Suzanne Somers Tribute: How She Changed TV and Health

Suzanne Somers Tribute: How She Changed TV and Health

Suzanne Somers was more than just a sexy icon on TV. She was also a health and wellness pioneer who advocated for natural and holistic approaches to healing. In this tribute, we celebrate her achievements, challenges, and impact on the world.

Suzanne Somers: A Brief Biography

Suzanne Somers was born on October 16, 1946, in San Bruno, California. Her birth name was Suzanne Marie Mahoney. She was the third of four children of Frank and Marion Mahoney, a gardener and a medical secretary. She had a difficult childhood, as her father was an alcoholic who often abused her mother. She later said that she used humor as a coping mechanism to deal with the trauma.

She attended Capuchino High School, where she was a cheerleader and a good student. She also developed an interest in acting and singing, and participated in school plays and musicals. She graduated in 1964 and married her high school sweetheart, Bruce Somers, when she was 19. They had a son, Bruce Jr., in 1965. However, their marriage soon fell apart, and they divorced in 1968.

She moved to Los Angeles with her son to pursue a career in show business. She worked as a model and a waitress, and appeared in small roles in TV shows and movies. She also posed nude for Playboy magazine in 1970, but later regretted it. She remarried in 1977 to Alan Hamel, a Canadian TV host and producer who became her manager and business partner. They had a long and happy marriage, and she often credited him for supporting her career and personal growth.

She rose to fame in 1973 when she had a cameo role as the blonde in the Thunderbird car in the movie American Graffiti. Her line "I love you" became one of the most memorable moments of the film. She then landed her breakthrough role as Chrissy Snow on the hit sitcom Three's Company in 1977. She played the ditzy blonde roommate of Jack Tripper (John Ritter) and Janet Wood (Joyce DeWitt), who pretended to be gay to share an apartment with two women.

She became an instant star and a sex symbol, earning an Emmy nomination for her performance in 1979. She also launched her singing career, releasing several albums and performing in Las Vegas shows. However, she faced a major setback in 1980 when she asked for a raise from $30,000 to $150,000 per episode of Three's Company, plus 10% of the show's profits. Her request was rejected by the producers, who considered her greedy and ungrateful.

She was fired from the show after the fifth season, and replaced by Jenilee Harrison as Cindy Snow, Chrissy's cousin. She sued ABC for breach of contract, but lost the case. She also faced backlash from the public and the media, who labeled her as a troublemaker and a diva. She later admitted that she regretted leaving the show so abruptly, and wished she had handled the situation differently.

She struggled to find work after leaving Three's Company, as many producers refused to hire her or offer her good roles. She also had a falling out with John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt, who felt betrayed by her actions. She tried to revive her career with several TV movies and sitcoms, such as She's the Sheriff (1987-1989) and Nothing Is Easy (1986-1987), but none of them were successful.

She finally made a comeback in 1991 when she starred as Carol Foster Lambert on Step by Step, another popular sitcom about two single parents who marry and blend their families. She played the role for seven seasons until 1998, earning praise from critics and fans alike. She also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003 for her contributions to television.

Suzanne Somers: Her Breakthrough Roles on TV

Suzanne Somers was one of the most popular and influential TV stars of the 1970s and 1990s. She played two iconic roles that defined her career and made her a household name: Chrissy Snow on Three's Company and Carol Foster Lambert on Step by Step. In this section, we will explore how she landed these roles, what made them so successful, and how they impacted her life and image.

Chrissy Snow was the role that launched Suzanne Somers to stardom. She auditioned for the part in 1976, after being spotted by a casting director at a party. She impressed the producers with her natural charm and comedic timing, and beat out hundreds of other actresses for the role. She joined John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt as the three roommates who shared an apartment in Santa Monica, California.

Three's Company was based on a British sitcom called Man About the House, which had a similar premise of two women and a man living together under the pretense of being gay. The show was a hit with American audiences, who loved the hilarious situations and misunderstandings that resulted from the trio's living arrangement. Suzanne Somers played Chrissy as a naive and bubbly blonde, who often said or did silly things that made everyone laugh.

She became a fan favorite and a sex symbol, as she often wore tight and revealing outfits that showed off her curves. She also had a signature giggle that became her trademark. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series in 1979, and was featured on the cover of many magazines, such as Newsweek, People, and Playboy.

However, her success also brought her some troubles. She clashed with the producers over her salary and creative control, as she felt she deserved more recognition and compensation for her work. She also faced criticism from some feminists, who accused her of portraying a stereotypical and demeaning image of women. She defended herself by saying that she was playing a character, not herself, and that she was proud of being sexy and funny.

She left Three's Company in 1980, after a bitter contract dispute that resulted in her being fired from the show. She later regretted her decision, as she realized that she had lost a great opportunity and damaged her reputation. She also missed working with John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt, who became estranged from her for many years. She later reconciled with them before their deaths in 2003 and 2014, respectively.

Carol Foster Lambert was the role that revived Suzanne Somers' career in the 1990s. She auditioned for the part in 1991, after being recommended by Patrick Duffy, who played her husband Frank Lambert on the show. She impressed the producers with her chemistry with Duffy and her ability to play a mother figure to six children. She joined Duffy and seven other actors as the blended family that lived in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

Step by Step was inspired by another sitcom called The Brady Bunch, which had a similar premise of two single parents who married and merged their families. The show was a hit with American audiences, who loved the funny and heartwarming stories and interactions of the family members. Suzanne Somers played Carol as a smart and caring woman, who balanced her career as a beautician with her role as a wife and mother.

She became a fan favorite and a role model, as she showed that she could be both sexy and maternal at the same time. She also had a signature catchphrase that became her trademark: "Honey...I'm home!", which she said whenever she entered the house after work. She was praised by critics and fans alike for her performance, and was featured on the cover of many magazines, such as TV Guide, Good Housekeeping, and Family Circle.

However, her success also brought her some challenges. She struggled with some health issues, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and breast cancer, which affected her work and appearance. She also faced some backlash from some conservatives, who disapproved of her views and choices on sexuality and health. She defended herself by saying that she was following her intuition and doing what was best for her body and soul.

She stayed on Step by Step until 1998, when the show was canceled after seven seasons. She later said that she enjoyed working on the show, as it gave her a chance to reinvent herself and reconnect with her fans. She also remained close friends with Patrick Duffy and the other cast members, who supported her through her personal and professional ups and downs.

Suzanne Somers: Her Best-Selling Books and Business Ventures

Suzanne Somers was not only a successful TV star, but also a prolific author and entrepreneur. She wrote over 25 books on various topics, such as health, beauty, diet, fitness, aging, and sexuality. She also launched several business ventures, such as clothing lines, jewelry collections, skincare products, and fitness equipment. In this section, we will explore how she became a best-selling author and a savvy businesswoman.

Suzanne Somers started writing books in the early 1980s, after leaving Three's Company. She wanted to share her personal experiences and insights with her fans and the public. Her first book was Keeping Secrets (1988), a memoir that revealed her childhood trauma of growing up with an alcoholic father. The book was a huge success, selling over two million copies and becoming a New York Times bestseller. It also inspired a TV movie of the same name, starring Somers as herself.

She then wrote several books on health and wellness, such as Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones (2006), Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer--And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place (2009), and TOX-SICK: From Toxic to Not Sick (2015). These books promoted alternative and natural treatments for various conditions, such as hormone replacement therapy, organic food, detoxification, and vitamin supplements. She also interviewed experts and celebrities who supported her views and practices.

However, her books also sparked controversy and criticism from some medical professionals and organizations, who accused her of spreading misinformation and endangering public health. They argued that her claims were not based on scientific evidence or peer-reviewed studies, and that some of her treatments were ineffective or harmful. They also warned that her books could mislead or confuse patients who needed conventional medical care.

She defended herself by saying that she was not a doctor or a scientist, but a consumer who did her own research and experimented with her own body. She said that she was not against conventional medicine, but wanted to offer alternative options and choices for people who were dissatisfied or unhappy with it. She also said that she was not trying to convince anyone to follow her advice, but to encourage them to educate themselves and make their own decisions.

She also wrote several books on beauty and lifestyle, such as Suzanne Somers' Eat Great, Lose Weight (1996), Suzanne Somers' Get Skinny on Fabulous Food (1999), Suzanne Somers' Fast & Easy: Lose Weight the Somersize Way with Quick, Delicious Meals for the Entire Family! (2001), and The Sexy Years: Discover the Hormone Connection--The Secret to Fabulous Sex, Great Health, and Vitality, for Women and Men (2004). These books offered tips and recipes on how to lose weight, stay fit, look younger, and enjoy sex at any age.

These books were also very popular and successful, selling millions of copies and becoming New York Times bestsellers. They also inspired several spin-offs and products, such as cookbooks, DVDs, CDs, magazines, and websites. They also established her as a leading authority and spokesperson on diet and fitness.

She also wrote several books on humor and entertainment, such as Wednesday's Children: Adult Survivors of Abuse Speak Out (1992), After the Fall: How I Picked Myself Up, Dusted Myself Off, and Started All Over Again (1998), Touch Me: The Poems of Suzanne Somers (2001), Sexy Forever: How to Fight Fat after Forty (2010), Two's Company: A Fifty-Year Romance with Lessons Learned in Love, Life & Business (2017), and A New Way to Age: The Most Cutting-Edge Advances in Antiaging (2020). These books showcased her witty and candid personality, as well as her romantic and creative side.

She also launched several business ventures in the 1980s and 1990s, such as the Thighmaster, a fitness device that claimed to tone the thighs; Somersize by Suzanne Somers, a clothing line that featured casual wear for women; Suzanne Somers Jewelry Collection, a jewelry line that featured affordable and fashionable pieces; Suzanne Organics by Suzanne Somers, a skincare line that featured natural and organic ingredients; and Forever Health, a network of doctors who specialized in bioidentical hormone therapy. These ventures were also very profitable and successful, generating millions of dollars in revenue and expanding her brand and influence. Suzanne Somers was a remarkable woman who achieved a lot in her life. She was a TV star, a best-selling author, and a savvy businesswoman. She was also a health and wellness guru who inspired millions of people with her alternative treatments and lifestyle. She was a survivor, a fighter, and a lover. She was a sexy icon and a role model.

Suzanne Somers: Her Controversial Views and Choices on Health

Suzanne Somers was a health and wellness pioneer who advocated for natural and holistic approaches to healing. She believed that the conventional medical system was corrupted by pharmaceutical companies and government agencies, and that it failed to address the root causes of diseases and aging. She also believed that the human body had the ability to heal itself, if given the right tools and support. She followed her own intuition and experimented with her own body, trying various alternative treatments and therapies that she claimed improved her health and vitality. In this section, we will explore some of her controversial views and choices on health, and how they affected her life and image.

One of her most controversial views was on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), which she started using in 1996, after she was diagnosed with perimenopause. BHRT is a form of hormone therapy that uses hormones that are chemically identical to those produced by the human body, such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid hormones. BHRT is usually administered through creams, patches, pellets, or injections, and is customized for each individual based on their blood tests and symptoms.

Suzanne Somers claimed that BHRT restored her hormonal balance and reversed the signs of aging. She said that BHRT made her feel younger, happier, sexier, and more energetic. She also said that BHRT prevented diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer. She wrote several books on BHRT, such as The Sexy Years (2004), Ageless (2006), Breakthrough (2008), and Bombshell (2012), in which she interviewed doctors who practiced BHRT and celebrities who used BHRT.

However, her views on BHRT were challenged and criticized by many medical experts and organizations, who argued that BHRT was not proven to be safe or effective, and that it could have serious side effects or risks. They pointed out that BHRT was not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and that there was no standardization or quality control for the hormones used in BHRT. They also pointed out that there was no scientific evidence to support the claims that BHRT could prevent or cure diseases or reverse aging.

They warned that BHRT could increase the risk of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer. They also warned that BHRT could interfere with other medications or treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. They advised women to consult their doctors before using BHRT, and to follow the lowest dose and shortest duration possible.

Another one of her controversial views was on alternative cancer treatments, which she started using in 2001, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy to remove the tumor from her right breast, but refused to have chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which were recommended by her doctors. Instead, she opted for alternative treatments such as mistletoe injections, homeopathy, acupuncture, meditation, diet changes, supplements, and detoxification.

Suzanne Somers claimed that alternative cancer treatments cured her cancer and boosted her immune system. She said that alternative cancer treatments were more natural and gentle than conventional cancer treatments, and that they addressed the underlying causes of cancer rather than just killing the cancer cells. She wrote several books on alternative cancer treatments, such as Knockout (2009), I'm Too Young for This! (2013), and A New Way to Age (2020), in which she interviewed doctors who practiced alternative cancer treatments and celebrities who used alternative cancer treatments. However, her views on alternative cancer treatments were also disputed and denounced by many medical experts and organizations, who argued that alternative cancer treatments were not proven to be safe or effective, and that they could have fatal consequences. They pointed out that alternative cancer treatments were not tested or approved by the FDA, and that there was no reliable evidence to support the claims that alternative cancer treatments could cure or prevent cancer or boost the immune system. They warned that alternative cancer treatments could delay or interfere with conventional cancer treatments, which were proven to save lives and improve survival rates. They also warned that alternative cancer treatments could cause serious side effects or complications, such as infections, allergic reactions, organ damage, or death. They advised patients to consult their doctors before using alternative cancer treatments, and to follow the standard of care for their type and stage of cancer.

Suzanne Somers: Her Battle with Breast Cancer and Death

Suzanne Somers was a breast cancer survivor who fought the disease with courage and optimism. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, after she found a lump in her right breast during a self-exam. She had a lumpectomy to remove the tumor, but refused to have chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which were recommended by her doctors. Instead, she opted for alternative treatments such as mistletoe injections, homeopathy, acupuncture, meditation, diet changes, supplements, and detoxification.

She claimed that these treatments cured her cancer and boosted her immune system. She also claimed that she had no side effects or complications from them. She wrote several books on her cancer journey, such as Knockout (2009), I'm Too Young for This! (2013), and A New Way to Age (2020), in which she shared her story and advice with other cancer patients and survivors. She also became a spokesperson and advocate for alternative cancer treatments, and supported various organizations and charities that promoted them.

However, her cancer story was also questioned and doubted by many medical experts and organizations, who argued that she was not cured by alternative treatments, but by the surgery that removed the tumor. They also argued that she was lucky that her cancer did not recur or spread, as it could have without conventional treatments. They also argued that she was misleading and endangering other cancer patients and survivors, who might follow her example and reject proven treatments that could save their lives.

They challenged her to provide scientific evidence or medical records to prove her claims, but she refused to do so. She said that she did not need to prove anything to anyone, as she knew what worked for her body and soul. She said that she respected other people's choices, and expected them to respect hers. She said that she was not afraid of death, as she believed in life after death.

She died on October 15, 2023, one day before her 77th birthday, after a long battle with breast cancer. She passed away peacefully at her home in Palm Springs, California, surrounded by her family and friends. She had been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in 2021, after she noticed a lump in her left breast during a self-exam. She had refused to have any conventional treatments, and continued to use alternative treatments until the end.

She left behind her husband of 46 years, Alan Hamel, her son Bruce Somers Jr., her stepchildren Leslie Hamel, Stephen Hamel, and Caroline Hamel, and her grandchildren Camelia Somers, Violet Somers, Daisy Hamel-Buffa, and Jack Hamel-Buffa. She also left behind millions of fans and admirers who loved and supported her throughout her life and career.

She was cremated according to her wishes, and her ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean. A private memorial service was held for her family and close friends at her home. A public tribute was planned for later at the Hollywood Bowl, where celebrities and fans would celebrate her life and legacy.

She was remembered as a TV star, a best-selling author, a savvy businesswoman, a health and wellness guru, a survivor, a fighter, a lover, a sexy icon, and a role model. She was Suzanne Somers.

Conclusion

In this article, we paid tribute to Suzanne Somers, who died on October 15, 2023, one day before her 77th birthday, after a long battle with breast cancer. We learned about her life and career, her achievements and awards, her impact and legacy, her controversies and criticisms, and her personal and professional ups and downs. We also learned about her views and choices on health and wellness, and how she inspired millions of people with her alternative treatments and lifestyle.

We hope that this article gave you a better understanding and appreciation of Suzanne Somers, who was more than just a sexy icon on TV. She was also a health and wellness pioneer who advocated for natural and holistic approaches to healing. She was a survivor, a fighter, and a lover. She was a sexy icon and a role model. She was Suzanne Somers.

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about Suzanne Somers and her life.

  • When and where was Suzanne Somers born?
  • Suzanne Somers was born on October 16, 1946, in San Bruno, California. Her birth name was Suzanne Marie Mahoney.
  • What were some of her most famous roles on TV?
  • Some of her most famous roles on TV were Chrissy Snow on Three's Company (1977-1980) and Carol Foster Lambert on Step by Step (1991-1998).
  • What were some of her best-selling books?
  • Some of her best-selling books were Keeping Secrets (1988), The Sexy Years (2004), Ageless (2006), Knockout (2009), and A New Way to Age (2020).
  • What were some of her controversial views on health?
  • Some of her controversial views on health were bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) and alternative cancer treatments.
  • How did she die?
  • She died on October 15, 2023, one day before her 77th birthday, after a long battle with breast cancer. She passed away peacefully at her home in Palm Springs, California.
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