Remembering the Beloved John Ritter

John Ritter, the renowned American actor, left a profound impact on his loved ones when he tragically passed away on a fateful day – his daughter Stella’s fifth birthday. Even after two decades, John’s wife, Amy Yasbeck, continues to mourn his loss and remains dedicated to preventing others from experiencing a similar fate.

A Life Cut Short

John Ritter

John Ritter was not only a talented actor but also a loving husband and father. Born on September 17, 1948, in Burbank, California, he married Amy Yasbeck on September 18, 1999. Together, they had a daughter named Stella Ritter, who later transitioned to male and is now known as Noah Lee Ritter.

Before his marriage to Amy, John was married to Nancy Morgan and had three children with her: Jason, Tyler, and Carly Ritter. Tragically, John’s life was cut short on September 11, 2003, leaving behind his wife, four children, and ex-wife.

A Final Act of Love


On that fateful day, John was on the set of “8 Simple Rules” for rehearsals while Stella celebrated her fifth birthday. However, John began experiencing severe illness, including nausea and vomiting. Rushed to the hospital, Amy stood by his side. Despite his own suffering, John was concerned that his condition was “ruining Stella’s birthday.” In a touching moment, he mustered a smile and signed “I love you” in American Sign Language, a gesture he and Amy often shared on stage. Little did they know it would be their final goodbye.

The Silent Killer

Aortic Dissection

John Ritter’s cause of death was undetected aortic dissection, a condition where the inner layer of the aorta tears due to increased pressure. This sudden medical emergency shocked everyone, including Amy, who had never heard of this condition before. Although his doctor had ordered tests and planned a cardiac catheterization, John’s condition rapidly worsened. Eventually, doctors discovered the aortic dissection, a tear in the body’s largest blood vessel, but it was too late to save him.

Honoring John’s Memory

In the aftermath of John’s passing, Amy filed a wrongful death lawsuit, seeking justice and compensation. Despite the jury clearing the doctors of any negligence or liability, this setback didn’t deter Amy. Determined to raise awareness about aortic dissection, she founded the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health. This foundation plays a vital role in educating individuals about the condition and its prevention.

John Ritter Foundation

The foundation’s impact has been significant, helping people recognize the symptoms of aortic dissection and advocating for proper diagnosis and treatment. Amy’s tireless efforts have saved lives and brought attention to this silent killer. The foundation’s website provides valuable information and resources, including the Ritter Rules for detecting and preventing aortic dissection.

A Lifetime of Love and Loss

At 61 years old, Amy has dedicated herself to preserving John’s memory through her foundation. Since his passing, she has remained single, feeling his presence by her side in her everyday life. Although she admits to missing him, she finds solace in the sweet memories they shared and in working on the foundation and her acting career.

Amy Yasbeck

While John Ritter’s untimely death will forever be a tragic chapter in his family’s story, Amy’s unwavering dedication and love for him continue to make a difference. Through the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health, lives are being saved, and awareness is continually raised. Though John may no longer be with us, his legacy lives on.

Remembering John Ritter

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