Amy Yasbeck

Active - 1987 - 1998  |   Born - Sep 12, 1962 in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

If television and movie buffs with a keen eye suspect that they may have seen actress Amy Yasbeck somewhere before, it could be from her early roles on the long-running soap opera mainstay Days of Our Lives or a mid-'90s stint on Wings, but it's possible that Yasbeck's recognition factor reaches back even further into the pop culture public conscience. As a child, the pretty actress was featured on the box of the wildly popular Easy Bake Oven.

Born and raised the daughter of a grocery store proprietor father and a homemaker in Cincinnati, OH, Yasbeck got her break in show business after moving to New York City, where she was discovered by an agent while working in a restaurant. Moving to Los Angeles shortly after she began auditioning for roles, the aspiring actress made her television debut on Love, American Style before taking a villainous turn as Olivia in Days of Our Lives. As her small-screen career began gaining momentum with roles in Dallas, Magnum P.I., and The Cosby Show, Yasbeck also appeared early on in such features as House II: The Second Story (1987), Pretty Woman, and Problem Child (both 1990), on the set of which she met future husband John Ritter. Her versatile ability to transform herself into a given character regardless of apparent physical disparities was later evidenced in Yasbeck's role as Maid Marian in Mel Brooks' zany parody Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Though her role description called for a buxom blond actress of British persuasion, the artifices of a wig, a phony accent, and some creative costume-stuffing won the actress the role while simultaneously winning the favor of director Brooks (who later cast Yasbeck opposite Wings co-star Steven Webber in Dracula: Dead and Loving It [1995]). Drifting between television (Alright, Already, I've Got a Secret) and film (Odd Couple II, Denial [both 1998]). Throughout the next decade she made regular guest appearances in various TV series including Just Shoot Me!, That's So Raven, and Hot in Cleveland.

Movie Highlights

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  • Was pictured on the box of the Betty Crocker Easy Bake Oven as a child. In 2000, she was presented with a new Easy Bake Oven when she appeared as a panelist on the show I've Got a Secret.
  • First met future husband John Ritter on the set of Problem Child in 1989. They also appeared together in Problem Child 2, in the TV movie Dead Husbands and on a Cosby Show episode.
  • Gave her blessing to the continuation of Ritter's sitcom 8 Simple Rules after his death.
  • Published the book With Love and Laughter, John Ritter in 2010.
  • Established the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health as a result of her husband's sudden death.