Suzanne Somers, who had prominent roles on Three’s Company and Step by Step, in addition to popularizing the Thighmaster, has died.
Suzanne Somers, who perfected the bimbo blonde and helped turn a fitness fad into a surefire phenomenon, has died after a battle with cancer. Somers was 76.
A statement issued by Suzanne Somers’ publicity announced the death on Sunday. “Suzanne Somers passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of October 15th. She survived an aggressive form of breast cancer for over 23 years…Suzanne was surrounded by her loving husband Alan, her son Bruce, and her immediate family…Her family was gathered to celebrate her 77th birthday on October 16th. Instead, they will celebrate her extraordinary life, and want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly.”
As noted in the announcement, Suzanne Somers would have celebrated her birthday on Monday. Ahead of this, the actress even told People that she was looking forward to spending the day with family, including her husband of 45+ years, Alan Hamel. Just ahead of this news, Hamel expressed his admiration for his wife’s strength. “Suzanne and I just returned home from the Midwest where Suzanne had six weeks of intensive physical therapy…Even after our five decades together, I still marvel at Suzanne’s amazing determination and commitment.”
Suzanne Somers had her first notable role in 1973’s American Graffiti as Blonde in T-Bird. It might not sound like an important one, but it left an impression not just on Richard Dreyfuss’ character but plenty of male moviegoers. Four years later she would land the role of Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company opposite John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt. Of note, last month marked 20 years since Ritter’s untimely death at the age of 54. Somers’ bubbly personality made her a fan favorite and launched her into stardom.
Following her beloved run on Three’s Company, Suzanne Somers remained a mainstay of pop culture, serving as the spokeswoman for Thighmaster, which would actually land her a spot in the Infomercial Hall of Fame. And her fanbase would only grow, landing the matriarch role of Carol on ABC sitcom Step by Step, a show which, with 160 episodes, lasted nearly as long as Three’s Company.
Suzanne Somers wouldn’t make much of an impact on the big screen – although we do love her cameo in Serial Mom – but her TV work kept her in the public eye. In addition to the aforementioned sitcoms, Somers also appeared in the Jackie Collins adaptation Hollywood Wives, TV movie Rich Men, Single Women, multiple namesakes shows, and season 20 of Dancing with the Stars.
Suzanne Somers was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000.
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