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Suzanne Somers
Suzanne Somers Sept 2009.jpg
Suzanne Somers at a Blackberry Loves Mavericks cocktail reception at the Royal Ontario Museum during the Toronto International Film Festival in Sept 2009
Personal Information
Gender: Female
Birth name: Suzanne Marie Mahoney
Born: (1946-10-16) 16 October 1946 (age 75)
Career/Family Information
Actress, author, businesswoman, singer, entrepenuer
Character information
Appeared on: Three's Company
Character played: Chrissy Snow, Seasons 1-4, and six episodes in Season 5
Three's Company Script.png

Suzanne Somers (born Suzanne Marie Mahoney 16 October 1946) is an American actress, author, singer and businesswoman, known for her television roles as Chrissy Snow on Three's Company and as Carol Lambert on ABC-TV's Step by Step.

Suzanne later became the author of a series of best-selling self-help books, including Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones (2006), a book about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.[1] She has also released two autobiographies, four diet books, and a book of poetry entitled Touch Me (1980). She currently features items of her design on ShopNBC.

She is criticized for her views on some medical subjects and her advocacy of the Wiley Protocol, which has been labelled as "scientifically unproven and dangerous".[2] Her promotion of alternative cancer treatments has received criticism from the American Cancer Society.

Personal Life

Born Suzanne Marie Mahoney in San Bruno, California, Somers was the third of four children in an Irish Catholic family.[3][4][5] Her mother, Marion Elizabeth (née Turner), was a medical secretary, and her father, Francis Mahoney, was a laborer (loading beer into boxcars) and gardener.[6] Her family attended St. Robert's Catholic Church in San Bruno. She attended Capuchino High School,[7][8] then she was accepted at San Francisco College for Women (commonly referred to as "Lone Mountain College) a Catholic school that is now a campus of the University of San Francisco. She was a contestant on Anniversary Game (1969–70), where she met host Alan Hamel for the first time; they were married in 1977. In 2001 Somers announced that she had breast cancer, having a lumpectomy to remove the cancer followed by radiation therapy. She decided to forego chemotherapy in favor of alternative treatment.[9] On 9 January 2007, the Associated Press reported that a wildfire in Southern California had destroyed Somers' Malibu home.[10]


Early Roles

She began acting in small roles during the late 1960s and early 1970s (including on various talk shows promoting her book of poetry, and bit parts in movies such as the "Blonde in the T-Bird" in American Graffiti, and an episode of the American version of the sitcom Lotsa Luck as the femme fatale] in the early 1970s). She appeared in The Rockford Files and had an uncredited role as a topless pool girl in Magnum Force, both in 1974. She next guest starred on the 1977 episode "Cheshire Project" on The Six Million Dollar Man. She later landed the role of the ditzy blonde "Chrissy Snow" on the ABC-TV sitcom Three's Company in 1977. And also that year she was a celebrity panelist on Match Game 77, hosted by Gene Rayburn.

Three's Company 1977-81

At the beginning of the fifth season, Somers demanded a hefty raise from $30,000 to $150,000 an episode and 10% ownership of the show's profit. Those close to the situation suggested that Somers' rebellion was due to husband Hamel's influences.

When ABC denied her request, Somers boycotted the second and fourth shows of the season, due to several excuses such as a broken rib (which was false). She finished the remaining season on her contract, but her role was decreased to 60 seconds per episode. After her contract was terminated, she sued ABC for $2 million, claiming that her credibility in show business had been damaged. It went to an arbitrator who decided that Somers was owed only $30,000 due to a single missed episode for which she had not been paid. Other rulings favored the producers. Somers has said she was fired because she asked to be paid as much as male actors like Alan Alda of M*A*S*H, and Carroll O'Connor of Archie Bunker's Place.[11]

Before the feud with Three's Company producers and ABC ended, rival network CBS knew that Somers was ultimately going to be available. They signed her to a contract and a development deal for her own sitcom, which was going to be called The Suzanne Somers Show, in which she was to play an "over-the-top" airline stewardess. Once she was indeed available (after her firing from Three's Company), CBS gave Somers – and the public – a timeframe in which to expect the show to hit the air, but due to a change in administration at CBS' entertainment division in early 1982, the brass ended up passing on the project. Also, Somers claimed in her book After the Fall (1998), that the producers of Three's Company kept sending cease and desist forms to CBS stating that Somers could not use any of her Chrissy Snow characterization, and that chilled the creative process.

Playboy Pictorials

Somers appeared in two Playboy cover-feature nude pictorials in 1980 and 1984. The first set of photos was taken by Stan Malinowski in February 1970 when Somers was a struggling model and actress and did a test photo shoot for the magazine. She was accepted as a Playmate candidate in 1971, but declined to pose nude before the actual shoot. During a The Tonight Show appearance, she denied ever posing nude (except for a High Society topless photo), which prompted Playboy to publish the photos from the 1970 Malinowski shoot in February 1980. The second nude pictorial by Richard Fegley appeared in December 1984 in an attempt by Somers to regain her popularity after being terminated by Three's Company in 1982.

Spokeswoman for Thighmaster

During the 1980s, Somers became a Las Vegas entertainer. She was the spokeswoman for the Thighmaster, a piece of exercise equipment that is squeezed between one's thighs. Thighmaster was one of the first products responsible for launching the infomercial concept. During this period of her career, she also performed for US servicemen overseas.[12][13]

She's the Sheriff

At the height of her exposure as official spokesperson for Thighmaster infomercials, Somers made her first return to a series, although not on network television. In 1987, she starred in the sitcom She's the Sheriff, which ran in first-run syndication. Somers portrayed a widow with two young kids who decided to fill the shoes of her late husband, a sheriff of a Nevada town. The show ran for two seasons.

Step by Step

In 1990, Somers returned to network TV, appearing in numerous guest roles and made-for-TV movies, mostly for ABC-TV. Her roles in these, including the movie Rich Men, Single Women, attracted the attention of Lorimar Television and Miller-Milkis-Boyett Productions, who were developing a new sitcom. Somers had starred in the film with Heather Locklear, who inadvertently directed the focus of both production companies to Somers due to Locklear's starring role on Going Places (from Lorimar and Miller/Boyett). For Lorimar, this was asking Somers back, since they alone had produced She's the Sheriff.

In September 1991, Somers returned to series TV in the sitcom Step by Step (with Patrick Duffy who appeared as Bobby Ewing on the 1978-91 series Dallas), which became a success on ABC's youth-oriented TGIF lineup. A week after the premiere of Step by Step, a two-hour biopic of Somers starring the actress herself, entitled Keeping Secrets, was broadcast on ABC. The movie chronicled Somers' troubled family life and upbringing, along with her subsequent rise to fame. Playing off her rejuvenated career, Somers also launched a daytime talk show in 1994, aptly titled Suzanne Somers, which lasted one season. Step by Step continued on ABC until the end of its sixth season in 1997, whereupon the series moved to CBS that fall for what turned out to be its final season. With her sitcom now airing on CBS, Somers was chosen to co-host the network's revival of Candid Camera with Peter Funt, which began airing later that season.

Candid Camera

From 1997–99, Somers cohosted the revised Candid Camera show, when CBS chose to bring it back with Peter Funt. Somers stayed for two years before PAX TV renewed the series without her.


  • Somers, S (1980). Touch Me: The Poems of Suzanne Somers. Workman Publishing. ISBN 0-89480-141-4.
  • Somers, S (1987). Keeping Secrets. Warner Books. ISBN 978-0-446-51395-1.
  • Somers, S (1992). Wednesday's Children: Adult Survivors of Abuse Speak Out. Putnam Adult. ISBN 0-399-13743-2.
  • Somers, S (1998). After the Fall: How I Picked Myself Up, Dusted Myself Off, and Started All Over Again. rown Publishing Group. ISBN 0-609-60312-4.
  • Somers, S (1999). Suzanne Somers' Get Skinny on Fabulous Food. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-609-60162-4.
  • Somers, S (1999). Suzanne Somers' 365 Ways to Change Your Life. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-609-60161-7.
  • Somers, S (2001). Suzanne Somers' Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-609-60722-0.
  • Somers, S (2001). Suzanne Somers' Eat Great, Lose Weight (Miniature Editions). Running Press. ISBN 978-0-7624-1160-3.
  • Somers, S (2001). Somersize Desserts. Clarkson Potter. ISBN 978-0-609-60977-4.
  • Somers, S (2002). Suzanne Somers' Fast and Easy: Lose Weight the Somersize Way with Quick, Delicious Meals for the Entire Family!. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4000-4643-0.
  • Somers, S (2004). The Sexy Years: Discover the Hormone Connection - The Secret to Fabulous Sex, Great Health, and Vitality, for Women and Men. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 0-609-60721-9.
  • Somers, S (2004). Somersize Chocolate. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4000-5329-2.
  • Somers, S (2005). Suzanne Somers' Slim and Sexy Forever: The Hormone Solution for Permanent Weight Loss and Optimal Living. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4000-5325-4.
  • Somers, S (2005). Somersize Cocktails: 30 Sexy Libations from Cool Classics to Unique Concoctions to Stir Up Any Occasion. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4000-5330-8.
  • Somers, S (2005). Somersize Appetizers: 30 Scintillating Starters to Tantalize Your Tastebuds at Every Occasion. Crown Publishing Grou. ISBN 978-1-4000-5331-5.
  • Somers, S (2006). Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 0-307-23724-9.
  • Somers, S (2008). Breakthrough: Eight Steps to Wellness. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 1-4000-5327-7.
  • Somers, S (2009). Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer--And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-58746-6.
  • Somers, S (2009). Stay Young & Sexy with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement: The Science Explained. Smart Publications. ISBN 978-1-890572-22-8.
  • Somers, S (2010). Sexy Forever: How to Fight Fat after Forty. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-58851-7.


  1. Ellin, A. "Battle Over 'Juice of Youth'", The New York Times, 2006-10-15. 
  2. Schwartz E, Schwarzbein D. et al. (October 11, 2006). Letter to Suzanne Somers. Dr Erika's blog. Retrieved on 2007-12-01.
  3. Buckley, T. "At the Movies; From playing dumb to playing a lawyer", The New York Times, 1980-02-22. Retrieved on 2009-09-09. 
  4. Hannity, S; Colmes A (2004-07-04). Suzanne Somers Gives Advice on Aging Gracefully. Fox News Channel. Retrieved on 2009-09-09.
  5. Kuchwara, M (2005-07-22). Somers on Broadway...briefly. The Kansas City Star. Retrieved on 2009-09-09.
  6. Suzanne Somers Biography (1926-). Retrieved on 2009-09-09.
  7. Suzanne Somers. Speakers. Speakers and Entertainment. Retrieved on 10 December 2009. Template:Dead link
  8. Celebrity Trivia - Suzanne Somers. Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Inc.. Retrieved on 11 December 2009.
  9. Schneider, KS. "A Matter of Choice", 'People magazine, 2001-04-30. Retrieved on 2009-09-09. 
  10. Malibu Fire Destroys Four Mansions, Including Suzanne Somers' Home. Fox News Channel (2007-01-10). Retrieved on 2009-09-09.
  11. Kohen, Y (2009-03-14). We'll Show You Who's FUNNY. Marie Claire.
  12. O'Connor, John J., "TV: Suzanne Somers Plays for G.I.'s", The New York Times, January 3, 1983.
  13. Zielsdorf, Bruce E., "Armed Forces 'Salute' Suzanne Somers on Broadway", July 12, 2005. Army Public Affairs (press release)

External Links