John Ritter's Widow Amy Yasbeck Was Never The Same After His Death

Amy Yasbeck's world shattered when her husband, John Ritter, died in 2003 after suffering an aortic dissection. The pair had been together for 14 years and married for four before the "Three's Company" star's shocking death at 54. They first met in 1989 at the house of director Dennis Dugan for a read-through of their film "Problem Child" when Ritter was still married to his first wife, Nancy Morgan. "He was funny as can be, and she's funny as can be, and they just hit it off," Dugan recalled of their first encounter to The Hollywood Reporter. It wasn't until Ritter split from his ex-wife that he and Yasbeck reunited and started dating in 1994. They tied the knot in Ohio in 1999, shortly after their fourth child, Noah, was born.

In her 2010 memoir, "With Love And Laughter, John Ritter," Yasbeck opened up about her journey through grief and how she struggled to cope with the death of her husband. "The only way I could take a step or a breath, much less go about the business of living, was to cling to the closest recognizable feeling I could handle. At night, all hell would break loose inside my head. And my heart would break over and over and over," she wrote. "But in the morning, after the initial slap in the face that every new awakening would bring, I would drift into survival mode." It's clear that Yasbeck was never the same following the tragic and unexpected loss. 

Amy Yasbeck refuses to date again after losing John Ritter

Over 20 years after the death of John Ritter in 2003, his wife, Amy Yasbeck, has remained a widow. While speaking to People about her lack of romantic relationships, Yasbeck admitted that the prospect of welcoming someone new into her life feels a little too daunting. "I don't date," she said. "I mean, it could happen. [But] I'm not in the mood." She added that being around other men only makes her miss her husband even more. "... as weird as that sounds," she added. "Because I always feel like he's with me, and that would be weird because in that case, three is not company." According to Hollywood, she echoed a similar sentiment during a later interview, explaining why she still refuses to hit the dating scene. "I still feel completely connected to him, so in love with him," the "Wings" star said. "I certainly wouldn't want to be the man who was compared to John Ritter through my eyes."

However, Yasbeck did manage to find love again several years after the shocking death of her husband. In 2011, she began dating attorney Michael Plonsker. They remained together until calling it quits in 2014. Yasbeck opened up about their romance in an interview with Naples Illustrated back in 2013, in which she referred to Plonsker as her "lovely boyfriend." Meanwhile, a source told Radar that Plonsker provided a shoulder for Yasbeck to cry on. "Over time, they grew closer and eventually fell in love."

Amy Yasbeck continues to honor her husband

Looking back on their relationship, Amy Yasbeck said she knew right away that John Ritter was her person. "It just kept more and more and more undeniable, you know that feeling?" the "Days of Our Lives" alum mused during a November interview on the "Daily Blast LIVE." Despite Ritter being married the first time they met, Yasbeck said that she and the "Hooperman" star had an instant connection. "I was like, 'That's funny, we have that in common.' 'Oh, that's cute.' And then it was just like, "F**k, he's your soulmate," she said. And indeed, he was. "I had him for a long time," Yasbeck said. "We were together for 14 years, but we'd only been married for four when he passed away."

Shortly after Ritter died from aortic dissection in 2003 — a condition Mayo Clinic describes as a tear in the inner layer of the body's main artery, the aorta — Yasbeck established The John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health in honor of the late actor. As stated on its website, the foundation aims to raise awareness of aortic health and reduce the number of aortic dissection-related deaths through public education and genetic research. "The kindest and most useful thing that I, and our family, can do is to share John's story," Yasbeck said during a 2017 appearance on the "Lifestyle TV Show," adding, "You can't alleviate your own suffering ... but to alleviate someone's suffering, and have them be able to avoid that... it's everything. It becomes like a joyful thing."