Suzanne Somers, originally Suzanne Mahoney, passed away on October 15, 2023, tragically just one day shy of her 77th birthday. She departed in the presence of her devoted husband, Alan, their son Bruce, and immediate family. Originally gathered to commemorate her 77th year, they instead found themselves commemorating her extraordinary life, expressing gratitude to the millions of fans and followers who cherished her deeply. This poignant statement was shared with People magazine by her publicist, R. Couri Hay. Suzanne had bravely faced a recurrence of breast cancer after triumphing over the disease years prior.
Born on October 16, 1946, in California to Marion, a medical secretary, and Francis, a brewery employee, Suzanne’s early years were marked by financial struggles. However, her life took a transformative turn when she landed her breakthrough role as Chrissy Snow in the iconic late ’70s and ’80s sitcom “Three’s Company.” Her talent also shone through in the ’90s, where she portrayed Carol Foster Lambert in “Step by Step.” Suzanne, a proud mother to Bruce Somers Jr., whom she welcomed in 1965 with her former husband, Bruce Somers, transitioned from acting to entrepreneurship in 2001. She became a prominent figure on the Home Shopping Network (HSN), presenting various products, and delved into wellness ventures, including vitamins and the wildly successful ThighMaster.
Beyond her entrepreneurial ventures, Suzanne left an indelible mark on Broadway, enjoyed a Las Vegas residency, and authored over a dozen books. Her personal battles with breast cancer, initially diagnosed at 54, were met with unwavering determination. Suzanne chose alternative treatments, showcasing her resilience in the face of adversity. Her openness about her struggles and triumphs endeared her to many.
Suzanne’s early life was marred by the harrowing presence of her father, whose violent and abusive behavior cast a shadow over her childhood. The memories of seeking refuge in a closet with her siblings to escape his wrath remained vivid in her recollections. Nevertheless, Suzanne’s remarkable ability to find positivity in adversity eventually led her to rebuild her relationship with her father after he achieved sobriety.
A teenage pregnancy marked a pivotal juncture in Suzanne’s life, prompting her to marry Bruce Somers. This challenging period further fueled her determination to overcome hardships. An affair with television host Alan Hamel, despite his existing marriage, ultimately led to a lifelong partnership that endured until Suzanne’s passing. The decision to navigate these complex relationships reflected Suzanne’s resilience and the pursuit of a better life for herself and her son.
In the late ’60s, Suzanne embarked on her acting career with an uncredited role in “Bullitt,” gradually paving her way towards her breakthrough role as Chrissy Snow. However, her journey was not without its challenges, including a contractual dispute that resulted in her departure from “Three’s Company” in 1980. Despite this setback, Suzanne’s legacy in the world of entertainment was firmly established.
In 2007, Suzanne faced a devastating loss when her Malibu home was consumed by wildfires. This tragedy, while heartbreaking, prompted Suzanne to seek growth and transformation from adversity. Eventually, she made the decision not to rebuild, but rather to sell the property and move forward.
Suzanne’s life was a testament to her indomitable spirit, overcoming personal insecurities stemming from her father’s negative influence. Her journey was marked by resilience, and she ultimately found solace in forgiveness, understanding that it was a gift she gave to herself.
One of the most challenging moments in Suzanne’s life was when her young son was involved in a near-fatal car accident. This traumatic event led to both physical and emotional scars, underscoring the depth of their mother-son bond.
Suzanne’s career was not without its financial struggles. When faced with mounting medical bills for her son’s care, she made the difficult decision to pose for Playboy to secure the necessary funds. This episode highlights Suzanne’s determination and sacrifices for the well-being of her family.
In her later years, Suzanne shared her brave battle against a recurrent breast cancer diagnosis. Her candidness about her journey and the unwavering support of her husband, Alan, became a source of inspiration for many. Her ultimate passing left a void in the hearts of those who admired her strength and resilience.
The world will remember Suzanne Somers not only as an accomplished actress and entrepreneur but also as a woman who faced adversity with courage and emerged stronger. Her legacy will forever inspire others to find strength in the face of life’s challenges.