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Amy Yasbeck

Amy Yasbeck
Born Amy Marie Yasbeck
(1962-09-12) September 12, 1962
Blue Ash, Ohio, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) John Ritter (m. 1999–2003), his death
Children Stella Ritter (b. 1998)

Amy Marie Yasbeck (born September 12, 1962) is an American film and television actress. She is best known for her role as Casey Chapel Davenport on the sitcom Wings from 1994 to 1997, and also having played the part of Madison the mermaid in the television movie Splash, Too in 1988 (taking over the role originated by Daryl Hannah in the film Splash). She has guest starred in various television shows and co-starred in films such as House II: The Second Story, Pretty Woman, Problem Child, Problem Child 2, The Mask, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
    • Wrongful death lawsuit 3.1
  • Filmography 4
    • Television 4.1
  • Books 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Yasbeck was born in the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash, Ohio, the daughter of Dorothy Louise Mary (née Murphy; 1922–1984), a homemaker, and John Anthony Yasbeck (1921–1982),[1] a butcher and grocery store owner.[2][3][4] Her father was of Lebanese descent, while her mother was of Irish ancestry.[5] As a child, Yasbeck was featured on the package art for the Betty Crocker Easy-Bake Oven. Years later, in 2000, she was presented with a new Easy-Bake Oven on the show I've Got a Secret, for which she was a regular panel member.

She spent her elementary, middle, and high school years at two different Catholic schools: Summit Country Day School and Ursuline Academy. After losing both of her parents, her father from a heart attack and her mother from emphysema, Yasbeck moved to New York.


Early into her acting career she appeared in Rockhopper, an unsold CBS TV-Pilot from 1985. Yasbeck has had guest starring roles in many television shows including Dallas, Spies, Werewolf, J.J. Starbuck, Magnum, P.I., China Beach and Murphy Brown. She played Olivia Reed for four months between 1986-1987 on the long-running daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives. She also played the part of Madison the mermaid in the Disney television movie Splash, Too in 1988 (the role of Madison was originated by Daryl Hannah in the 1984 movie Splash). Playing a mermaid in Splash, Too was a fulfillment of a childhood dream for Yasbeck as she loved mermaids when she was a little girl at 5 years old after watching a Disney movie that featured mermaids.[6] Yasbeck has also had starring roles in the sitcoms Wings, Alright Already, and Life on a Stick and in movies such as House II: The Second Story, Pretty Woman, Problem Child, Problem Child 2 and The Mask. She has twice worked with Mel Brooks, in 1993's Robin Hood: Men in Tights and 1995's Dracula: Dead and Loving It.

Yasbeck also appeared once on the hit DCOS That's So Raven as the mother of one of the main characters, Chelsea. The episode originally aired on September 22, 2006.

In late 2007, plans surfaced of a potential That's So Raven spinoff featuring Yasbeck and Anneliese van der Pol, who portrayed her daughter, with occasional appearances by Raven-Symoné. The show was scrapped due to van der Pol signing onto a new Broadway play, and Yasbeck wanting to take a break from acting to focus on her family.

She was a contestant on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? in 2010.

Personal life

Yasbeck is the widow of actor John Ritter, with whom she had worked in several projects. She first met him at director Dennis Dugan's house during a read-through of their 1990 movie Problem Child. According to Yasbeck, Ritter forced her to eat a bagel and cream cheese because he thought she was too thin. He also thought she was too young to play his wife in the movie (Ritter was almost 14 years Yasbeck's senior).

Yasbeck and Ritter also starred together in Problem Child 2 (1991) and guest-starred together in an episode of The Cosby Show which aired in 1991. Ritter also guest-starred on Wings as Yasbeck's estranged husband in the season seven episode "Love Overboard". The couple had a daughter, Stella Dorothy in September 1998, and married one year later on September 18, 1999 at the Murphy Theatre in Wilmington, Ohio.[7]

On September 11, 2003, their daughter Stella's birthday, Ritter fell into a coma when rehearsing for 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. He was taken to the hospital by paramedics. He drifted in and out of consciousness and told his feelings to doctors. Initially it was concluded that Ritter was suffering a heart attack. At 10:48 PM that night, Ritter died. The cause of death was actually an aortic dissection stemming from a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect.

Yasbeck gave her blessing to the continuation of the sitcom, 8 Simple Rules, where it was ultimately decided that Katey Sagal's character would assume the lead role as a widow.

Yasbeck appeared on Larry King Live on June 16, 2008, to discuss heart disease in the wake of television personality Tim Russert's death.

Wrongful death lawsuit

After her husband died, Yasbeck filed a $67 million wrongful death lawsuit[8] against Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and several doctors who treated him, alleging they misdiagnosed his condition and that contributed to his death.[9] Several of the defendants settled out of court for a total of $14 million, including Providence St. Joseph, which settled for $9.4 million. On March 14, 2008, a jury split 9–3 in favor of the doctors, clearing the physicians of any wrongdoing.[10]


Year Film Role Other notes
1987 House II: The Second Story Jana
1990 Pretty Woman Elizabeth Stuckey
1990 Problem Child Florence "Flo" Healy
1991 Problem Child 2 Annie Young
1992 The Nutt House Diane Nutt
1993 Robin Hood: Men in Tights Maid Marian
1994 The Mask Peggy Brandt
1995 Home for the Holidays Ginny Johnson Drewer
1995 Dracula: Dead and Loving It Mina Seward
1998 Denial Claudia
1998 The Odd Couple II Stewardess


Year Title Role Notes
1985 Rockhopper Sonia Petrova Unsold CBS TV-Pilot
1986–1987 Days of Our Lives Olivia Reed
1987 Dallas Mary Elizabeth 2 episodes
1987 Spies Margo Episode: "Right or Wrong"
1987 Werewolf Deidra Episode: "Nothing Evil in These Woods"
1987 J.J. Starbuck Doreen Episode: "Pilot"
1987–1988 Magnum, P.I. Diana 4 episodes
1988 China Beach Airplane Stewardess Episode: "Pilot"
1988 Splash, Too Madison Bauer ABC TV-Movie
1989 Trenchcoat in Paradise Nan Thompson CBS TV-Movie
1989 Murphy Brown Young Lady in Bar Episode: "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?"
1989 Little White Lies Vicki NBC TV-Movie
1989 Generations Carla
1990 Midnight Caller Mary Lou Harper Episode: "The Hostage Game"
1990 Poochinski Frannie Reynolds Unsold NBC TV-Pilot
1990, 1993 Matlock Model Lauren Chadwick / Cheryl Atkinson 2 episodes
1991 Murder, She Wrote Connie Canzinaro Episode: "Family Doctor"
1991 Dillinger Elaine ABC TV-Movie
1991 The Cosby Show Alicia Evans Episode: "Total Control"
1992 Get a Life Evelyn Episode: "Girlfriend 2000"
1992 Designing Women Tiffany Episode: "A Little Night Music"
1992 Quantum Leap Frankie Washarskie Episode: "Stand Up"
1993 Street Justice Nancy Episode: "The Wall"
1994 Diagnosis: Murder Karen Davis Episode: "The Restless Remains"
1994 Dave's World Julie Episode: "The Funeral"
1994–1997 Wings Casey Chapel Davenport
1995 Platypus Man Wendy Episode: "Pilot"
1996 Bloodhounds II Sharon TV-Movie
1996 Sweet Dreams Laura Renault NBC TV-Movie
1997–1998 Alright Already Renee
1998 Dead Husbands Betty Lancing TV-Movie
1999 It's Like, You Know... Karen Episode: "The Sweet Smell of Success"
2002 House Blend Sally Harper TV-Pilot
2003 Just Shoot Me! Skyler Episode: "For the Last Time, I Do"
2005 Life on a Stick Michelle Lackerson
2006 That's So Raven Joni Daniels Episode: "The Ice Girl Cometh"
2007 Shorty McShorts' Shorts Danielle (voice) Episode: "Flip-Flopped"
2010 Hot in Cleveland Hailey Nash Episode: "The Sex That Got Away"
2013 Modern Family Lorraine Episode: "Larry's Wife"


  • Yasbeck, Amy (2010). With Love and Laughter, John Ritter.  


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index
  2. ^ Budd, Lawrence (September 23, 1999). "TV STARS TIE THE KNOT AT LOCAL THEATER". Dayton Daily News. 
  3. ^ Amy Yasbeck Biography (1962?-)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Lee, Linda (March 9, 2003). "A NIGHT OUT WITH: John Ritter and Amy Yasbeck; Clowning and Autographing". The New York Times. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ [1].John Ritter Biography. Accessed 13 November 2014.
  8. ^ Ritter's Family Sues Doctors," World Entertainment News Network, September 10, 2004""". Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  9. ^ , January 24, 2008"Los Angeles TimesRitter's family says he didn't have to die," by Charles Ornstein, "". January 24, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-01-27. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  10. ^ Serjeant, Jill (March 14, 2008). , March 14, 2008"ReutersDoctors cleared in death of John Ritter," "". Archived from the original on 15 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 

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