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Who is Suzanne Somers?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 23, 2024
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Suzanne Somers is an American actress, author and entrepreneur. She is most well known for her role as bubbly blonde Chrissy Snow on the television sitcom Three's Company from 1977-1981. Somers also starred as Carol Foster-Lambert in the sitcom Step by Step from 1991-1998. She is also noted for her books on health and wellness and for her promotion of fitness products such as the ThighMaster®. Somers was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003.

Difficult Childhood

Born Suzanne Marie Mahoney in San Bruno, California, on 16 October 1946, Suzanne's childhood was often violent and difficult. Her father, Frank, allegedly was a verbally and physically abusive alcoholic whose job was to load beer into the boxcars of trains. Suzanne's mother, Marion, looked after Suzanne and her three siblings. A sufferer of dyslexia, Suzanne had trouble as a student but thrived in theater arts.

After winning a music scholarship to college and spending six months there, Suzanne became pregnant. The father of the child was Bruce Somers, and Suzanne married him in 1965 and named their son after him. Their marriage ended in 1968, reportedly after her husband discovered that Suzanne was having an affair with her former drama teacher.

Television Stardom

Soon after her divorce, Suzanne Somers landed a job on a game show hosted by Alan Hamel, and they were married in 1977. That same year, Somers accepted the part of Chrissy Snow on Three's Company. Her starring role alongside John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt role followed years of small parts on television and in movies and provided a breakthrough in her career.

Suzanne Somers left Three's Company in 1981 after its fourth season because of a contract dispute. She had asked the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the network that aired the show, for a significant raise, but she was denied. Somers filed a lawsuit against ABC for $2 million US Dollars (USD) in damages but settled for $30,000 USD — her salary for one episode.

Advocate of Health and Wellness

She continued to work in television and movies, and she became serious about health and wellness topics in the 1980s. Suzanne Somers has authored many popular diet and fitness books in addition to being a spokesperson for fitness products such as the ThighMaster®. Among the treatments that Somers supports are alternative cancer treatments and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. She underwent alternative cancer treatment herself after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, although she also had surgery to remove the cancer and underwent radiation therapy.

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Discussion Comments
By anon149452 — On Feb 04, 2011

What a life. The true ability of strength in one person shines through in Suzanne. You are a rock, an inspiration really. I hope Suzanne never give into this crazy world. Congrats to your successes!

By cezare — On Aug 13, 2010

I still mourn over her being replaced at three's company.

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