Stuart Davenport was Casey's estranged husband. He was played by the late John Ritter.
Stuart had been frequently mentioned through seasons six and seven, and had been the means for introducing Casey to the show. Prior to season six, Casey had married Stuart Davenport, a corn pad mogul, and had been living in California in the lap of luxury thanks to the huge profits his company made. One day Stuart had suggested to Casey that they buy a yacht and sail around the world, which Stuart christened Princess Casey in honor of his bride. Although touched, Casey sent something was amiss that Stuart would aptly retire from his business, as well as asking Casey to give up her life on land, but Casey decided to support Stuart, thinking it would be fun. Only at the last minute did Casey realize the true intent; when Stuart asked Casey to take a photo of him on deck, he cast off while Casey was still on the dock. Worse, he cleaned out their accounts and called in all financial securities, leaving Casey penniless. Casey scraped what little she had to buy a ticket to Massachusetts, where she kept up appearances by coming to attend the upcoming wedding of her sister Helen. Casey still behaved in her snobbish ways, only in private to admit to Joe and Helen that Stuart abandoned her and is nowhere to be found. Stuart's status would be kept a secret from the general public. Episodes would included Casey having to simplify her life to match Joe and Helen's relatively simple lifestyle, such as clipping coupons.
Stuart's first and final on-screen appearance came late in the seventh season. He was spotted on TV getting conked with a foul ball at a Red Sox game, alerting Helen that Stuart was in Massachusetts. Casey wanted to hunt down Stuart, but that was not neccesary, for Stuart actually went to Nantucket! He claimed the reason for running off was that his business flailed in the midst of an economic downturn and decreased demand for corn pads, but could not bring it to reveal this to Casey.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- In keeping with the Wings custom of having family members of the cast make guest appearances, John Ritter guest starred in the season-seven episode "Love Overboard" as Casey's estranged husband Stuart. He married twice, once to actress Nancy Morgan (married 1977-divorced 1996) and then to actress Amy Yasbeck (married 1999-his death). Yasbeck had played his wife or love interest in the first two Problem Child movies (interestingly, she played a different character in each movie). Yasbeck also played Ritter's wife in two sitcom appearances. In 1991, both were guest stars on The Cosby Show, where Yasbeck played the in-labor wife of Ritter's basketball coach character. In 1996, Ritter guest starred on Yasbeck's sitcom Wings as the estranged husband of Yasbeck's character Casey. Ritter and Morgan had three children: Carly, Tyler, and Jason. He and Yasbeck had one daughter, Stella.
- Ritter auditioned for the leading role on the PBS series Clifford the Big Red Dog at the behest of his youngest daughter. He won the part voicing Clifford, and it became one of his final roles.
- Ritter's final live-action role was the sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter, about a man whose daughter has entered puberty and is considering boys. While not overprotective of his daughter, he established the "8 rules" to weed out bad boyfriends, and the humor was about his codification with his daughter and her dates. Ritter died in 2003, shortly after filming an episode of the second season. While it appeared Ritter's death would end the show, Amy Yasbeck, who held all rights to her husband's work, gave her blessing for the show to conclude. The reworked format of the show continued the "eight rules", albeit now by the protagonist's wife, and added the factors of the wife and daughter coming to grips with death in the family. Ritter's on-screen wife for 8 Simple Rules was Katey Sagal, best known as Peg Bundy on Married with Children.