Early lifeYasbeck was born September 12, 1962 in Blue Ash, Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughter of Dorothy Murphy (1922–1984), a homemaker, and John Yasbeck (1921–1982), a butcher and grocery store owner. She is of half Irish and half Lebanese descent. As a child, Yasbeck was featured on the package art for the Betty Crocker Easy-Bake Oven. Years later, in 2000, she was presented with a new Easy-Bake Oven on the show I've Got a Secret, for which she was a regular panel member.
She spent her elementary, middle, and high school years at two different Catholic schools: Summit Country Day School and Ursuline Academy. After losing both of her parents, her father from a heart attack and her mother from emphysema, Yasbeck moved to New York.
CareerYasbeck has had starring roles in the sitcoms Wings, Alright Already, and Life on a Stick and in movies such as House II: The Second Story, Pretty Woman, Problem Child, Problem Child 2, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, The Mask, and also in the movie Dracula: Dead and Loving It. She also played the part of Madison the mermaid in the Disney TV movie Splash, Too in 1988. (The role of Madison was originated by Daryl Hannah in the 1984 movie Splash.) She has also guest starred on many television shows over the years.
She played Olivia Reed for two years on the long-running daytime soap opera Days of our Lives. Yasbeck also appeared once on the hit DCOS That's So Raven as the mother of one of the main characters, Chelsea. The episode originally aired on September 22, 2006.
In late 2007, plans surfaced of a potential That's So Raven spinoff featuring Yasbeck and her TSR daughter Chelsea Daniels (Anneliese van der Pol) and their life, with occasional appearances by Raven-Symone. The show was scrapped due to van der Pol signing onto a new Broadway play, and Yasbeck wanting to take a break from acting to focus on her family.
Personal lifeYasbeck is the widow of actor John Ritter, with whom she had worked in several projects. She first met him at director Dennis Dugan's house during a read-through of their 1990 movie Problem Child. According to Yasbeck, Ritter forced her to eat a bagel and cream cheese because he thought she was too thin. He also thought she was too young to play his wife in the movie (Ritter was almost 14 years Yasbeck's senior).
Yasbeck and Ritter also starred together in Problem Child 2 (1991) and guest-starred together in an episode of The Cosby Show which aired in 1991. Ritter also guest-starred on Wings as Yasbeck's estranged husband in the Season Seven episode "Love Overboard". The couple had a daughter, Stella Dorothy, in 1998, and married in 1999.
On September 11, 2003, Ritter died after collapsing on the set of his sitcom, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. The cause of death was an aortic dissection stemming from a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect.
Yasbeck gave her blessing to the continuation of the sitcom, 8 Simple Rules, where it was ultimately decided that Katey Sagal's character would assume the lead role as a widow.
Yasbeck appeared on Larry King Live on June 16, 2008, to discuss heart disease in the wake of television personality Tim Russert's death.