TV Icon Suzanne Somers Passes Away at 76

Leaving a Legacy of Laughter and Entrepreneurship

Suzanne Somers, the beloved television star known for her roles in hit sitcoms “Three’s Company” and “Step by Step,” as well as her successful ventures as a health and fitness advocate and author, passed away peacefully at her home in Palm Springs, California, on October 15th. She was 76.

Somers had been battling an aggressive form of breast cancer for over 23 years. Her family released a statement through her longtime publicist, R. Couri Hay, confirming her passing. The statement expressed gratitude for the outpouring of love from her millions of fans and followers.

Surrounded by her loving husband, Alan, her son, Bruce, and immediate family, Somers’ family had initially planned to celebrate her 77th birthday on October 16th. However, they have now chosen to commemorate her extraordinary life.

Suzanne Somers rose to fame with a memorable role in George Lucas’ 1973 hit comedy-drama film, “American Graffiti.” Subsequently, she graced both TV and film with her presence before landing her breakthrough role in “Three’s Company” in 1977. In the show, she portrayed the quintessential “dumb blonde,” Chrissy Snow, living with roommates in a Santa Monica apartment, where hilarity and double-entendre humor ensued.

“Three’s Company” became a massive hit, addressing the complexities of co-ed living and making Somers a household name. The show captured the spirit of the “jiggle era” of television, dealing with the sexual implications and frustrations of cohabitation, a topic still considered somewhat taboo in 1977.

Despite the show’s immense success, Somers’ departure after season five garnered significant attention. She demanded a substantial increase in her salary and a share of the show’s profits, which led to a widely publicized business conflict. Ultimately, her role was reduced, and she was eventually written out of the show.

Following her time on “Three’s Company,” Somers embarked on a singing career in Las Vegas and starred in the syndicated sitcom “She’s the Sheriff.” In 1991, she returned to ABC with a new sitcom, “Step By Step,” alongside Patrick Duffy, where the two played a divorced contractor and a widowed beauty salon owner navigating their blended families.

Somers’ post-TV career saw her rise as a health and fitness advocate. She became known for her promotion of the ThighMaster, an exercise device she used during her “Step By Step” days. Her partnership with the ThighMaster turned into a multi-million-dollar business empire. The couple eventually bought out their struggling partners, further expanding their business ventures.

Suzanne Somers continued to diversify her business endeavors, endorsing a range of health and beauty products on her website and Home Shopping Network. She also authored over two dozen books on wellness, aging, weight loss, and other topics. Her advocacy for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and alternative medical treatments drew attention and criticism from the medical community.

Throughout her career, Somers occasionally returned to the entertainment industry, hosting shows like “Candid Camera” and “The Suzanne Show.” She also took a spin on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2015.

Suzanne Somers’ journey from a challenging and tumultuous upbringing to becoming a celebrated figure in the entertainment and wellness industries was marked by resilience and determination. She chronicled her early life in the 1988 memoir “Keeping Secrets,” which served as the basis for a 1991 ABC movie in which she portrayed herself.

Born as Suzanne Marie Mahoney in San Bruno, California, on October 16, 1946, Somers overcame personal adversity and embarked on a career that left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment and wellness. Her legacy will be remembered by her millions of fans and followers.

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