Skip to content

She Played Casey Chappel on "Wings." See Amy Yasbeck Now at 59.

The actor is keeping the memory of her late husband John Ritter alive.

Actor Amy Yasbeck is most frequently associated with her Wings character, Casey Chappel, who was introduced on the airport sitcom in Season 6 and stuck around until the series finale. But before she joined the series as Helen's (Crystal Bernard) sister, Yasbeck had been working on the small screen for a decade, appearing on The Cosby Show, Dallas, Matlock, and Magnum P.I., among many more shows. And she also made her mark in movies, acting in The Mask, Pretty WomanRobin Hood: Men in Tights, and the Problem Child series—the project on which she met her late husband, John Ritter. Today, it's been 25 years since Wings went off the air, and Yasbeck is all but officially retired from onscreen acting. Read on to learn more about the 59-year-old's life now.

RELATED: She Played Marcy on Married… with Children. See Amanda Bearse Now at 63.

Her last TV role was eight years ago.

Amy Yasbeck in 1995
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

After Wings ended, Yasbeck made guest appearances on several popular shows, including Hot in Cleveland, Bones, Modern Family, and Workaholics, and acted in a handful of TV movies. Her last onscreen role to date was a 2016 episode of the teen-focused thriller, Pretty Little Liars. She's acted more recently onstage, however.

You're more likely to catch her doing theater.

Amy Yasbeck in 2002
Ray Mickshaw/WireImage

This March, Yasbeck performed in a one-night-only production of the play Love Letters at the Murphy Theater in Wilmington, Ohio. The theater is named for her great-great grandfather, Charles Murphy, and it's also where she and Ritter got married in 1999. She told the News Journal that she'd like to be involved in the Murphy in other ways, as well. ​​"I'm a writer, too, and would put up a play there," the actor said. "The dream for me would be to have a Wilmington Film Festival for independent film and such."

She keeps Ritter's memory alive.

John Ritter and Amy Yazbeck in 2003
Amy Graves/WireImage

Yasbeck and Ritter married in 1999, after dating for years before that and welcoming a child, Stella, together in 1998. They were together until Ritter died unexpectedly in 2003 at the age of 54 after falling into a coma on the set of his sitcom, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. The cause was determined to be an aortic dissection that resulted from an undiagnosed heart defect.

In the years since he died, Yasbeck has kept Ritter's memory alive in different ways. She wrote a memoir about their relationship, With Love and Laughter, John Ritter, which was published in 2010.

"I just started writing almost like little headlines, one word or two words to jog my memory, on index cards, napkins, or just saying it into my cell phone until I had pages and pages of stuff," she told Smashing Interviews of the start of her writing process. "You know how you don't want stuff to slip away?"

RELATED: For more celebrity updates sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

She started a foundation in his name that's become her life's work.

Amy Yasbeck in 2019
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for HollyRod Foundation

To promote awareness and early detection of the condition that caused her husband's death, Yasbeck started the John Ritter Foundation For Aortic Health. She's heavily involved in their operations, speaking at events, meeting with patients and their families, and fundraising—often with the help of some celebrity friends. Helping to spare others from the pain and confusion she was left with seems to be Yasbeck's primary motivation now, even though there were some in Hollywood who advised her against it.

"I was told by a publicist after John died: 'Be careful you don't become a professional widow.' I thought: Thank you and also [expletive] you because it's not about being a widow," she told Yahoo Entertainment in 2020. "It's about honoring John's life in the way that he thought was most important, which was by—he quoted it many times—'plucking that golden thread that connects us all.'"

RELATED: He Played Mr. Sheffield on The Nanny. See Charles Shaughnessy Now at 67.

Karen Fratti
Karen Fratti is an entertainment and culture writer. She went to Temple University, where she received a B.A. in English and has an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School University. Read more
Filed Under