Suzanne Sommers is a well-known American actress, writer, singer, businesswoman, and spokesperson for health.
Suzanne Sommers illustrated biography
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Suzanne Somers is an American actress, writer, and businesswoman who rose to fame in the 1970s as Chrissy Snow in the popular television series “Three’s Company.”
Later, Somers started writing self-help books. One was Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones (2006), which discussed bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
She has published four diet books, a book of poetry, and two memoirs.
Over the years, she has become an icon in the entertainment industry and made a name for herself as a health and wellness advocate.
Somers has also drawn criticism for her opinions on several medical issues and for supporting the Wiley Protocol, dubbed “scientifically unproven and dangerous.” The American Cancer Society has criticized her for promoting alternative cancer therapies.
2. Suzanne Sommers’s Early life and career
Suzanne Somers was born in San Bruno, California, on October 16, 1946. She was the third child of Frank and Marion Mahoney.
Her mother was a medical secretary, and her father was a labourer. Suzanne grew up Catholic and attended Notre Dame High School in Belmont, California.
After high school, she went on to attend college but dropped out after one year to pursue an entertainment career.
Somers’ first break came when she landed a role in the 1968 film “The Battle of the Bulge.”
She went on to appear in several television shows and films throughout the 1970s, including “The Rockford Files,” “American Graffiti,” and “Step by Step.”
However, her role as Chrissy Snow in the hit television series “Three’s Company” made her a household name.
In 1981, Somers was fired from “Three’s Company” after demanding a pay raise to put her on equal footing with her male co-star, John Ritter.
Despite the setback, she persisted in the entertainment business, making numerous appearances in films and television shows in the 1980s and 1990s.
3. Suzanne Sommers’s Rise to fame and significant achievements
In January 1977, Somers was given a role in the ABC comedy Three’s Company.
Somers was hired the day before the third and final pilot’s official start date after ABC President Fred Silverman was recommended after actresses Suzanne Zenor and Susan Lanier failed to win over producers during the first two pilots.
Somers had previously appeared on the “Tonight Show”. She played the part of office assistant Chrissy Snow, a stereotypically stupid blonde.
In a comedy of errors, John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt co-starred in the show about two single ladies sharing a flat with a single man who claims to be gay to get around the landlord’s rule against single males living with single women.
The show gained immediate popularity in the ratings and eventually gave rise to a brief spin-off series (with Norman Fell and Audra Lindley).
Somers demanded a significant pay rise from $30,000 to $150,000 per episode when Three’s Company started its fifth season in late 1980.
He also wanted a 10% ownership stake in the show’s profits.
According to those with inside knowledge of the event, Somers’ revolt was primarily influenced by her husband, Hamel.
Somers declined to appear in the second and fourth episodes of the season after ABC rejected her request for a pay increase, citing reasons including a broken rib.
She fulfilled the terms of her contract for the rest of the season, but her screen time was cut to just 60 seconds every episode, with Chrissy only making a call to the trio’s flat from her parent’s house in the show’s closing credits.
Somers sued ABC for $2 million after the network cancelled her contract and removed her from the show, claiming her reputation in the entertainment industry was ruined.
An arbitrator chose to resolve the case and found that Somers was owed $30,000 for a single missed show for which she had not been compensated.
Future decisions were likewise in the network and producers’ favour.
Somers claims she was let go because she demanded a salary comparable to that of famous male television actors of the era like Carroll O’Connor and Alan Alda.
Through her Hamel/Somers Productions, Suzanne Somers signed a contract with Columbia Pictures Television in 1983.
Just before Ritter passed away in 2003, Somers and her Three’s Company co-star John Ritter repaired their friendship after 20 years of estrangement.
Playboy magazine covers
In 1980 and 1984, Somers appeared in two Playboy cover-feature nude photos.
Stan Malinowski captured Somers’ first series of bikini images during a test photo shoot for the magazine in February 1970, when she was a struggling model and actress.
She was selected as a Playmate candidate in 1971 but objected to a nude photo session beforehand.
She denied ever posing nude (except in a High Society topless photo) during an appearance on The Tonight Show, which led Playboy to release images from the 1970 Malinowski shoot a decade later, in 1980.
Somers posed naked to raise money for her son Bruce Jr’s accident-related disabilities.
A spokeswoman for the Thighmaster
Somers became a Las Vegas performer in the 1980s.
She was the spokesperson in several infomercials for the Thighmaster, a piece of exercise gear inserted between the thighs, in the early 1990s.
She also performed abroad for American service members during her career.
Somers was recognized as a “legend” in the industry when Direct Marketing Response inducted her into the infomercial Hall of Fame on May 2, 2014.
She’s the Sheriff
Somers made her first comeback to a series at the height of her fame as the official spokesman for Thighmaster infomercials, though not on network television.
She starred in the first-run syndication sitcom. She was the Sheriff in 1987.
As a widow with two young children, Somers played a woman who chose to take over her late husband’s role as the sheriff of a Nevada town. There were two seasons of the show.
Step by Step
Somers returned to network television in 1990, mainly starring for ABC in several guest parts and made-for-TV films.
Lorimar Television and Miller-Boyett Productions, creating a new sitcom, were interested in her roles in these, including the film Rich Men, Single Women.
Inadvertently drawing attention to Somers from both production companies due to Locklear’s starring role in Going Places (from Lorimar and Miller/Boyett), Somers co-starred in the movie with Heather Locklear.
Since Somers alone had produced, She’s the Sheriff, Lorimar saw this as a request for Somers to return.
In the sitcom Step By Step, which starred Patrick Duffy, Somers successfully returned to series television in September 1991.
The show was a hit for young adults. A week after Step By Step debuted, ABC aired Keeping Secrets, a two-hour dramatization of Somers that starred the actress based on her first autobiography.
The film tells the story of Somers’ rough background, family, and her last ascent to celebrity.
In 1994, Somers also debuted a daytime chat program suitably named Suzanne Somers, which ran for one season to capitalize on her resurrected career.
Following the conclusion of its sixth season on ABC in 1997, Step By Step moved to CBS that fall for what would end up being its final season.
Somers was selected to co-host the network’s reboot of Candid Camera with Peter Funt later that season because her series was now broadcast on CBS.
When CBS decided to revive Candid Camera with Peter Funt, Somers co-hosted the program from 1997 to 1999. Before PAX TV renewed the series without Somers, she stayed for two years.
The Blonde in the Thunderbird
The Blonde in the Thunderbird is a collection of tales about Somers’ life and work.
It was a one-woman show that she performed on Broadway in the summer of 2005.
Despite being scheduled to run through September, the production was cancelled in less than a week due to unfavourable reviews and weak ticket sales.
Somers launched Suzanne Somers Breaking Through, an online chat program, at CafeMom in 2012.
A reunion with former Three’s Company co-star Joyce DeWitt was featured in three of the episodes; the two had not spoken or interacted in 31 years.
In a brief conversation, Somers and Dewitt expressed their gratitude for speaking to John Ritter just before his passing.
The Suzanne Show
Somers hosted The Suzanne Show, which ran on the Lifetime Network for a 13-episode season in the autumn of 2012.
Somers greeted numerous visitors who spoke on various health and fitness-related subjects.
Dancing with the Stars
Somers was revealed to be one of the celebrities competing on the 20th season of Dancing with the Stars on February 24, 2015. Tony Dovolani, a professional dancer, was her partner. Somers and Dovolani, who placed ninth overall, were eliminated during the competition’s fifth week.
Health and Wellness Advocacy
Somers has always been interested in health and wellness, and in the late 1990s, she became a vocal advocate for alternative medicine and natural remedies.
She has written several books, including “Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones” and “Tox-Sick: From Toxic to Not Sick.”
In 2001, Somers received a breast cancer diagnosis. She chose to treat cancer with a combination of surgery and alternative therapies, including bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
She has credited this treatment for her successful recovery and has become an outspoken advocate for bioidentical hormone therapy.
In addition to her entertainment and health advocacy work, Somers has also been involved in several business ventures.
In the 1990s, she launched a jewellery line on the Home Shopping Network.
She has also had success with her line of skincare products, as well as her line of home furnishings.
In 2012, Somers launched a line of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy products called “Suzanne Organics.”
The line includes creams, serums, and supplements designed to help women with various health issues, including menopause, weight loss, and sexual dysfunction.
4. Suzanne Sommers’s net worth
American actress Suzanne Somers has a $100 million fortune.
Even though Suzanne Somers is most well-known for her roles in the popular sitcoms Three’s Company and Step By Step, she has become a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur.
In addition, Suzanne Somers has gained notoriety for her self-help publications, many of which focus on complementary medicine.
Even though Somers has gained some controversy over the years, her success is undeniable.
5. Suzanne Sommers’s personal life
Suzanne was 19 years old when she first married.
She also welcomed her first child that year.
After three years, the marriage was over.
Somers has been married three times. Her first marriage, to Bruce Somers ended in divorce in 1968.
In 1977, she married Alan Hamel, who has been her second husband ever since. Somers has one child, a son named Bruce, from her first marriage.
Multiple homes are owned by Suzanne and Alan in Southern California. They once had a $35 million listing for a sizable property in Palm Springs called “Les Baux de Palm Springs,” which stands on 73 acres. Since the late 1970s, they have been the property’s owners.
The cost was reduced by over half to $14.5 million in 2018 and then again to just $9.5 million in 2019.
Before 2018, they donated 480 acres of land in northern Palm Springs to the Coachella Valley Conservation Commission.
They invested $2.3 million in a Malibu seaside home in 1999.
They acquired the adjacent lot in 2001 for $2.35 million, giving them 190 feet of ocean frontage.
A fire in 2007 destroyed one of the houses while only severely damaging the other.
As of this writing, they have yet to find a buyer for the combined two-lot property they listed in 2018 for $16.2 million.
Later, it was revealed that they were downsizing to the nearby home they had previously bought and that the property had been put up for auction due to repeated failure to find a buyer.
Suzanne Somers’ multifaceted career, from her iconic role in “Three’s Company” to her controversial advocacy for alternative medicine, showcases a woman of resilience and success.
Her entrepreneurial ventures and personal life reflect her enduring influence.