Real name: Suzanne Marie Mahoney
Birthdate: October 16, 1946
Partner: Alan Hamel
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Suzanne Somers (born October 16, 1946) is an American actress, author, and businesswoman. Best known for her role as the ditzy blonde Chrissy Snow on the ABC sitcom Three's Company, she also had a noted starring role on the sitcom Step by Step as Carol Foster Lambert. She later capitalized on her acting career by also establishing herself as an author of a series of self-help books. She currently features items of her design on the Home Shopping Network.
Somers was born Suzanne Marie Mahoney, the third of four children in Frank and Marion Mahoney's Irish Catholic household in San Bruno, California. Her father was an alcoholic who could become violent on occasion, as Somers recounted, often forcing her to hide in her closet. She suffered from dyslexia and was a poor student. After being expelled from parochial school for having love notes in her locker, Suzanne went to Crestmoor High School. Due to his drinking problem, her father was too inebriated to attend Suzanne's high school graduation in June, 1964.
Before the feud with Three's Company producers and ABC even ended, rival network CBS knew that Somers was going to be available in the end. They eventually 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 played an "over-the-top" airline stewardess. Once she was finally available, CBS gave Somers- and the public- a timeframe in which the show was supposed to premiere, but due to a change in administration at CBS's entertainment division in early 1982, the brass ended up passing on the project. Also, Suzanne claimed in her book After the Fall (1998) that the producers of Three's Company kept sending "cease & desist" forms to CBS stating that Suzanne couldn't use any of her Chrissy Snow characterization, and that chilled the creative process.
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 southern town. The show ran for two seasons. In 1990, Somers returned to network TV, appearing in numerous guest roles and made-for-TV movies, mostly for ABC. Her roles in these, including the movie Rich Men, Single Women, attracted the attention of Lorimar Television and Miller-Boyett Productions, who were developing a new sitcom. For Lorimar, this was asking Somers back, since they alone had produced She's the Sheriff.
As a business executive Somers has created a multi million dollar lifestyle empire. Through her companies ELO Somers and Port Carling Inc, of which Somers serves as president, Somers has created hundreds of personally branded fashion, diet, beauty and exercise products which are marketed through the Home Shopping Network, her website and through Suzanne, a direct sales organization in the vein of Avon or Tupperware.
Somers announced in spring 2001 that she had breast cancer and she was treated with conventional surgery and radiation therapy. Instead of pursuing elective chemotherapy after her treatment, Somers chose an alternative therapy using mistletoe injections.