Birth Date: October 16, 1946 / Age: 68
Birth Place: San Bruno, California, USA
Also Credited as: Suzanne Marie Somers
Biography: Is the third of 4 children born to Frank and Marion Mahoney. Her father worked loading beer onto boxcars, and her mother was a homemaker. She grew up living in constant fear of being hurt or even killed at the hands of her verbally and physically abusive alcoholic father. She was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was young, and she was a poor student. Suzanne, however, excelled in the arts and was active in her school's theatre program. She won a music scholarship to college, but became pregnant after 6 months. She married the baby's father, Bruce Somers, and her only child, Bruce Jr., was born in November 1965. She was unhappy in her marriage and began an affair with her former drama teacher. Her husband found out about the affair, and the marriage ended after just 2 years, in 1967. Then a single mom, Suzanne turned to modeling in San Francisco to support herself and her son. She also distanced herself from her family because her older brother and sister by then were also alcoholics. In 1968, Suzanne won a job as a prize model on a game show hosted by her future husband, Alan Hamel, who was married at the time. The two began dating, and Suzanne became pregnant while Hamel was still married. They decided that Suzanne should have an abortion, from which she suffered severe bleeding for several days. In 1971, son Bruce was severely injured when he was hit by a car, and the therapist counseling him only charged the struggling Suzanne $1 per week. Suzanne herself also underwent therapy to overcome the problems of her dysfunctional childhood. In the early 1970s, she landed minor roles in film and TV, and finally won a role on the series Three's Company, where she modeled her character after Dick Clark's wife. She married Hamel in 1977. She was fired from Three's Company after she asked for a raise at the beginning of the fifth season. She then headed to Las Vegas, where she performed extensively in the mid 1980s. In 1986, she began writing her autobiography, Keeping Secrets, which was later made into a TV movie. In 1991, Suzanne landed the role of Carol Foster, opposite Patrick Duffy, on the TV series Step by Step. Since the end of SBS, she has begun co-hosting the series Candid Camera.
When she was 16 she hit her father over the head with a tennis racket to stop his abuse during a drunken rage. He suffered a concussion, and did not speak to Suzanne for 2 years.
While performing in Las Vegas, she had to paint one shoe red and the other black in order to learn the choreography of the dance numbers. She could not tell her right from her left because of her dyslexia. In 1990, founded the Suzanne Somers Institute for the Effects of Addictions on Families, in Palm Springs, CA. In 1991, won the Humanitarian Award from the National Council on Alcoholism.
Associated with the Thighmaster exercise device.
Graduated from Capuchino High School. Was active in drama.
Suzanne was fired from "Three's Company" (1977), in the 1980-81 season, by demanding $150,000 an episode, and 10% ownership of the program, also for breach of contract.
Initially, got the role of Jill Munroe in "Charlie's Angels" (1976) but, lost it to Farrah Fawcett-Majors.
Announced on Larry King Live that she is battling breast cancer, and that she is undergoing homeopathic treatment against the will of her doctors. She also underwent liposuction in an effort to deal with the effects of the cancer. [28 March 2001]
She was also the brunette walking along the beach of the opening credits of the first 3 seasons of "Three's Company". She was wearing a wig.
Appeared as a contestant on The Dating Game in 1973.
Was arrested in 1970 for passing bad checks; the charges were dropped when she paid restitution.
Studied Marilyn Monroe's poses from her movies, and then copied them for media photos during her "Three's Company" days.
She and Joyce DeWitt did not speak for almost 20 years.
Hired Jay Bernstein to manage her and do for her what he did for Farrah Fawcett-Majors.
Daughter of Marion Mahoney.
24 January 2003, Received Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
Measurements: 35C-23-34 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
she was the fourth actress to be hired for the Chrissy role on Three's Company. Actress Suzanne Zenor played Samantha, a Chrissy type in the first pilot. After being rewritten as Chrissy Snow, ABC hired then fired Denise Galik Furey, replacing her with Susan Lanier. After ABC reviewed the 2nd pilot, they dropped Lanier and hired Somers.