Suzanne Somers: A Legacy Remembered

Charting Somers' profound impact beyond the screen

by Nouman Rasool
Suzanne Somers: A Legacy Remembered
© Dia Dipasupil/GettyImages

Suzanne Somers, the radiant actress from the iconic TV show "Three’s Company" and a renowned fitness influencer, has passed away at 76. This sorrowful news was confirmed by her longtime publicist, R. Couri Hay, in a statement released to CNN on behalf of the actress' family.

Suzanne passed in the tranquillity of her home on the dawn of October 15th, after bravely battling an aggressive form of breast cancer for over two decades. The statement poignantly noted that the family had been prepping to celebrate Suzanne’s 77th birthday on October 16th.

Now, they will commemorate an extraordinary life that touched millions. Somers' health struggles became public knowledge when she shared about her recurring bouts with breast cancer on Instagram, saying, "Every now and then it pops up again, and I continue to bat it down”.

She first unveiled her diagnosis in a 2001 conversation with Larry King.

Suzanne Somers: Multifaceted Legacy

With a career trajectory that would be the envy of many, Suzanne was universally celebrated for her portrayal of Chrissy Snow on the ABC sitcom "Three’s Company".

This role, along with her subsequent endeavors, including authoring best-selling books and launching her talk show, showcased the depth and diversity of her talents. Somers was not just an actress; she was a wellness advocate, impressively turning her ThighMaster endorsement into a fitness movement.

Her acting journey began in the early 1960s, with small roles that eventually led to her iconic part in George Lucas’s "American Graffiti". She continued to grace the screen with her presence in numerous shows before ascending to fame as Chrissy Snow.

Her prominence in "Three’s Company", however, wasn't without its trials. Somers departed the show in 1981 after advocating for pay parity with her co-star, John Ritter. Reflecting on this period, she once commented about being "the unofficial first feminist" when she championed equal pay.

Following the show, she reinvented herself, taking center stage in Las Vegas and earning accolades like Las Vegas Female Entertainer of the Year. The next decade saw her taking diverse roles, from starring in "She's the Sheriff" to captivating audiences in "Step by Step", and even hosting her popular talk show "The Suzanne Show" on Lifetime.

Beyond the limelight, Suzanne was a force in the wellness arena, remembered for the ThighMaster's iconic infomercial. Her dedication to health and wellness translated into over twenty books and numerous natural beauty products.

On aging gracefully, she once quipped, “Today I love aging, because I have found a new way to age”. Married for over 50 years, Somers and her husband Hamel showcased an enduring bond. In reflection, she often cited her contributions to health and wellness as her crowning achievement, leaving behind a legacy that transcends the screen and imprints on countless hearts.