This redhead actress is mostly known for her roles in the films “Pretty Woman” and “Problem Child”. However, most people don’t know that Amy Yasbeck’s life hasn’t been easy. Where did she grow-up, and what happened to her husband?
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Early life and Education
Amy Marie Yasbeck was born on 12 September 1962, in Blue Ash, Ohio USA, and grew-up in the Cincinnati suburb with her parents, Dorothy Loise Mary and John Anthony Yasbeck, who was a butcher and an owner of a grocery store. Through her father she has Lebanese ancestry, and through her mother she is of Irish descent. Even as a child, she was under the spotlight, as she was featured on the “Betty Crocker Easy-Bake Oven” package art.
She spent her first several years at Catholic schools, Ursuline Academy and Summit Country Day School. After matriculation, she enrolled at the University of Detroit, where she took acting classes. When she was around 20 years old she lost her father to a heart attack, and soon after her mother died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. After their deaths, she relocated to New York, so that she could pursue a career in acting.
Yasbeck made her film debut in 1985, when she appeared in the TV movie “Rockhopper”. Two years later, she was cast in several TV series, most notably she had a guest appearance as Margo in an episode of “Spies”, and landed a regular role in the drama series “Days of Our Lives”, in which she portrayed Olivia Reed.
That same year, she was a guest character in many other TV series, such as “Werewolf’, “J. J. Starbuck”, and “Dallas”.
In 1988 she continued with her TV series roles. -She was a recurring character in “Magnum, P. I.”, portraying Diana in four of the show’s episodes, and had a guest role in “Generations”. In the following year, she was in two TV movies, “Little White Lies” and “Trenchcoat in Paradise”, and was also a guest in an episode of “Dragnet”, in which she played Allison Warner. In 1990, Yasback had a small part in a worldwide popular romance movie starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, “Pretty Woman”, portrayed Elizabeth Stuckey, the snobby and sarcastic wife of Phillip Stuckey, who was played by Jason Alexander.
That same year, Yasbeck had another big-screen role, this time in Dennis Dugan’s movie “Problem Child”, a role she reprised in 1991 in the movie’s sequel, “Problem Child 2”, joined by John Ritter.
In the following years, Yasbeck had small roles in several TV series, such as “Designing Women”, “Get a Life”, “Quantum Leap” and “Diagnosis Murder”. She played the love interest of the main character in “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” that premiered in 1993, and in 1994 was co-starred as Casey Chapel Davenport in a David Lee sitcom, “Wings” – she first appeared in the third season and remained on the set until the show ended in 1997.
In 1994 she landed a role in the comedy film “The Mask”, co-starring alongside Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz and Peter Riegert.
This movie helped her to become a more prominent face in Hollywood, and so in the next few years she appeared in big movies such as “Dracula: Dead and Loving It”, playing the reincarnation of Dracula’s love interest, Mina, “Home for the Holidays”, “Up Above the World” and “The Odd Couple II”. In 1997 she co-starred as Renee in Carol Leifer’s short-lasting TV series “Alright Already”.
For several years Yasbeck went quiet and could only be seen in support roles in several TV shows and short movies. However, she made her comeback in 2005, when she once again landed a co-starring role, this time as Michelle Lackerson in the first season of “Life on a Stick”, a TV series about two teenagers who are trying to find their place in life.
In 2006, she appeared in the episode “The Ice Girl Cometh” of Disney Channel’s “That’s So Raven”, playing the character named Joni Daniels. During the middle of the 2000s, Yasbeck was a part of “Shorty McShorts’ Shorts”, “Hot in Cleveland” and “Worst Week”.
Yasbeck starred in the 2012 comedy movie “Little Women, Big Cars”, as a character named Meg. Later that year, she portrayed Sylvia in the television movie “The 4 to 9ers”. She also had guest roles in three big television sitcoms – “Modern Family”, “Bones” and “Pretty Little Liars”.
As of April 2020, Yasbeck hasn’t been seen on television since 2016. It isn’t known if she plans to return to acting, or if she has taken a different career path.
Yasbeck first met actor John Ritter when they were together in a 1990 episode of “The Cosby Show”, but they were connected during filming the movie “Problem Child 2”. The actor is known for his roles in movies such as “Sling Blade”, “Bad Santa” and “Man of the Year”. Ritter was 14 years her senior, but this didn’t stop the two from starting a relationship. They welcomed their child, Stella Ritter, even years later, and married in 1999 at the Murphy Theater, located in Wilmington, Ohio US. On their wedding day, the marquee in front of the theater simply stated: “Congratulations John and Amy”.
Her husband fell unconscious on September 11, during a rehearsal for his next sitcom, “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter”. He fell into a coma, and despite immediately being taken to the hospital, he passed away that same night.
The cause of death was first thought to be a heart attack but was later confirmed to have been an aortic dissection that was caused by a congenital heart defect which was undiagnosed. After her husband’s death, Yasbeck filed a wrongful death lawsuit and asked for a $67 million payment from Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, claiming that the doctors and nurses who worked there misdiagnosed Ritter and thus lead to his death. In the end, she and several of the defendants settled for a sum of $14 million,however, in March 2008, the jury cleared the doctors of any wrongdoing.
In 2010, Yasbeck wrote a book that described her life with her late husband, called “With Love and Laughter , John Ritter”. She feels connected with September, as that was the month almost everyone in her family was born. She was born on the 12th, her daughter on the 11th and her late husband on the 17th.
Yasbeck’s daughter, Stella Ritter, came out of the closet when she was 18, and said that she was born in the wrong body. She had support from her mother, and changed her name to Noah Lee Ritter and her gender to male. The transition process was kept hidden from the public for a long time.
Yasbeck is a successful TV and film actress, and has earned a nice income from her career, and her net worth as of early 2020 is estimated at around $12 million! As for her assets, she owned a big mansion in Beverly Hills, California US, that she shared with John Ritter that she eventually sold for $6.55 million.
Yasbeck’s most notable features are her red hair and bright blue eyes. She stands at a height of 5ft 7ins (1.70 m) tall, and weighs around 120lbs (54kgs), with body measurements of 35-25-36. She has an hourglass figure, and is usually seen wearing elegant dresses.