Known for her iconic role as Chrissy Snow on "Three's Company," Suzanne Somers, the beloved actress, has died at the age of 76.
Suzanne Somers, the US actress known for her role as Chrissy Snow in "Three's Company," and who became an entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author, has passed away aged 76, after a 23-year battle with breast cancer.
She died in Palm Springs, California, surrounded by family.
“Her family was gathered to celebrate her 77th birthday on October 16th,” the statement read. “Instead, they will celebrate her extraordinary life, and want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly.”
The early acting years
Somers began acting in the late 1960s, earning her first credit in the Steve McQueen film “Bullitt.”
But the spotlight really hit when she was cast as 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.
Somers would later stage a one-woman Broadway show entitled “The Blonde in the Thunderbird,” about her life, 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 in “Three’s Company,” which aired on ABC from 1977 to 1984 - though her participation ended in 1981.
"Three's Company": The iconic role that shaped Suzanne's career
On "Three’s Company," she portrayed Chrissy Snow, the ditzy blonde (stereotypical for the era) alongside John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt in the popular roommate comedy.
“Creating her was actually intellectual,” she told CBS News in 2020. “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.”
In 1980, after four seasons, she insisted that ABC increase her salary by five times and grant her a 10% share of the show's earnings.
“The show’s response was, ‘Who do you think you are?’” Somers told People in 2020. “They said, ‘John Ritter is the star.’”
ABC drastically reduced her role to just 60 seconds per episode and ultimately terminated her contract.
Somers pursued a $2 million lawsuit, asserting that she was simply seeking pay comparable to popular male sitcom actors.
She then went on to star in another successful sitcom, "Step By Step", which aired on ABC’s youth-targeted TGIF lineup.
Somers was also a prolific author, writing books on aging, menopause, beauty, wellness, sex and cancer.