Just hours before she passed, her husband of 46 years, Alan Hamel, 87, gave her an early birthday present consisting of ‘a handwritten love poem wrapped in her favorite pink peonies.’
One of the most storied sitcom stars of the 70s and 80s, Somers was also known for her starring stint in ABC’s Step By Step, where she played a single mom opposite Dallas alum Patrick Duffy.
Her publicist on Sunday confirmed she succumbed to her illness while surrounded by family at her California home. She said in a statement that it was an aggressive form of breast cancer that began plaguing the actress more than 23 years ago.
Somers was in the process of seeking treatment for her breast cancer in the Midwest but it was sadly unsuccessful and she had returned to California.
Actor Suzanne Somers, the effervescent blonde actor known for playing Chrissy Snow on the television show ‘Three’s Company,’ as well as her business endeavors, died early on Sunday
‘Three’s Company’ star Suzanne Somers has passed away aged 76 after a lengthy battle with cancer . It was the day before her 77th birthday
‘I weep when I think about my feelings for you. Feelings… That’s getting close, but not all the way,’ Hamel wrote in his poem for his wife.
’55 years together, 46 married and not even one hour apart for 42 of those years. Even that doesn’t do it. Even going to bed at 6 o’clock and holding hands while we sleep doesn’t do it. Staring at your beautiful face while you sleep doesn’t do it,’ Hamel wrote.
‘I’m back to feelings. There are no words. There are no actions. No promises. No declarations. Even the green shaded scholars of the Oxford University Press have spent 150 years and still have failed to come up with that one word. So I will call it, ‘Us,’ uniquely, magically, indescribably wonderful ‘Us.”
Somer’s cancer battle was not the actress’s first bout with the disease – she revealed this past July that she had been struggling on-and-off with cancer since even before her break as Chrissy Snow on the popular program in 1977.
Now at rest, she is survived by husband Alan, 87, 57-year-old son Bruce, and two adult children and six grandchildren – all of whom had been present ahead of her birthday, her publicist said in a statement sent to members of the media.
She is survived by her husband Alan and her son Bruce, who had been gathered at the star’s California home in anticipation of her birthday, her publicist said
One of the most storied sitcom stars of the 70s and 80s, Somers passed away peacefully at her home Sunday after a 23-year struggle with breast cancer – a disease that’s plagued her on-and-off since well before her stint as Chrissy Snow on the popular program
‘Suzanne Somers passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of October 15th,’ Hay said.
‘She survived an aggressive form of breast cancer for over 23 years,’ it went on to reveal.
‘Suzanne was surrounded by her loving husband Alan, her son Bruce, and her immediate family. Her family was gathered to celebrate her 77th birthday.
‘Instead, they will celebrate her extraordinary life, and want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly.’
Hay added that a private family burial should take place sometime this week, with a memorial for the acting icon slated for some time next month.
Somers was born in 1946 in San Bruno, California, to a gardener father and a medical secretary mother. She began acting in the late 1960s, playing the blonde driving the white Thunderbird in George Lucas´s 1973 film ‘American Graffiti.’ Her only line was mouthing the words ‘I love you’ to Richard Dreyfuss´s character.
At her audition, Lucas just asked her if she could drive. She later said that moment ‘changed her life forever.’
Somers would later stage a one-woman Broadway show entitled ‘The Blonde in the Thunderbird,’ which drew largely scathing reviews.
She appeared in many television shows in the 1970s, including ‘The Rockford Files,’ ‘Magnum Force’ and ‘The Six Million Dollar Man,’ but her most famous part came with ‘Three´s Company,’ which aired on ABC from 1977 to 1984 – though her participation ended in 1981.
On ‘Three´s Company,’ she was the ditzy blonde opposite John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt in the roommate comedy where she lived with a woman and a man posing as gay.
She quickly found recognition not only for her acting chops, but her new found status as a sex symbol – a distinction earned over five years on the program.
In 1980, after four seasons, she asked for a raise from $30,000 an episode to $150,000 an episode, which would have been comparable to what Ritter was getting paid. Hamel, a former television producer, had encouraged the ask.
‘The show´s response was, `’Who do you think you are?” Somers told People in 2020. ‘They said, ‘John Ritter is the star.”
Love letter Suzanne Somers’ husband gave her before she died
Love I use it every day, sometimes several times a day. I use it at the end of emails to my loving family. I even use it in emails to close friends. I use it when I’m leaving the house.
There’s love, then love you and I love you!! Therein lies some of the different ways we use love. Sometimes I feel obliged to use love, responding to someone who signed love in their email, when I’m uncomfortable using love but I use it anyway.
I also use love to describe a great meal. I use it to express how I feel about a show on Netflix. I often use love referring to my home, my cat Gloria, to things Gloria does, to the taste of a cantaloupe I grew in my garden. I love the taste of a freshly harvested organic royal jumbo medjool date. I love biting a fig off the tree. I love watching two giant blackbirds who live nearby swooping by my window in a power dive. My daily life encompasses things and people I love and things and people I am indifferent to.
I could go on ad infinitum, but you get it. What brand of love do I feel for my my wife Suzanne? Can I find it in any of the above? A resounding no!!!! There is no version of the word that is applicable to Suzanne and I even use the word applicable advisedly.
The closest version in words isn’t even close. It’s not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction. Unconditional love does not do it. I’ll take a bullet for you doesn’t do it. I weep when I think about my feelings for you. Feelings… That’s getting close, but not all the way.
55 years together, 46 married and not even one hour apart for 42 of those years. Even that doesn’t do it. Even going to bed at 6 o’clock and holding hands while we sleep doesn’t do it. Staring at your beautiful face while you sleep doesn’t do it.
I’m back to feelings. There are no words. There are no actions. No promises. No declarations. Even the green shaded scholars of the Oxford University Press have spent 150 years and still have failed to come up with that one word. So I will call it, ‘Us,’ uniquely, magically, indescribably wonderful ‘Us.’
Somers earned fames starring alongside John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt on Three’s Company in the 70s and 80s, a stretch that has since proved iconic in the annals of American TV
Once a fresh-faced Bay Area actress with only a handful of minor roles to her name, Somers’ big break came in the latter half of the 1970s, when she snagged the part of Snow, a ditzy 20-something who lived with a woman and a man posing as a homosexual
Somers was ultimately was from the show in 1981 following a contract dispute with producers – but her fame for the most part stayed, with a series of starring spots on multiple TV movies, and cameos on shows such as Full House
She was ultimately fired from the show in 1981 following a contract dispute with producers. Her character was replaced by two different roommates for the remaining years the show aired. It also led to a rift with her co-stars and they didn’t speak for many years.
Somers took the break as an opportunity to pursue new avenues, including a Las Vegas act, writing books, hosting a talk show and becoming an entrepreneur.
Somers did reconcile with Ritter before his death, and then with DeWitt on her online talk show.
Her fame for the most part stayed, with a series of starring spots on multiple TV movies, and cameos on shows such as Full House.
Within a decade, Somers was again graced with another plum primetime part – this time as the matriarch on the T.G.I.F. sitcom Step by Step, which ran for seven seasons until 1997.
This time, Somers – who wed second husband Alan in 1977 – stayed for the entire stint, during which she enjoyed a lengthy resurgence.
In the 1990s, she also became the spokesperson for the Thighmaster which saw her appear in informercials. The iconic partnership she once said earned her more than $300,000.
She went on to take a step away from acting in 2001 – but the impact she left on the American consciousness through her TV and film appearances hardly seemed to wane.
Somers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2003 literally cementing her status as a cultural icon.
Even now, more than two decades later, she remains one of the most recognizable figures of the small screen.
But behind her success was several bitter bouts with cancer – ones she revealed in an interview this summer that have plagued her for the better part of a half-century.
Within a decade, Somers was again graced with another plum primetime part – this time as the matriarch on the T.G.I.F. sitcom Step by Step opposite Dallas’s Patrick Duffy, which ran for seven seasons until 1997
This time, Somers – who wed second husband Alan in 1977 – stayed for the entire stint, during which she enjoyed a lengthy resurgence, along with hours of informercials for Thighmaster, an iconic partnership she once said earned her more than $300,000
She went on to take a step away from acting in 2001 – but the impact she left on the American consciousness through her TV and film appearances hardly seemed to wane
Even now, more than two decades later, she remains one of the most recognizable figures of the small screen
She told Entertainment Tonight: ‘I have been living with cancer since my 20’s. And every time that little f***** pops up, I continue to bat it back,’
‘I do my best not to let this insidious disease control me,’
The red carpet fixture – who also appeared in early George Lucas work American Graffiti in 1973 – did not specify what type of cancer she had been battling at the time, but from her publicist’s statement, it is apparent it was the same malady that claimed her life Sunday.
At the time, she said she was making it through thanks to both Hamel and Bruce – her son with first husband Bruce Somers Sr. – her side.
‘My cancer is a disease that affected my whole family and once it hit me in my 20’s, Alan and I got even closer and every moment of every day was precious,’ she said.
‘We have not spent even one day apart in over 42 years. That’s the big upside of my cancer.’
Hollywood star: Flowers were placed in tribute on Sunday on her star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame
TV star: The television star received her star on the Hollywood walk of fame in January 2003
Fan favorite: Somers became a fan favorite playing Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company
Aside from Bruce and her husband, Somers also leaves behind younger children Steven and Leslie Somers, both of whom are married with multiple kids, who Hay on Sunday said will also miss their grandaughter.
‘There were all these plans and she was always working and dreaming and had brought her family into the business, and the grandchildren and step-children were all part of the business,’ the publicist told People in a separate statement, adding that she was ‘very engaged right to the end.’
In fact, just a few days earlier, she told the outlet that she was looking forward to being with her ‘nearest and dearest’ on her special day, including her ‘beloved husband Alan [Hamel], our three children, Leslie, Stephen, and Bruce, [his wife] Caroline, plus our six wonderful grandchildren.’
She added that all of Somers’s ‘immediate family’ were present for her last moments.