a wide range of topics, from Shakespeare to comedy, and he emphasizes the importance of authenticity in performances. Kline’s dedication to his students is evident; he takes pride in watching them grow and succeed, with some even making their way to off-Broadway productions.
The shift to virtual platforms during the pandemic didn’t deter Kline. He adapted swiftly, conducting classes over Zoom and reaching students from various locations, including Syracuse, Miami, and Pennsylvania. This virtual format allowed him to continue his passion for teaching and connect with students from different backgrounds.
In addition to teaching, Kline has been active in the film industry. He directed a Zoom comedy titled “Mooch” during the pandemic, which has been recognized in film festivals. The comedy revolves around the wife of a mafia guy seeking witness protection and boasts a hilarious narrative that Kline is particularly proud of.
You can also get in touch and have a personal message curated for a special event from Richard thanks to his Cameo page.
The Three’s Reunion
Despite Richard having been against a Three’s reunion in 2011, he, Joyce DeWitt, Jenilee Harrison, and Priscilla Barnes got together for an autographic signing at The Hollywood Show in September 2016.
The following March, there was a 40th Anniversary marathon of Three’s Company on Antenna TV who got Joyce, Richard, Priscilla, and Jenilee Harrison together.
The gang reminisces about their characters, the guest stars they had on Three’s, the famous attention it drew them outside the show, and more.
Richard has been married three times in his life. The first was to Kathleen Doyle in 1973. The couple divorce in 1980.
Two years later, Richard Married Sandy Molloy who, at the time, worked as an assistant to the director on famous productions like Flash Gordon and Alien.
Together, the couple had a child and stayed together for twenty years. The couple eventually divorced in 2002, the same year Richard married Beverly Osgoode.
Beverly is the owner of a business support management company that serves psychologists and attorneys. The couple remain together to this day.
Does Richard have any kids?
Richard had a daughter with his second wife, Sandy, who they named Colby. She is a singer and actress living in Los Angeles. Colby Kline has songs out on Spotify and Apple Music.
No, despite sharing the same last name the two famous actors are not related at all. Nor is he related to prolific actor Robert Klein.