Cause of Death for Suzanne Somers Is In

Breast cancer had spread to brain of 'Three's Company' actor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 15, 2023 4:15 PM CDT
Updated Oct 28, 2023 9:30 AM CDT
Suzanne Somers Was Sitcom Star and ThighMaster
Suzanne Somers is seen during the funeral services for Merv Griffin at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills in 2007.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, Pool, File)
UPDATE Oct 28, 2023 9:30 AM CDT

Suzanne Somers had battled breast cancer for decades, and that was indeed her official cause of death, reports People. But as the death certificate shows for the Three's Company actor, who died at age 76 earlier this month, that cancer had spread, per the Blast. "Breast cancer with metastasis to the brain" is how it was detailed on the document, with a note that a biopsy had been performed to confirm the findings. An autopsy, however, wasn't conducted. The death certificate listed high blood pressure and hydrocephalus (fluid buildup in the brain) as contributing factors to Somers' death.

Oct 15, 2023 4:15 PM CDT

Suzanne Somers, the effervescent blonde actor known for playing Chrissy Snow on the television show Three's Company as well as her business endeavors, has died. She was 76. Somers had breast cancer for over 23 years and died Sunday morning, her family said in a statement, per the AP. Her husband, Alan Hamel; her son, Bruce, and other family members were with her, "gathered to celebrate her 77th birthday" on Monday, the statement read. "Instead, they will celebrate her extraordinary life, and want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly." In July, Somers shared on Instagram that her breast cancer had returned. "Like any cancer patient, when you get that dreaded, 'It's back,' you get a pit in your stomach. Then I put on my battle gear and go to war," she told Entertainment Tonight at the time. Somers was first diagnosed in 2000, and also had skin cancer.

She faced criticism for her reliance on what she's described as a chemical-free and organic lifestyle to combat the cancers. Somers 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. Somers went nameless in her first attention-getting role, as the object of Richard Dreyfuss' longing in a white Thunderbird in the 1973 hit film American Graffiti. She followed that up with small parts until she won the part of Chrissy for the third pilot to be shot for Three's Company in 1977, per Variety. Cast with John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt as her roommates, Somers provided a "bubbling presence" in a sea of endless double-entendres around the scandalous concept of unrelated people of various sexes sharing an apartment.

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"It was a show that never stopped talking about sex even though none of its principal characters actually had any," Variety says. The gig fell apart when Somers wanted a five-fold increase in her pay to $150,000 per episode and a 10% cut of the show's profits, displeasing her costars. She was written out of Three's Company after the 1980-81 season. Somers then sang in Las Vegas and appeared in other sitcoms, including Step by Step. But she made her fortune with a business empire she ran with her husband built around infomercials hawking the ThighMaster. The evidence that the ThighMaster works was clear, Entertainment Weekly wrote in 1992: "Just look at the legs it has given the career of its spokesperson." (More obituary stories.)

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