Actress Suzanne Somers dead at 76. Suzanne Somers is dead at 76, according to her longtime publicist, R. Couri Hay.
PICTURE: Suzanne Somers. PHOTO: COURTESY OF: Suzanne Somers’ Instagram page, along with a statement reading, “Thanks for all the birthday love on my 75th! Turning three quarters of a century with love in my life feels great!” (Dated October 20, 2021)
Somers’ longtime publicist, R. Couri Hay, shared a statement on behalf of the actress’ family with the news Sunday. “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,” Hay said.
“Suzanne was surrounded by her loving husband Alan, her son Bruce, and her immediate family,” the statement continued. “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.”
Somers is survived by her “blended family” of Hamel, her son Bruce, 57, stepchildren Stephen and Leslie, and six grandchildren.
Hay says a private family burial will occur this week, followed by a memorial in November.
Suzanne Somers: The Actress
Suzanne Somers was an American actress, author, singer, businesswoman, and health spokesperson who was born Suzanne Marie Mahoney in 1946 in San Bruno, California, to a gardener father and a medical secretary mother.
Her childhood, she’d later say, had been turbulent. Her father was a person with alcohol use disorder who was abusive to her. After becoming pregnant with her son Bruce, she married Bruce Somers at 19. Three years later, the couple divorced, and she began modeling for The Anniversary Game to support herself. During this period, she met Alan Hamel, whom she married in 1977.
Somers began landing minor acting roles in the late 1960s and early 1970s, earning her first credit in the Steve McQueen film Bullitt. She played the “Blonde in the White Thunderbird” in George Lucas’ 1973 coming-of-age drama film American Graffiti, as well as brief appearances in the first episode of The Love Boat and a 1976 episode of One Day at a Time.
While she appeared in several television shows in the 1970s, including The Rockford Files, Magnum Force, and The Six Million Dollar Man, her most well-known role was as “Chrissy Snow,” the bubbly blonde roommate to Jack Tripper (John Ritter) and Janet Wood (Joyce DeWitt) on the ABC sitcom Three’s Company.
Somers also played Sheriff Hildy Granger in She’s the Sheriff (1987-1989), in addition to her iconic roles as Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company (1977-1981) and Carol Foster Lambert on Step by Step (1991-1998).
Suzanne Somers: The Entrepreneur
She became a breakout star and landed the role of ThighMaster‘s spokesperson before co-owning the company with Hamel.
Somers is said to have made $300 million from the at-home exercise device designed to tone legs since its inception.
She stopped keeping track of how many ThighMasters she sold “after 10 million.” She became one of the top-selling brands on the Home Shopping Network in 1992. Somers has also written 27 books, 14 of which have been New York Times bestsellers. Her name appears on everything from jewelry to protein powder.
Somers revealed in July that her breast cancer had returned. “I have been living with cancer since my 20s. And every time (it) pops up, I continue to bat it back,” Somers told Entertainment Tonight. “I do my best not to let this insidious disease control me.
In an interview published Sunday, Hamel told People magazine that he was inspired by Somers’ strength following her second bout of breast cancer.
“Suzanne and I just returned home from the Midwest where Suzanne had six weeks of intensive physical therapy,” said Hamel, 87. “Even after our five decades together, I still marvel at Suzanne’s amazing determination and commitment.”
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