At 74 years old, Joyce DeWitt, the beloved actress who captured hearts as one of the leads in “Three’s Company,” reflects on her remarkable career. After the show ended, Joyce took a long break from the industry, but recently, she made a triumphant return to the spotlight.

“It was such a gift. I mean, it was iconic. But who would have thought it?” Joyce shares with a smile. “All we were trying to do was make people laugh. When I think about it now, the show was really an attempt to do a contemporary version of a 16th-century farce. It was about silliness running wild. I mean, we were talking about serious issues at times, but that was always somewhere underneath.”

“John Ritter used to say, ‘We don’t want people to just laugh but to fall over their couch laughing,’” she adds, fondly remembering her late co-star. “The real issue was always the depth of friendship and the love those characters had for each other. That’s what drew people to them.” The show was canceled, but not before winning a Primetime Emmy.

“After the show ended, it was time for quiet and reflection. I loved being Janet, but she was never my whole reason for getting up in the morning. My identity and self-worth weren’t wrapped up in her or the show,” Joyce states. Her words reveal the strength and resilience that have guided her throughout her life.

“Of course, there’s a lonely period. I missed the characters as much as the people who played them,” she admits, reflecting on the bittersweet moments that followed the end of the show. “But I’m basically a hermit. My natural instinct is to go into the cave and ponder, not stand outside and howl. Oh, I have a gregarious side, but there’s the inner Joyce too.”

Joyce believes that regrets can be dangerous, and she considers herself fortunate to have only experienced regret a few times in her life. In a 2009 interview, she shares, “If I had to do it over again, I couldn’t change it. I was going to take six months off just to chill out. I saw Hollywood and the way it behaved, and it was not a moral code that was natural to me.”

“If this was the way the game was played, I wasn’t sure I wanted to play it. I took some time off and started meeting and studying with different spiritual teachers around the world. I thought it would be six months, not 12 years.”

The impact of “Three’s Company” on people’s lives is evident, as Joyce receives messages of gratitude from women in their 30s who were inspired by her portrayal of Janet. “I knew women could be smart and have a way in the world. And I loved playing Janet, and I did fight hard to play her the way I wanted to play her,” she says proudly, recognizing the effect her character had on others.

Remembering a poignant moment, Joyce recounts, “As I’m walking out the door, the phone rings, and I pick it up, and it’s Johnathan. And he goes, ‘Baby, we’ve got three parties and a dinner to do tonight. I’ll pick you up at 7!’ It was so delicious… and a month later, he passed.” Despite the challenges she faced, Joyce returned to the stage in 2011, proving that it’s never too late to bloom. “It took me a long time to have confidence in my work.”

“The show allows us to play and be silly and funny and laugh about interactions of human beings,” Joyce says, beaming with joy. “The fact that the purpose of the play was to make people laugh and let them have a good time, and every once in a while touch their hearts is my favorite kind of play to do.” And indeed, Joyce continued to grace the industry with her talent, appearing in productions such as “Snapshot,” “Rock Story,” and “The Savant.”

What do you think of Joyce’s incredible journey? Let us know.