Have Mercy! The Wild Life of John Stamos

Whether he’s rockin’ out with the Beach Boys or hopping on his Harley as Uncle Jesse, John Stamos has been making everyone swoon since the ‘80s. Within three weeks of trying to become an actor, Stamos landed his first role on General Hospital and was nominated for an Emmy two years later.

Mary-Kate Olsen, John Stamos / John Stamos / Rebecca Romijn, John Stamos / John Stamos, Caitlin McHugh.
Source: Getty Images

Stamos had the looks and talent to go far, and it was clear from the start that he was meant to be in front of the camera. Fame didn’t come without a price though, as he had some hard times. From lost loves to being arrested, how much do you really know about John Stamos?

Supportive Parents

Born in Cypress, California, to William and Loretta Stamos, John Stamos was a third-generation Greek American. Stamos had plenty of talent from an early age, and his parents always told him and his sister they could do great things. He played in the marching band in high school.

A dated studio portrait of John Stamos.
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Stamos had a passion for music and acting, and his parents were supportive of his dreams. He planned to enroll in Cypress College but skipped his first semester to focus on launching his career as an actor. With his father’s blessing, he put all his efforts into going to auditions.

It Came Naturally

Unlike actors who spend years struggling to start their careers, it took Stamos just three weeks to land his first major role on General Hospital. He played Blackie Parrish, a troubled teenager on the ABC soap opera. Although he only stayed for two years, Stamos made a huge impression.

A promotional portrait of the cast of the television series Full House.
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Port Charles was just the first of many stops on TV for Stamos. He was a natural in front of the camera, and those who worked with him knew he was destined for greater things. It might have been his first acting gig, but Stamos earned an Emmy nomination for his GH performance.

Destined for Sitcoms

Although he started on a daytime drama, Stamos was meant for sitcoms. After GH, he had stints on short-lived comedies like CBS’s Dreams and NBC’s You Again? where he played the son of Jack Klugman. There was never a lull in his early career, and he starred in a few films.

A portrait of Stamos during an interview.
Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images

In 1986, Stamos appeared in Never Too Young to Die, an action spy film with Kiss bassist Gene Simmons. It was meant to be a “young James Bond” movie but ended up being a critical and commercial flop. Luckily, Stamos didn’t have to worry because his big break was around the corner.

Welcome to the House

When Full House hit the airwaves in 1987, it quickly became a hit. As Jesse Katsopolis, Stamos solidified his career. Fans fell head over heels for Stamos’s character, with his perfectly messed up hair and classic lines like “Have mercy.” Stamos played the character well because he was a lot like Jesse.

A still from the television series.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Warner Bros.

He asked the producers to give his character a Greek last name to pay homage to Stamos’s Greek heritage. Stamos was also quite the lady’s man, like Jesse. He stayed on the show for nearly a decade until the series ended in 1995. However, life on set wasn’t always easy.

He Argued With Bob Saget

Stamos and his Full House co-star Bob Saget might have ended up being friends, but it didn’t start that way. The two clashed on set and only became friends after the show ended. Stamos said their styles clashed because Saget was a comedian and always had to make people laugh.

Stamos and Saget are in a scene from the television series.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Warner Bros.

Saget was apparently disruptive. According to Saget’s wife, he would go home and complain about Stamos because they hated each other. At some point, they agreed to be civil while filming.

He Wanted the Olsen Twins Fired

Not only did Stamos have problems with Saget, but he also struggled with the Olsen twins. When Mary-Kate and Ashley started, they were just nine months old. Stamos was frustrated that they cried so much and were difficult to film with. He wanted them to be fired.

Mary-Kate Olsen and John Stamos pose in a promotional portrait of the show.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Warner Bros.

However, when the producers briefly replaced the Olsen twins, Stamos begged for them to come back. He even demanded that both girls remain on the show as they got older and started to look less alike. Stamos was sad when they didn’t return for Fuller House.

Elvis Enthusiast

If you were a fan of Full House, you probably remember Jesse’s love of Elvis Presley. Stamos’s character often impersonated and copied Elvis’s mannerisms throughout the series. Stamos is just as enamored as his character is in real life, and it was his idea to incorporate that.

A still of Stamos impersonating Elvis Presley.
Source: YouTube

Stamos wanted to pay homage to one of his musical influences, which is why Elvis is referenced on Full House again and again. Stamos has looked up to Elvis since he was a child, and he wanted his character to resemble who he is in real life.

Love in the Air

While we all secretly hoped Stamos would get together with Lori Laughlin, who played Aunt Becky, he started dating Rebecca Romijn in 1994. The two met at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show when Stamos was in the audience, and Romijn walked the runway.

A photo of Romijn and Stamos attending an event.
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The two had their first date at Disneyland, and a few months later, they were official. Stamos and Romijn were the talk of the town, and paparazzi followed them everywhere. After three years of dating, Stamos popped the question, and they tied the knot in 1998.

In the Nude

Stamos and Romijn have the best engagement story. On Christmas Eve 1997, after a couple’s massage, Stamos was completely naked when he got down on one knee and asked Romijn to marry him. It was a last-minute decision, and he didn’t have a ring.

A picture of Romijn and Stamos posing for the press.
Photo by Chris Weeks/FilmMagic/Getty Images

He used a cigar band and eventually swapped it for a four-carat, emerald-cut diamond ring. It was a moment they would never forget. They got married at the Beverly Hills Hotel the following year, with many famous faces in attendance.

He Helped Her

Romijn was a model when she met Stamos, but she was starting to transition into acting. Stamos was incredibly supportive and gave her important advice. He said, “Be prepared for everyone to hate you.” She said it helped her tap into comedy.

A portrait of Romijn during an interview.
Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Stamos aided her with his connections and helped her prepare for auditions. However, after almost a decade together, the pair split up in 2003. When they attended the X-Men 2 premiere together, they had already been broken up for six months but couldn’t say anything.

It Stopped Working

It wasn’t until 2005 that Stamos finally filed for divorce from Romijn, citing “irreconcilable differences.” There were rumors that they couldn’t agree on having children, but the two denied these claims. Stamos said their marriage just stopped working, so it was time to walk away.

A photo of Stamos and Romijn at a bar.
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They both said that it was a difficult time, but they had no ill feelings toward each other. They each got remarried to other people and remained friendly. Stamos said the divorce was more difficult because of the things being said in the tabloids.

(TV) Movie Star

Following his success on Full House, Stamos went through a phase where he starred in several TV movies. Between 1997 and 2000, Stamos was in four TV movies, including Sealed With a Kiss, How to Marry a Billionaire: A Christmas Tale, and A Match Made in Heaven.

A portrait of Stamos.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Disney

He knew it would be challenging to top his success on the hit sitcom, but Stamos had few regrets during these years. It might not have been award-winning work, but the TV movies were cute. However, Stamos did have one acting regret around this time.

Not a Good Friend

Stamos said that he had few regrets in his career, except for his appearance on Friends. He was excited to jump back into the world of sitcoms, and the show was filmed on the same lot as Full House. In the episode, he plays Zach, a potential sperm donor.

A still of Stamos in Friends.
Source: YouTube

Matthew Perry said the audience was excited to see Stamos on the show, but when he entered the scene, the studio audience was silent. Stamos was heartbroken that the audience didn’t treat him like the other famous actors who appeared on Friends.

A Dream Come True

When Stamos was 15, he attended his first Beach Boys concert. He was a huge fan of the group and never imagined that he would share the stage with them. During his GH days, he attended one of the concerts and was chased backstage by some fans.

A photo of Stamos during an interview.
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His friend happened to be playing with the opening act that evening and explained to the Beach Boys’ co-founder, Mike Love, why Stamos ran backstage. When Love realized who he was, he told Stamos to get on stage with the band.

Lasting Friendship

At the concert, Stamos joined the band to play their hit “Barbara Ann,” and the rest is history. He formed a close friendship with the Beach Boys and toured with them. He even got them to appear on Full House three times.

An image of Stamos and the Beach Boys on stage.
Photo by Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

In one episode, DJ wins tickets to a Beach Boys concert but doesn’t know which family member to take. Naturally, the Beach Boys show up at the Tanner house, beginning the random friendship between the band and the Tanner family. Stamos then performed with them on the show.

Back to the Drama

While Stamos thrived in sitcoms, his career took an unexpected turn back to the drama genre when he joined the cast of NBC’s ER in 2006. He played paramedic-turned-intern Tony Gates. During the show’s 13th season, Stamos became a series regular.

A still of and John Stamos in a scene from the series.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: NBC

He remained on the series until it ended in 2009. Stamos followed his three-year run on the series by appearing as a guest star on Glee. He played Carl Howell, a new love interest for Emma Pillsbury in Season 2. However, it was a small role that didn’t last long.

Finding Love Again

After his divorce in 2005, Stamos still had dreams of getting married again and starting a family. When he made a guest appearance on Law & Order: SVU in 2011, he met the woman who would make those dreams come true. But the woman, Caitlin McHugh, was in a relationship.

A photo of McHugh and Stamos attending an event.
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Stamos and McHugh happened to cross paths again in 2015 when they were both single. This time, Stamos didn’t want to miss his opportunity and asked McHugh on a date. The two quickly fell for each other, and he proposed two years later.

He Was Clothed This Time

Unlike his first proposal, Stamos was fully dressed and prepared with a ring. He got down on one knee at Disneyland and popped the question. It might seem cliché to propose at Disney, but Stamos and McHugh share a love for the amusement parks.

A portrait of McHugh and Stamos during an event.
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McHugh loved to dress up in DIY costumes inspired by Disney characters whenever she visited the parks. Meanwhile, Stamos is an avid collector of Disney memorabilia. The park was a special place for both of them and the perfect location for a proposal.

Wedding Bells and a Baby

In 2018, Stamos and McHugh tied the knot while she was already a few months pregnant. Shortly after their wedding, the couple welcomed their son Billy. Stamos’s Full House family was thrilled that he finally became a father because he had always been a “baby whisperer.”

A picture of Stamos and McHugh with their child.
Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

Stamos said his son changed his life because he once thought having a family wasn’t in the cards. When he met McHugh, he got his life together and wanted to be the perfect dad. He said the chaos and sleepless nights were all worth it.

Large Age Gap

Although he and McHugh share the same values, Stamos is 23 years older than her. Luckily, he looks a lot younger than his age. When they became serious and started talking about their future, McHugh was a little worried about their large age gap.

A photo of Stamos and McHugh during an event.
Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Stamos revealed that McHugh suggested they have a child before getting married because he was “old.” He thought the comment was funny, and she happened to get pregnant shortly after their engagement. Stamos’s age never changed how McHugh felt about him.

He Struggled

Shortly before Stamos started dating McHugh, he went through a rough patch. He was pulled over in Beverly Hills after the police received multiple calls about a vehicle driving erratically. The officers were suspicious that he was driving under the influence.

A portrait of Stamos.
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The police weren’t sure if he was drunk or injured, so they took Stamos to the hospital. The hospital confirmed that Stamos was intoxicated, and he was arrested for a DUI. Stamos faced up to six months in jail and voluntarily checked himself into rehab.

An Embarrassing Time

Following his 2015 conviction, Stamos shared how embarrassed he was by his actions because he could have hurt someone. He told Howard Stern, “It was really stupid and ignorant of me. And I hated myself for that.” Stamos revealed that he had been struggling with alcohol.

A photo of Stamos wearing a serious expression on his face.
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While that was his only arrest, Stamos had been dealing with alcohol-related issues. He appeared drunk on an Australian talk show, later admitting that he was jet-lagged, on sleeping pills, and “plastered.” However, he cleaned himself up after the arrest.

Back With Some of His Family

In 2016, Stamos and some of his former Full House cast members got back together for the Netflix reboot called Fuller House. Viewers quickly noticed the absence of Michelle Tanner, aka Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. They were apparently too busy running their company to act again.

A still of Stamos and Candace Cameron in a scene from the reboot.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Warner Bros.

Stamos took responsibility for the twins’ absence during the reboot. As a producer of the show, he felt it was wrong that he called their agents instead of speaking to them directly. He eventually contacted Mary-Kate, who seemed interested, but Ashley turned it down.

Broadway, Baby!

Stamos doesn’t just shine on TV; he is also a star on the stage. In 2009, he won a Golden Icon Award for his performance in Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway. His award was for Best Actor in a musical production. He is a natural in front of a live audience.

A photo of Stamos on stage at the end of the musical.
Photo by Charles Eshelman/WireImage/Getty Images

Whether it be behind the drums or guitar or as a character in a musical, there is a reason Stamos is such a sought-after actor. Shortly after his Broadway debut, Stamos was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Returning to Comedy

After a bit of a lull, Stamos returned to comedy in the Fox sitcom Grandfathered, starring Josh Peck and Christina Milian. Simultaneously, Stamos also appeared on edgier series like Fox’s Scream Queens and Netflix’s You. He was trying to revive his career.

A still of John Stamos in a scene from the show.
Source: YouTube

Fuller House was a bit of a flop. Many people thought the reboot was unnecessary, so Stamos needed a little help with his reputation. Vox called Fuller house an “inescapable nightmare.” Luckily, his performance as Dr. Nicky in You saved him. He needed some mercy.

He Got a Woman Pregnant

Long before Stamos was married, he was a lady’s man. He dated everyone from Julie Anderson to Paula Abdul. He also slept around quite a bit, which didn’t always go well. In a tell-all interview, Stamos admitted to impregnating a mystery woman when he was in his 20s.

A dated photo of Paula Abdul and John Stamos.
Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Stamos told Howard Stern that the woman terminated the pregnancy, and he was very careful after the incident. Stamos called it “bad timing.” While he doesn’t have a mystery love child roaming about, his past isn’t completely clean.

In Bed With Michelle and Stephanie

In her 2009 memoir, Jodie Sweetin (Stephanie Tanner) claimed she woke up in bed with Stamos and the Olsen twins after a long night of partying at his LA home in 2004. The strange event got even worse when Alison Cross, a party girl, tried to extort him.

Jodie Sweetin and Stamos pose for the press.
Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

She claimed to have pictures of Stamos with cocaine and strippers. She asked him for $680,000 in exchange for the pictures. Stamos sued her for extortion, admitting he met her at an Orlando nightclub but never had relations with Cross. She was later convicted and sentenced to five years in jail.

Giving Back

While Stamos hasn’t always made the best choices, he has done many things to make up for his poor decisions. In 2018, Stamos and his wife started a jewelry line, donating all the proceeds to a children’s help organization called Child Help.

John Stamos and his wife pose for the press.
Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images

They named the line St. Amos Jewelry, and it has done well over the past few years. It seems that Stamos’s heart outweighs his troubled past. He hopes to change many children’s lives with the donations made by the company. Maybe if he signs a few pieces, they will sell quicker.

What’s With His Belly Button?

Stamos has taken a lot of heat over the years for various reasons, but one thing people never stop talking about is his weird belly button. He might have a six-pack and a killer body, but everyone keeps looking at his deformed belly button.

A picture of Stamos onstage.
Photo by Kevin Mazur/AMA2018/Getty Images

He has read mean tweets about it on Jimmy Kimmel, and his belly button has its own Twitter account. Nothing actually happened to Stamos’s belly button because it has been that way since he was a child, but everyone would rather believe that he had an accident that caused that.

What Is John Stamos’s Net Worth?

With a net worth of about $25 million, Stamos has done well for himself over the years. He has raked in the big bucks with all of his acting gigs and becoming the face of Dannon’s Greek yogurt brand, Oikos. Stamos also earned money as a producer and director.

A portrait of Stamos during an event.
Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Stamos also kicked off his latest role as basketball coach Marvyn Corn in the Disney+ series Big Shot. His character got fired from a college basketball job and must take a teaching and coaching job at an all-girls high school.

Maintaining Strong Bonds

Although Full House ended in the mid-‘90s, Stamos has stayed close with his castmates. He formed a friendship with Saget after the show ended, and they became good friends. Stamos supported Sweetin in overcoming her addictions and endeavors to help others do the same.

A photo of Stamos and Saget posing for the press.
Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Although the Olsen twins stepped away from acting, Stamos said he occasionally talks to them. When working on Fuller House, he reconnected with Candace Cameron Bure and Andrea Barber, who played Kimmy Gibbler. Stamos’s relationships with his former co-stars are important to him.

The Loss of a Friend

Stamos was devastated when he heard the news of Saget’s death in January 2022. He gave the eulogy at Saget’s funeral and spoke about the ups and downs of their friendship. Stamos said when his father died, Saget stepped up like no one else.

A picture of Saget and Stamos performing together on stage.
Photo by Jerod Harris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Saget went as far as asking Stamos if he could host his father’s funeral. They were incredibly close towards the end of Saget’s life, and Stamos will always be grateful for the time they had together. It was a shock to lose his closest friend.

He Forced Him to Go to Therapy

After Saget’s death, Stamos reflected on their friendship. He said they were like a married couple at one point when they were both single. Stamos told Saget to go to therapy if he wanted to keep their friendship. Saget agreed, and the therapy helped him.

A picture of Saget and Stamos attending an event.
Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Stamos made him go because Saget was “a great listener, but sometimes he had to be told to listen.” Saget hadn’t dealt with his divorce, and Stamos wanted him to talk to someone that could help. It only made their friendship stronger.

Gifted Musician

When Stamos played the guitar and sang on Full House, he wasn’t pretending or using a dubbed soundtrack. The actor performed on an independently released 1994 album Shades of Blue with Lanny Cordola, Gary Griffin, Sandra Stephens, Tony Guerrero, and David Enos.

Stamos performs on stage.
Source: YouTube

Many of the songs on Full House, like “Forever” and “Everywhere You Look,” were performed by Stamos. While he never made singing and performing his main focus, it was always a fun side thing for him to do. Stamos also used his talents to perform with the Beach Boys several times.

Another Tragic Loss

This year has not started well for Stamos. In March 2022, he lost another close friend, Taylor Hawkins, drummer for the Foo Fighters. Hawkins died of an apparent overdose while on tour in Columbia. Stamos revealed the haunting last text he received from his friend.

An image of Hawkins performing on stage.
Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

Shortly before his death, Hawkins texted Stamos saying, “We’ve yet to fully hang – Gotta put that sh*t together before we die.” Stamos shared his sadness about his friend’s death on Instagram, with people commenting about the losses he had experienced lately.

He Owes It All to Them

When Stamos reflects on his life, he often thanks his parents for their unconditional support of his dreams. His father passed away in 2001, and his mom died in 2014. Stamos always looked up to his father for his work ethic and being a good dad.

A dated studio portrait of Stamos.
Photo by Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images

When Stamos’s wife was pregnant, he shared a picture of himself with his dad on Instagram. The caption said, “I will certainly fall short of the father my pop was, but I’m going to give it my all.” Stamos wants to be the same kind of dad that his father was to him.

The Hairstyle He Regrets

In the first few seasons of Full House, Stamos rocked a mullet. Uncle Jesse was known for his luscious locks, but Stamos regrets the style. He said, “It was like two crows had died on my head.” He wondered why no one told him that it looked horrible.

A promotional portrait of Stamos for the show.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/ Copyright: Warner Bros.

Luckily, the mullet was short-lived after Stephanie gave him an unwanted haircut. Stamos never had to dye his hair to maintain his character’s dark hair, but there were many interesting hair-related moments for his character throughout the series.

His Son Watches Full House

Ever since Saget died, Stamos’s son Billy has become obsessed with watching Full House. Billy told his dad the show is funny, but it must be strange to see his dad on TV. Stamos said Billy was never interested in watching Full House until Saget passed away.

A photo of Stamos with his wife and son.
Source: Instagram /@johnstamos

Stamos was “perfectly fine” with his son not being interested in the show. He shared a video of Billy watching the show on Instagram, and Saget’s widow, Kelly Rizzo, commented, “I love this, John.” Stamos captioned the photo by saying, “I blame Bob.”

How Old Is John Stamos?

Stamos is turning 59 in August, and we don’t know what his secret is, but he looks amazing. Stamos jokingly said he “made a deal with the devil,” but he takes good care of his skin. He once shared that his secret weapon to looking young is a $59 face mask from Bioxidea.

Stamos and his wife take a picture during a night out.
Source: Instagram /@johnstamos

He used to do DIY Greek yogurt facials, which might have been a stint to promote Sannon Oikos Greek yogurt. While some may think paying $59 for three sheet masks is ridiculous, Stamos has the money to spare to keep himself young.

An Unlikely Ally

When Stamos was working on Grandfathered with Josh Peck, he was dealing with the aftermath of his DUI and recovery. Peck might have been much younger than Stamos, but he was a big part of Stamos’s recovery even after his rehab stint.

A still of Stamos and Josh Peck on Grandfathered.
Photo by FOX Image Collection/Getty Images

Stamos believes he “wouldn’t be alive” if he hadn’t met Peck. The two have remained friends for a while, and Stamos has joined Peck on his YouTube channel. It seems like an unlikely friendship, but they have supported each other through many hard times.

No More Movies?

Surprisingly, Stamos hasn’t been in a movie since 2016. He has focused more on his television career, with him currently working on a potential second season for Big Shot. When he took the role, he was nervous that the show was about basketball.

Stamos poses for the press.
Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images

Stamos admitted that he has never been athletically inclined, but he took the role anyway. He never explained why he stopped doing movies, but his career hasn’t suffered because of it. Stamos is doing perfectly fine on the small screen and isn’t worried about the big screen.