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Friday, June 14, 2024

Suzanne Somers, fitness icon and star of "Three’s Company," dies at age 76 following cancer battle

Suzanne Somers, who starred in “Three’s Company,” and later went on to become an advocate for a healthy lifestyle, has died following a lengthy battle with cancer.

The actress died early Sunday morning at her home, just one day before her 77th birthday, her publicist R. Couri Hay confirmed to CBS News.

“Suzanne was surrounded by her loving husband Alan, her son Bruce, and her immediate family,” Hay told CBS News in a statement, adding that her family had gathered to celebrate her upcoming birthday.

“Instead, they will celebrate her extraordinary life, and want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly.”

She will be buried this week in a private ceremony, and a memorial will take place next month, Hay said.

Somers was most famous for her role as Chrissy Snow on the beloved 1970s sitcom “Three’s Company.”

“People just wanted to protect Chrissy Snow,” she told CBS News in a 2020 interview. “Creating her was actually intellectual. How do I make her likable and loveable? Dumb blondes are annoying. I gave her a moral code. I imagined it was the childhood I would’ve liked to have had.”

She was famously fired from the show when she asked for a salary equal to that of the late star John Ritter.

“I got fired from ‘Three’s Company’ for having the audacity to ask to be paid commensurate with men,” she said in 2020. “They were making 10 to 15 times more, and John [Ritter] was making much more than me. They had designated John the star, as my star rose and started competing with John’s star, it made them mad at me. It made them mad when I was on every magazine cover and John wasn’t. We were all on the cover of Newsweek. That was a fiasco that day. The producers didn’t tell any of us that Newsweek wanted to feature just Chrissy, and nobody told me either.”

Later in her life, she became a health guru who made millions selling the Thighmaster and diet books.

But her life was plagued with illness, firstdealing with melanoma, a type of skin cancer, in her 30s, and then being diagnosed with breast cancer in her 50s.

She detailed her early cancer fights in that 2020 interview.

“Even when I was Chrissy on Three’s Company, I had had cancer three times,” Somers said. “They call it severe hyperplasia in your uterus. I didn’t make a big deal about it. In my 30s, I got a malignant melanoma in my back.”

In August, Somers revealed she was battling a recurrence of breast cancer in a message posted toInstagram.

“Since I have been taking time off from work, many of you have asked for more details about my health,” Somers wrote, captioning a photo that pictured her with her husband Alan Hamel.

“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,” her post continued. “I have used the best alternative and conventional treatments to combat it.”

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