John Ritter was supposed to have been a presenter at Sunday night’s Emmys, but instead, the late actor was the subject of a tribute to his life and work. ”He was a life force,” said his friend Henry Winkler. ”I’d like everyone to remember him not for his pratfalls, not for his goofy takes, but for his remarkable versatility.” Ritter, who won an Emmy for his ”Three’s Company” work, was also honored with a selection of clips from his career, from ”Company” to ”10 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter,” which will continue in his absence.
The Emmys also paid tribute to Bob Hope and Fred Rogers, star of ”Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.” While accepting the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, Bill Cosby recalled fans ignoring him in favor of Rogers while the two rode together in a parade. ”The one thing I still remember is people waving and saying, ”Mr. Rogers, welcome to the neighborhood.” Tributes were paid as well to Gregory Peck, Katharine Hepburn, Nell Carter, and Charles Bronson, among other stars who died in the past year.