by Abb Jones
The Reelness

Suzanne Somers, the actress who leveraged her breakout role as the stereotypically ditzy blonde Chrissy Snow in the 70s and 80s sitcom Three’s Company into a multi-million-dollar career as an infomercial spokeswoman and author of self-help books, has died at her home in Palm Springs, California, following a 23-year battle with breast cancer.

Alan Hamel and Suzanne Somers at their home in Palm Springs in July 2023.

Somers’ death Sunday morning came just one day before what would have been her 77th birthday. Her publicist says Somers was surrounded by her husband of 46 years, Alan Hamel, their son Bruce and the rest of her immediate family who had gathered for her birthday celebration.

Jack Ritter, Suzanne Somers and Joyce Dewitt from Three’s Company

Born Suzanne Marie Mahoney in San Bruno, California, Somers began acting roles in the late 1960s and early 70s – among them, the “Blonde in the white Thunderbird” in 1973’s American Graffiti – before landing her life-changing role on Three’s Company. Somers left the show after its fifth season, when show producers denied her request for a pay increase from $30,000 to $150,000 per episode and a 10 percent ownership of the show’s profits.

Suzanne Somers from an informercial for Thighmaster

During the 1980s, Somers became a Las Vegas entertainer and spokeswoman for the Thighmaster, an exercise device that earned her and her husband Alan $300 million dollars, which led to other business ventures selling organic makeup, hair, skin and body products, and a decades-long career as an author of self-help books on dieting, aging, sexual health and even poetry. Somers would return to television in the 1987 sitcom She’s the Sheriff, followed by guest roles in several made-for-TV movies and then the 1991 sitcom Step by Step with Patrick Duffy.

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