Veteran Days of our Lives fans recall that Amy Yasbeck played Olivia, Orpheus’s sister-in-law, on the soap in 1987. Recently, the actress gathered with family and friends to honor her late husband, John Ritter at “An Evening From the Heart LA 2023,” benefitting The John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health.
Amy Yasbeck: From the Heart
Yasbeck, decked out in a purple dress, spoke to Soap Hub on the pre-gala press line. Why the violet theme? “It was John’s favorite color,” she tells Soap Hub. “And because of Prince. John loved Prince.”
The actress, known for her role as Casey Chapel Davenport on the long-running sitcom Wings, was deeply touched by the turnout for the event. “This means that John’s theory about everybody being connected is 100% true,” she says. “Some people play on your heartstrings. Even people who didn’t know John [personally] felt like they knew him. Losing him felt like something happened in their own family.”
The John Ritter Foundation for Aortic Health
Ritter, who endeared himself to audiences as lovable Jack Tripper on Three’s Company starting in 1976 on ABC, had returned to sitcoms in 2002 as Paul Hennessy in 8 Simple Rules (For Dating My Teenager Daughter). Tragically, Ritter passed away shortly into the show’s second season in 2003. Yasbeck remains determined to make a difference in the world and help spread awareness.
“John didn’t have a heart attack,” Yasbeck points out. “It was an aortic dissection, which was misdiagnosed as a heart attack, which can happen. We can’t go back in time and save John but, boy, would he be pissed if his family didn’t try to do something in his honor.” As aortic dissections can be hereditary, Yasbeck reports that John’s family members have been checked for the condition. “Everyone is safe,” she happily reports.
Amy Yasbeck: Happy DAYS
Back in the day, John Black (Drake Hogestyn) — when he thought he was Roman Brady — had a showdown with Orpheus (George DelHoyo) in 1987, and Olivia became a casualty. However, Yasbeck has nothing but fond memories of her time on the show. “Jason [Ritter, John’s son] was on DAYS, too!” she says of Ritter’s turn as Todd in 1999. (He appeared with The Last Blast teen group.)
There’s another important DAYS connection in Yasbeck’s life. “My sister, Ann, who is 18 years older than I am, was told by her doctor that she had to sit down with her newborn baby because he wouldn’t take the bottle,” Yasbeck says. “So she sat down with him, turned on the TV, and there was the first episode of DAYS! She’s watched it straight through. When I got to tell her I was on DAYS, it was very exciting.”
Paging Dr. Rolf for Olivia
Recently, Yasbeck made sure her sister could continue to be a DAYS devotee by getting her a subscription to Peacock, NBC’s streaming service and DAYS’ exclusive home. Would the actress be interested in reprising Olivia in case the show wanted to explore bringing the character back? “I would,” Yasbeck happily responds, “100%! Being on DAYS was one of my first jobs! I loved being Olivia.”