How John Ritter’s Widow is Honoring Him 20 Years After His Death

8 SIMPLE RULES... FOR DATING MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER, John Ritter, ((2002-2003), 2002- 2005
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Three’s Company star John Ritter passed away unexpectedly 20 years ago at the age of 54. At the time, he was working on the show 8 Simple Rules, which addressed his death. He was also a guest star on Scrubs and the show paid homage to Ritter with an episode about his character’s death as well. Ritter suffered from a misdiagnosis and ultimately died from aortic dissection after experiencing severe chest pain and nausea.

Now, his widow, Amy Yasbeck, hopes that others can avoid the same fate. She started the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health to raise awareness of thoracic aortic disease and help fund research and education. Ritter’s symptoms were treated like a heart attack but he needed a different treatment, ultimately leading to his death.

John Ritter and Amy Yasbeck at the Los Angeles premiere of " Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" at the Village Theatre, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2002

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Yasbeck shared, “If you’ve been diagnosed, or you need to talk to somebody who’s been in the same situation, we have the aorta advocates and then ‘Ritter Rules,’ which is a set of rules for understanding what your risk is.” The Ritter Rules are explained on the website for the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health.

VAN NUYS, CALIFORNIA - MAY 05: Amy Davidson, Amy Yasbeck and Kaley Cuoco attend as the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health hosts an Evening from the Heart LA 2022 Gala at Valley Relics Museum on May 05, 2022 in Van Nuys, California

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Back in May, Kaley Cuoco and Amy Davidson from 8 Simple Rules joined Yasbeck at “An Evening From the Heart LA 2023” hosted by the John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health. Yasbeck added that she keeps in touch with the stars, who became like family after losing Ritter.

NEW YORK - MAY 15: (FILE PHOTO) Actor John Ritter attends the afterparty for opening night of Woody Allen's new play, "Writers Block" at Metronome on May 15, 2003 in New York City. Ritter fell ill on the set of his sitcom, "8 Simple Rules..." on September 11, 2003 and died at Providence St. Joseph Medical center shortly after 10 p.m. The cause of death was a dissection of the aorta

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Yasbeck also said that keeping his children around makes her feel like Ritter is still here. Ritter shared three children with his first wife, Nancy Morgan, and one child with Yasbeck. “If you get all four kids together, you can kind of re-create John, so that’s always good,” said joked.

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