Suzanne Somers, of ‘Three’s Company,’ dies at 76

by Gabriel Martinez
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Suzanne Somers Obituary

Suzanne Somers, the vibrant blonde actress renowned for her portrayal of Chrissy Snow in the television series “Three’s Company,” as well as her accomplishments as an entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author, has passed away at the age of 76.

Suzanne had been battling breast cancer for an impressive 23 years and sadly, she succumbed to the disease on a Sunday morning. Her family released a statement through her longtime publicist, R. Couri Hay, confirming her passing. At her side in Palm Springs, California, were her husband Alan Hamel, her son Bruce, and other close family members.

The statement noted that the family had planned to gather and celebrate Suzanne’s 77th birthday on October 16th, but instead, they will come together to commemorate her remarkable life. They also expressed their gratitude to the millions of devoted fans and followers who held a special place for her in their hearts.

In July, Suzanne had shared on her Instagram account that her breast cancer had returned. She confronted this news with the same determination she had displayed throughout her long battle with the disease, stating, “This is familiar battleground for me, and I’m very tough.”

Suzanne’s journey with breast cancer began in 2000, and she had previously faced off against skin cancer as well. Notably, she faced some controversy for advocating a chemical-free and organic lifestyle as her primary means of combatting these cancers, even speaking out against chemotherapy. Her stance drew criticism from organizations like the American Cancer Society.

Born in 1946 in San Bruno, California, Suzanne had a challenging childhood marked by her father’s alcoholism and abusive behavior. She married at a young age, just 19, after becoming pregnant with her son Bruce, but the marriage ended in divorce three years later. To support herself, she turned to modeling, eventually making her way into the showbiz world through “The Anniversary Game.” It was during this time that she crossed paths with Alan Hamel, whom she married in 1977.

While she began acting in the late 1960s, her big break came when she was cast as the blonde driving the white Thunderbird in George Lucas’s 1973 film “American Graffiti.” Her character had just one line, mouthing the words “I love you” to Richard Dreyfuss’s character. This momentous audition, where Lucas asked if she could drive, would indeed alter the course of her life.

Suzanne later presented a one-woman Broadway show titled “The Blonde in the Thunderbird,” which explored her life but received mostly unfavorable reviews. Her involvement with “Three’s Company” as the ditzy blonde alongside John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt was a defining moment in her career. She approached the character with thoughtfulness, aiming to make her likable and loveable despite the stereotype of dumb blondes.

In 1980, Suzanne requested a significant raise from $30,000 per episode to $150,000 per episode, a figure on par with what John Ritter was earning. Her husband, Alan Hamel, who had experience in television production, supported this request. However, the show’s response was dismissive, and she was eventually phased out and fired. Her character was replaced by two different roommates for the remainder of the show’s run, leading to a long-standing rift with her co-stars. Although she later reconciled with John Ritter before his passing and later with Joyce DeWitt on her online talk show.

This setback served as an opportunity for Suzanne to explore new ventures, including a Las Vegas act, hosting a talk show, and venturing into entrepreneurship. In the 1990s, she became widely recognized as the spokesperson for the “ThighMaster.”

Throughout her career, Suzanne was a prolific author, delving into topics ranging from aging and menopause to beauty, wellness, sex, and cancer.

In her final days, Suzanne remained in high spirits, surrounded by her loved ones. She even granted an interview to People Magazine, discussing her birthday plans to be with her “nearest and dearest.”

Alan Hamel, in the same People story, praised Suzanne’s unwavering determination and commitment, reflecting on their remarkable five decades together. Suzanne’s love for cake was also evident, as she humorously declared her fondness for it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Suzanne Somers Obituary

Who was Suzanne Somers?

Suzanne Somers was a well-known actress, entrepreneur, and bestselling author, famous for her role as Chrissy Snow in the television show “Three’s Company.”

How did Suzanne Somers pass away?

Suzanne Somers passed away at the age of 76 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer.

How long did Suzanne Somers battle breast cancer?

Suzanne Somers courageously battled breast cancer for over 23 years before her passing.

What other achievements did Suzanne Somers have?

Apart from her acting career, Suzanne Somers was a successful entrepreneur, spokesperson for products like the “ThighMaster,” and a prolific author, writing on topics such as aging, menopause, beauty, wellness, sex, and cancer.

Was Suzanne Somers involved in any controversies?

Yes, Suzanne Somers faced controversy for her advocacy of a chemical-free and organic lifestyle as her primary approach to combat cancer, including her opposition to chemotherapy. This stance drew criticism from organizations like the American Cancer Society.

What impact did Suzanne Somers have on the entertainment industry?

Suzanne Somers had a significant impact on the entertainment industry, especially through her role in “Three’s Company.” She was known for bringing depth to her character, challenging stereotypes of ditzy blondes.

How did Suzanne Somers’ career on “Three’s Company” end?

Suzanne Somers asked for a substantial raise from $30,000 per episode to $150,000, comparable to her co-star John Ritter’s salary. However, she was phased out and eventually fired from the show, leading to a rift with her co-stars.

Did Suzanne Somers reconcile with her co-stars later in life?

Yes, Suzanne Somers did reconcile with John Ritter before his passing and later with Joyce DeWitt on her online talk show.

What was Suzanne Somers’ final interview about?

Suzanne Somers’ final interview with People Magazine discussed her plans to celebrate her birthday with her loved ones, as well as her recent intensive physical therapy.

What was Suzanne Somers’ husband’s reaction to her passing?

Alan Hamel, Suzanne Somers’ husband of five decades, praised her incredible determination and commitment, reflecting on their enduring partnership.

More about Suzanne Somers Obituary

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