Actress turned wellness entrepreneur Suzanne Somers passed away yesterday at 76. Somers battled with breast cancer for several years. Somer’s longtime publicist R. Couri Hay issued a statement on behalf of the family: “Suzanne Somers passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of October 15th. She survived an aggressive form of breast cancer for over 23 years.”
Hay’s statement continued, “she was surrounded by her loving husband Alan, her son Bruce, and her immediate family. 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 was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, as she revealed the diagnosis live in an interview with Larry King. The actress revealed this past July that the cancer had returned. “Since I have been taking time off from work, many of you have asked for more details about my health. As you know, I had breast cancer two decades ago, and every now and then it pops up again, and I continue to bat it down,” she wrote on Instagram. “This is not new territory for me. I know how to put on my battle gear and I’m a fighter.”
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Somers notably starred on the era-defining sitcom “Three’s Company” as Chrissy Snow. The show follows two young women living in Santa Monica, California, who unexpectedly take on a male roommate, and the shenanigans that ensue from their new friendship and relationships. The show ran from 1977 to 1984, and inspired spinoffs “The Ropers” and “Three’s A Crowd.”
Somers was also notably one of the first women to ask for equal pay to her male costars, marking the start of a decades long fight for equal pay that persists to this day.
At the height of "Three's Company" in 1980, Suzanne Somers *dared* to ask for pay equity with her male co-star… and was promptly fired by the network. RIP to a true legend. pic.twitter.com/vxT3b25cdt
— m a r k J m a r r a c c i n i (@marramark) October 15, 2023
Across her several television and film projects and pioneering role in the sphere of women’s wellness, Somers maintained a number of friendships in the entertainment industry over the years. Several celebrities paid tribute to Somers’. Actress Fran Drescher, who notably starred in “The Nanny” and is now the president of SAG-AFTRA, shared a message of appreciation for her friendship with the late Somers.
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Canadian film producer Alan Hamel, the late Somers’ husband, penned a heartfelt poem for her just before her passing.
Singer Patti LaBelle called Somers “one of the sweetest people.”
Rest in peace and love dearest Suzanne…one of the sweetest people I've ever had the chance to meet! I send my love and prayers to all of your family, friends and fans around the world. ❤️#SuzanneSomers pic.twitter.com/nlFUV86YJK
— Patti LaBelle (@MsPattiPatti) October 16, 2023
Others share positive experiences of working with Somers over the years.
RIP to Suzanne Somers . We were in acting class together in mid70s and she had a gift for comedy and niceness, pic.twitter.com/ZmTPjD52bB
— Kin Shriner (@kinshriner) October 15, 2023
Memorial announcements for the late actress are to be announced. Somers is survived by her husband Alan Hamel, and her son Bruce Somers.