Suzanne Somers, the enthusiastic blonde actor known for her portrayal of Chrissy Snow on the television show “Three’s Company” and her business life, has passed away. She was 76 years old.
Somers had been suffering from breast cancer for more than 23 years and died Sunday morning, her family said in a statement released by longtime journalist R. Couri Hay. Her husband Alan Hamel, son Bruce and other close family were with her in Palm Springs, California.
“His family gathered to celebrate his 77th birthday on October 16,” the statement said. “Instead, they will celebrate his extraordinary life and want to thank the millions of fans and followers who loved him so much.”
In July, Somers shared on Instagram that her breast cancer had returned.
“Like any cancer patient, when you get caught up in the fear of, ‘It’s back,’ you get a pit in your stomach. Then I put on my battle gear and go to war,” he told Entertainment Tonight at the time. “This is a familiar battlefield for me and I am very resilient.”
He was first diagnosed in 2000 and also had skin cancer. He has faced some backlash for his reliance on what he describes as a chemical-free and organic lifestyle to fight cancers. She has spoken out against the use of chemotherapy in books and on platforms such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which has been criticized by the American Cancer Society.
Somers was born in 1946 in San Bruno, California, to a gardener father and a medical secretary mother. She began acting in the late 1960s, playing the blonde driving the white Thunderbird in George Lucas’s 1973 film “American Graffiti.” His only line was to say “I love you” to Richard Dreyfuss’ character.
At the audition, Lucas asked him if he could drive. He later said that moment “changed his life forever.”
Somers would later stage a one-woman Broadway show titled “The Blonde in Thunderbird,” which received largely harsh reviews.
He appeared on several television shows in the 1970s, including “The Rockford Files,” “Magnum Force” and “The Six Million Dollar Man,” but his most famous role was on “Three’s Company,” which aired on ABC from 1977 to 1984. came. – but his involvement ended in 1981.
In “Three’s Company,” she played the dumb blonde in the roommate comedy opposite John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt. In 1980, after four seasons, he asked for a raise from $30,000 per episode to $150,000 per episode; this would be comparable to what Ritter received. Hamel, a former television producer, encouraged the question.
“The show’s response is ‘Who do you think you are?'” Somers told People in 2020. happened.” “They said, ‘John Ritter is the star.'”
He was soon fired, and his character was replaced by two different roommates for the remaining years of the show’s run. This also led to conflict with his co-stars; They did not speak for many years. Before his death, Somers reconciled with Ritter and then with DeWitt on his online talk show.
But Somers used this break as an opportunity to pursue new paths, such as performing in Las Vegas, writing books, hosting talk shows and becoming an entrepreneur. He also became the spokesperson for “Thighmaster” in the 1990s.
Somers returned to television in the 1990s; the most famous was “Step by Step,” which aired on ABC’s youth-oriented TGIF program. The network also aired a biopic of his life, “Keeping Secrets,” in which he starred.