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John Ritter’s Wife: Amy Yasbeck and Her Life Story

Explore the personal and professional journey of John Ritter's wife, Amy Yasbeck, from her successful acting career to her devoted advocacy for heart health awareness, in honor of her late husband.
by Rob Gillham | Dec 28 2023
John Ritter's Wife: Amy Yasbeck and Her Life Story
Credits: People Magazine

Known for his warm humor and charming presence, John Ritter etched a deep mark on the television industry. An integral part of this memorable legacy was John Ritter’s wife.

Delve into captivating details about John Ritter’s wife and their life in the limelight.

John Ritter’s First Wife: Nancy Morgan 

On October 16, 1977, John Ritter married Nancy Morgan (now 74). Together, they welcomed three children: Jason, Carly, and Tyler.

However, their marriage ended with a divorce on September 1, 1996. 

Nancy’s notable works in the film industry include starring alongside Ron Howard in his directorial debut “Grand Theft Auto” and teaming up with Italian icon Terence Hill for a feature film and a European television series based on the comic-strip hero “Lucky Luke.” 

John Ritter’s Second Wife and the Love of his Life: Amy Yasbeck

After divorcing Nancy Morgan, John Ritter was wedded to Amy Yasbeck (61). Their romance sparked when they met at Dennis Dugan’s house during a script read-through for their 1990 film “Problem Child.” 

Amy Yasbeck, an American actress, has earned recognition for portraying Casey Chappel Davenport on the much-loved sitcom, “Wings.” She also graced the screen as the mermaid Madison in the TV film “Splash, Too.”

Yasbeck’s filmography extends with appearances in notable shows and movies like “Pretty Woman,” “The Mask,” “Problem Child I and II,” and “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.”

In September 1999, Ritter and Yasbeck exchanged vows in a beautiful ceremony at the Murphy Theatre in Wilmington, Ohio. 

Their marital bliss was cut short in 2003 when Ritter tragically succumbed to an aortic dissection due to an undiagnosed congenital heart defect.

The incident occurred while Ritter was rehearsing for “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter”, leading to him falling into a coma and being rushed to the hospital. Tragically, he passed away the same night.

What is Amy Yasbeck doing now?

Amy Yasbeck kicked the post-Ritter years off by founding the John Ritter Foundation in honor of her late husband and his commitment to raising funds for medical research. She continues to stand as a steadfast advocate for heart health awareness, educating people about aortic dissection, the medical condition that led to John Ritter’s untimely passing.

John Ritter’s Children: Where Are They Now? 

John Ritter enriched his life with the joy of four children. From his first marriage to Nancy Morgan, Ritter fathered his eldest three children – Jason, Carly, and Tyler Ritter. 

Jason Ritter (43 years old), born on February 17, 1980, has successfully followed his father’s path and made a name for himself in the acting industry. He is best known for his roles on hit TV series such as “Joan of Arcadia,” “The Event,” and “Parenthood.”

Carly and Tyler have also carved a niche for themselves. Carly Ritter (41 years old), born on March 1, 1982, chose a career in music and became known as a singer-songwriter.

Meanwhile, Tyler Ritter (38 years old), born on January 31, 1985, was also inspired by his family’s legacy and stepped into acting. He scored a golden opportunity in 2014 as the lead in the CBS sitcom “The McCarthys.”

John Ritter’s youngest child, Stella Ritter, from his second marriage to actress Amy Yasbeck, was born on September 11, 1998. A little more than a year later, she suffered the loss of her father.

Today, Stella has emerged bravely from personal challenges, identifying as a transgender male and going by the name Noah Lee Ritter as of 2017. Despite the adversities, Noah has shown admirable determination in setting his sights on a career in acting and music.

The Tragic Passing and Litigations

Post Ritter’s passing, Yasbeck pursued a wrongful death lawsuit against Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and the attending doctors, alleging their failure to correctly diagnose Ritter’s condition. The litigation was eventually settled out of court for $9.4 million.

The story of John Ritter and his wife, Amy Yasbeck, is a beautiful yet tragic tale of love and loss. For heartwarming and poignant celebrity stories, check out the book collection Celebrity Stories on Blinkist.

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