If you say the name Suzanne Somers, most people’s minds will automatically go to her role as Chrissy Snow on “Three’s Company”; a popular 70’s ABC comedy. Some recognize her as a popular Las Vegas entertainer. A few more may think about her famous piece of exercise equipment, the Thighmaster or maybe even the lesser-known Buttmaster. However, those who really know her work can tell you that she is a jewelry and clothing designer, a best selling author, and the developer of a very successful weight loss plan known as Somersize, with its own corresponding food products. She is also the promoter of other exercise equipment like the Torso Track and the age defying Face Master. She even has her own skin care line. In short she is pretty much a jack-of-all-trade. But she is the master of those trades as well.
Born the third of four children of Frank and Marion Mahoney, Suzanne did not have the most ideal child hood. Her father, who was an alcoholic, tended to take a great deal of his frustration out on his young daughter. With low self-esteem and a case of dyslexia, which made schoolwork difficult for her, Suzanne was a poor student except in artistic areas. She became actively involved in her school’s local theater program and eventually won a music scholarship to college. Unfortunately, Suzanne became pregnant as a teen and ended up marrying her baby’s father, Bruce Somers. Bruce Jr., her only child, was born in November of 1965. He instantly became the sole focus and joy of her life. Unfortunately, her marriage to Somers ended after just two years and Suzanne was left to raise her son alone. In order to support her young Suzanne became a model. This eventually led to a role as a prize model on a game show hosted by Alan Hamel; the man who would eventually become the love of her life and her long term husband.
In 1970, Suzanne finally got her big break, winning the role of “the blond in the Thunderbird” in George Lucas’ “American Graffiti.” This led to a gig on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson where she was seen by the producer’s of an ABC comedy about to be developed called “Three’s Company.” This was, of course, Somers’ defining television role. In 1977, Suzanne finally married long time beau Hamel who also took on the role of her manager. While the marriage was strong, the working relationship between the husband and wife team suffered some setbacks when Somers was fired from her famous television series after following her husband’s advise to ask for a raise. Frustrated with Hollywood, so to speak, Suzanne headed to Las Vegas, where she was a very popular performer well into the 80’s. It was also about this time that she began her writing career, penning her autobiography “Keeping Secrets” which was made into a television movie. In 1991, she paired with Patrick Duffy on a new television series “Step by Step” and also began co-hosting the series “Candid Camera.”
Over the years Suzanne has devoted a lot of time and energy in the Suzanne Somers Institute for the Effects of Addictions on the Family, for which she is founder and director. In 1991 she lectured before an U.S. Senate Committee on the subject. Since then she has lectured throughout the U.S. She was awarded the Humanitarian Award from the National Council on Alcoholism for her work on this effort. She has also received a Mother of the Year Award and the President’s Award from the National Association of American Drug Counselors.
In the 90’s Suzanne decided to try something new and began designing and selling jewelry on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) where her trilliant bracelet hold’s the record for the highest selling piece of jewelry in the network’s history. Expanding her product line at HSN, Suzanne further developed her Somersize weight loss program and even taught HSN audiences how to cook healthier. Additionally, she has shared all of her beauty secrets with “her ladies” on HSN including her Face Master and Torso Track.
In the late 90’s Suzanne was diagnosed with breast cancer. She shocked the world when she announced that she did not intend to go undergo chemotherapy and radiation; opting for natural healing methods instead. Cautioning her fans that the decision was right for her, but may not be right for them, Suzanne shared her decision making process as well as all of the information that she had gathered on the subject. This eventually led her to an exploration into the subject of menopause and bio-identical hormones, which were the main subjects of her next two books.
As the century turned, Suzanne continued to expand her ever growing product line, adding clothing, beauty care, and home products to her already popular line.
Suzanne’s beauty secrets are actually rather simple. She uses the Face Master daily along with her own beauty care line which is packed with nature’s own ingredients. She also uses her Somer Smile tooth whitening system, insisting that whiter teeth make for a younger look. Finally, she uses her own hair products and maintains the hairstyle she has worn for about the last 10 years in its almost – – but not quite – – platinum blond shade.
Suzanne’s fashion sense is classic. She prefers simple lines in clothing and prefers to let her jewelry and accessories speak volumes. She is partial to jeans and crisp cotton or tee shirt style tops, polished off by her turquoise jewelry. But this lady also knows how to dress for the red carpet; showing off a body than most 21 year-old girls would die to have.
Obviously Suzanne’s lifestyle works well for her. She recently turned 60 and still looks like a million dollars. She continues to go strong, working on yet another book – – I believe her 11th – – and continuing to build upon her retail empire.
A far cry from her child-like Chrissy Snow, Suzanne is a hard working, determined, talented, and self motivated dynamo; a devoted wife; a dedicated mother; and a just plain ‘Zanny to her loving grandchildren.
Although Suzanne recently lost her home, and many of her most cherished possessions, in the recent California fires, there will be no keeping down this gutsy lady. She has reported that “we will rebuild” and you can bet that, when she does, it will better than ever. Here’s to another 60 years for an American treasure: Suzanne Somers!