Suzanne Somers, of ‘Three’s Firm,’ dies at 76

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By Calvin S. Nelson

Suzanne Somers, the bubbling blonde actor identified for taking part in Chrissy Snow on the tv present “Three’s Firm” and who grew to become an entrepreneur and New York Occasions best-selling creator, has died. She was 76.

Somers had breast most cancers for over 23 years and died Sunday morning, her household stated in an announcement offered by her longtime publicist, R. Couri Hay. Her husband Alan Hamel, her son Bruce and different fast household have been along with her in Palm Springs, California.

“Her household was gathered to rejoice her 77th birthday on October sixteenth,” the assertion learn. “As an alternative, they may rejoice her extraordinary life, and need to thank her tens of millions of followers and followers who cherished her dearly.”

In July, Somers shared on Instagram that her breast most cancers had returned.

“Like every most cancers affected person, if you get that dreaded, ‘It’s again’ you get a pit in your abdomen. Then I placed on my battle gear and go to battle,” she instructed Leisure Tonight on the time. “That is acquainted battleground for me and I’m very robust.”

She was first recognized in 2000, and had beforehand battled pores and skin most cancers. Somers confronted some backlash for her reliance on what she’s described as a chemical-free and natural way of life to fight the cancers. She argued towards using chemotherapy, in books and on platforms like “The Oprah Winfrey Present,” which drew criticism from the American Most cancers Society.

Somers was born in 1946 in San Bruno, California, to a gardener father and a medical secretary mom. Her childhood, she’d later say, was tumultuous. Her father was an alcoholic, and abusive. She married younger, at 19, to Bruce Somers, after turning into pregnant along with her son Bruce. The couple divorced three years later and she or he started modeling for “The Anniversary Recreation” to help herself. It was throughout this time that she met Hamel, who she married in 1977.

She started performing within the late Sixties, incomes her first credit score within the Steve McQueen movie “Bullitt.” However the highlight actually hit when she was forged because the blonde driving the white Thunderbird in George Lucas’s 1973 movie “American Graffiti.” Her solely line was mouthing the phrases “I like you” to Richard Dreyfuss’s character.

At her audition, Lucas simply requested her if she may drive. She later stated that second “modified her life eternally.”

Somers would later stage a one-woman Broadway present entitled “The Blonde within the Thunderbird,” about her life, which drew largely scathing critiques.

She appeared in lots of tv exhibits within the Nineteen Seventies, together with “The Rockford Recordsdata,” “Magnum Drive” and “The Six Million Greenback Man,” however her most well-known half got here with “Three’s Firm,” which aired on ABC from 1977 to 1984 — although her participation resulted in 1981.

On “Three’s Firm,” she was the ditzy blonde reverse John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt within the roommate comedy.

“Creating her was really mental,” she instructed CBS Information in 2020. “How do I make her likable and loveable … dumb blondes are annoying. I gave her an ethical code. I imagined it was the childhood I’d’ve preferred to have had.”

In 1980, after 4 seasons, she requested for a increase from $30,000 an episode to $150,000 an episode, which might have been similar to what Ritter was getting paid. Hamel, a former tv producer, had inspired the ask.

“The present’s response was, ‘Who do you assume you might be?’” Somers instructed Individuals in 2020. “They stated, ‘John Ritter is the star.’”

She was promptly phased out and shortly fired; Her character was changed by two completely different roommates for the remaining years the present aired. It additionally led to a rift along with her co-stars; They didn’t communicate for a few years. Somers did reconcile with Ritter earlier than his loss of life, after which with DeWitt on her on-line speak present.

However Somers took the break as a possibility to pursue new avenues, together with a Las Vegas act, internet hosting a chat present and turning into an entrepreneur. Within the Nineties, she additionally grew to become the spokesperson for the “ThighMaster.”

The last decade additionally noticed her return to community tv within the Nineties, most famously on “Step by Step,” which aired on ABC’s youth-targeted TGIF lineup. The community additionally aired a biopic of her life, starring her, known as “Protecting Secrets and techniques.”

Somers was additionally a prolific creator, writing books on getting old, menopause, magnificence, wellness, intercourse and most cancers.

She was in good spirits and surrounded by household earlier than her loss of life, even giving an interview to Individuals Journal about her birthday plans to be along with her “nearest and dearest.”

Hamel, within the Individuals story, stated she’d simply returned from the Midwest the place she had six weeks of intensive bodily remedy.

“Even after our 5 many years collectively, I nonetheless marvel at Suzanne’s superb willpower and dedication,” Hamel stated.

She instructed the journal that she had requested for “copious quantities of cake.”

“I actually love cake,” she stated.

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