The legendary former “Three’s Company” star Suzanne Somers died on Sunday morning after a decades-long battle with breast cancer just one day before what would have been her 77th birthday. Now, five surprising facts about her life have emerged in the wake of her passing.
Devastated to hear about the passing of Suzanne Somers. A true icon and overall amazing human being. You will be greatly missed, my friend. pic.twitter.com/Hls9eMQObt
— Adam Carolla (@adamcarolla) October 15, 2023
Somers Expressed Conservative Views – Supported Trump, Despised Obama
Unlike the vast majority of Hollywood, Somers wasn’t afraid to both think for herself when it comes to politics and to publicly express conservative views. Back in 2018, Somers risked her career in the liberal entertainment world to voice her support for the then-President Donald Trump.
“I’m happy about him. I’m happy that the economy is doing so much better,” Somers told TMZ of Trump after his first year in office, adding with a laugh, “And now my career is over!”
Actress Suzanne Somers: “I’m happy with Trump. The economy is doing so much better… Now my career is over!” 😂 pic.twitter.com/N4USPMaAHs
— Trevor (@GodBlesssTexas) January 23, 2018
The former President Trump took to social media on Monday to pay tribute to Somers.
“We lost a great Actress and person yesterday, Suzanne Somers,” he wrote. “She was strong, inspirational, kind, and although you’re not supposed to say it anymore, very beautiful. She loved our Country, and brought light to everything and everyone she touched, and will be greatly missed. The World loved you, Suzanne!”
Back in 2014, while the rest of Hollywood was fawning over anything and everything that Barack Obama did, Somers had the courage to speak out against the Democrat.
“This has been the most divisive of all the administrations that I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime,” she told Fox Business at the time, referring to the Obama administration. “And it’s become divisive in the industry that if you’re not part of the group, you should probably keep your thoughts to yourself.”
Somers had explained her political views and her love for this country in an interview two years before that.
Support Conservative Voices!
Sign up to receive the latest political news, insight, and commentary delivered directly to your inbox.
“My politics are very personal: I am an independent and vote the candidate, never the party,” she said in 2012, according to Newsweek. “I love America and feel blessed to have been born into the greatest idea since the dawn of civilization.”
Suzanne Somers passes away at 76 after long cancer battle. She will be missed! ♥️
Best known for her role as Chrissy in Three’s Company! I still laugh when I watch this show! Best News was she was a Patriot and Trump Supporter ♥️🇺🇸#TrumpGirlOnFire 🔥 #SuzanneSomers 💔 pic.twitter.com/ABN984o1TN
— ✞🎀TrumpGirlOnFire 🔥 (@TrumpGirlOnFire) October 15, 2023
Somers Was Fired From ‘Three’s Company’ After Fighting For Equal Pay
Somers became a household name back in 1977 portraying the iconic character of Chrissy Snow on the hit sitcom “Three’s Company” alongside John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt. Though Somers was incredibly popular with fans, she was ultimately fired in 1980 after she dared to ask for a salary equal to Ritter’s. At the time, Somers was only making $30,000 per episode, while Ritter was making $150,000 per episode, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Daily Mail reported that network executives immediately shut Somers down by only offering her an insulting pay raise of just $5,000, and when she continued to fight for equal pay, they fired her.
Many people don’t know what sacrifices Suzanne Somers made for equal pay.
By 1980, she had already won a People’s Choice Award for “favorite female performer,” and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work on Three’s Company.
But her male counterparts made more money – a… pic.twitter.com/iwzY4ZbqQc
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) October 15, 2023
“The night before we went in to renegotiate, I got a call from a friend who had connections high up at ABC and he said, ‘They’re going to hang a nun in the marketplace and the nun is Suzanne,’” Somers’ husband Alan Hamel once recalled to The Hollywood Reporter.
“The network was willing to do this because earlier that year the women on ‘Laverne & Shirley’ had gotten what they asked for and they wanted to put a stop to it,” he added. “They’d destroy the chemistry on ‘Company’ to make a point.”
Somers’ career immediately nosedived, but she was thankfully eventually able to find success again in her future with various endeavors.
“Life isn’t fair,” Somers said. “Getting fired for asking for a raise wasn’t fair, but I landed on my feet and I’ve done OK.”
Suzanne Somers was a brilliant comic actor, who also was one of the first to speak up for equal pay.
One of my first jobs in PR was to work with her on her book.
We talked and talked about Threes Company which is like a dream to me.
This scene, always. pic.twitter.com/5qSpk2W44b
— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) October 15, 2023
Somers Posed For Playboy Multiple Times
Somers posed for Playboy Magazine multiple times throughout her career. She initially got involved with the publication as a young mother desperate for money after her son Bruce was run over by a car.
“He was given a 50/50 chance to live,” Somers once recalled, according to Rare. “The woman who hit him had no insurance. I had no child support, no insurance from the father. And I was broke and being harassed by bill collectors.”
In 1970, Somers agreed to do a test shoot for Playboy after a photographer told her that she could win $15,000 if she posed for the publication and was chosen as Playmate of the Month. After doing one test shoot, Somers decided that she did not want the nude shots to be released, so Playboy didn’t publish them.
That is, not until Somers skyrocketed to fame on “Three’s Company.” After Somers claimed on “The Tonight Show” in early 1980 that she’d never posed nude before, Playboy decided to publish the old test shots that she had done to prove that she in fact had, leaving her devastated.
“Those pictures were taken of me when I was 18. I still had a lot of baby fat,” Somers later told UPI Hollywood. “I’d just had a baby and the photographs were supposed to be a test. They were lousy pictures. I weighed 20 pounds more than I do now.”
“I was hurt and furious when Playboy printed the pictures without my consent,” she added.
RIP Suzanne Somers.
Her 1980 (actually 1970 photos) Playboy spread was very, uh, formative on my youth when I found it in stack at the back of my dad’s closet. pic.twitter.com/fUmVMEvoX7
— QuëënCityJåmz (@QueenCityJamz) October 15, 2023
Somers sued Playboy for this and won $50,000 (just over $180,000 by today’s standards), donating all of the money to charity. Despite this, Playboy approached Somers in 1984 asking her if she’d be willing to pose for them again on her terms.
“I told them they had their nerve after what they did to me the first time,” Somers said. “But Alan and I talked it over when we got home. There were nude pictures of me out there already and they were bad.
“Why should they keep circulating?” she continued. “Why not have some good ones that show me in the best shape I’ve ever been in after six years on the road, doing two shows a night, six nights a week?”
In a surprising twist, Somers took Playboy up on their offer and flew off to Hawaii for a four-day shoot.
“’I had to have 100 percent control,” Somers later said. “Any magazine would choose the most revealing rather than the best pictures. I made sure there were no gynecological shots.
“It killed the magazine to give me final approval of all photos because they were afraid it would set a precedent. But they were gents and lived up to the bargain. They redeemed themselves in my eyes,” she added. “The 14 pictures they used were exactly what I wanted. They have a Bardot quality, stylish and classy.”
Check out her 1984 Playboy cover below.
— Carter Zero (@Carter_Zer0) May 30, 2023
Later in life, Somers appeared to have such fond memories of Playboy that she expressed interest in posing nude once again for the publication for her 75th birthday after a photo she posted to Instagram of herself at 73 in her birthday suit went viral.
“I would like Annie Leibovitz to shoot me nude for Playboy for my 75th birthday,” Somers said in 2020, according to The New York Post.
“I thought that when I was 73 I would be old,” she added. “I’m chronologically old, but I’m not old. I’m enjoying aging because I have acquired wisdom, because I’m not pilled up . . . I love the way I look.”
Somers Reinvents Herself As ThighMaster Icon
In the years after her “Three’s Company” firing, Somers struggled to find more acting roles, and she resorted to taking gigs in Las Vegas to pay the bills. However, everything changed for Somers in 1990, when she began selling the hugely popular fitness tool known as the ThighMaster in infomercials, making a fortune in the process.
“We stopped counting when we sold 10 million of them, but they continue to sell and sell,” Somers said last year, according to Yahoo News. “It’s $19.95 x 10 million, so you kind of do the math. We’re probably at 15 million [sold] now.”
— Morgan Cameron Ross (@Morgan_C_Ross) October 15, 2023
Somers explained that she owns ThighMaster “outright,” adding that she and her husband “had partners, 50-50, and they got drunk on money when it all started selling. They overspent to the point where they could no longer afford to be in their side of the business. We bought them out. We have 100 percent.”
Somers went on to allege that she’s made approximately $300 million from the ThighMaster over the years. When asked why her sales technique proved to be so successful, Somers had a humble response, according to MSN.
“I sell to my age group, that’s what I know,” she simply said, adding that she’s always respects her consumers.
“Always tell the truth,” she advised. “The public is smart, and they can smell BS.”
— Dontez (Black)Trump (@BlackTrump2020) October 15, 2023
Somers 46-Year Marriage
In the crazy world of Hollywood, it’s rare to find a marriage that is actually able to stand the test of time. That’s what makes the decades long marriage of Somers and Hamel so special.
Somers and Hamel, a producer who would become her manager, married in 1977 after nearly a decade of dating. It was the second marriage for them both, but it could not have been more successful, as they were basically inseparable during its entirety. Back in 2021, Somers told US Weekly that Hamel was “the most beautiful part” of her life.
“We give each other a lot of attention. That seems simple, but you’d be amazed at how many couples don’t remember to give one another a lot of attention,” she said. “It’s not, like, a chore for us. I love to hug him and rub his hair. He tells me I’m beautiful all the time and we hold hands while we sleep. It’s the most beautiful part of my life.”
— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) November 20, 2017
The day before Somers died, Hamel gave her an early birthday present that consisted of “a handwritten love poem wrapped in her favorite pink peonies.”
“I weep when I think about my feelings for you. Feelings… That’s getting close, but not all the way,” Hamel wrote, according to Daily Mail. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Read the Love Letter Suzanne Somers’ Husband Alan Hamel Wrote to Her the Day Before Her Death pic.twitter.com/rK6h8RPOmf
— People (@people) October 16, 2023
In 2021, Somers gushed that even after decades of marriage, she and Hamel still held hands “all night” long, adding, “I’ll wake up, and we’re holding hands all the time!”
Hamel was by Somers’ side one last time when she died in her sleep on Sunday morning.
Read the love letter Suzanne Somers’ husband gave her 1 day before her death pic.twitter.com/gCMkQvKBYM
— Daily Pinpoint (@DailyPinpoint) October 16, 2023
As you can see, Somers was truly a one a kind woman, and there will never be another one like her. While she will be dearly missed, she will also never be forgotten.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Somers’ family and friends during this difficult time.
Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #3 on Feedspot’s “100 Best Political Blogs and Websites.”