Hollywood is mourning Suzanne Somers, star of sitcoms “Three’s Company” and “Step by Step,” who died Sunday after a long battle with breast cancer. The actor would have celebrated her 77th birthday on Monday, Oct. 16.
Somers was known for her roles as bubbly “dumb blonde” Chrissy Snow in “Three’s Company” and single mom Carol Foster Lambert in “Step by Step.” Somers left “Three’s Company” in 1980 when her request that she be paid the same as her male co-star, John Ritter, was denied. After the end of “Step by Step” in 1998, Somers transitioned to a career in health and beauty, becoming the national spokeswoman for exercise device the ThighMaster. Over time, she built a fitness empire from TV infomercials and an expansion into e-commerce. She also made an appearance in 2015 on Season 20 of “Dancing with the Stars.”
Fran Drescher, Kathy Griffin and Barry Manilow are among those who have paid tribute to Somers.
SAG-AFTRA president and “The Nanny” star Fran Drescher posted a photo of herself and Somers on Instagram, writing, “The heaviness of this past week’s horrors just got worse with the loss of friend Suzanne Somers. She was a sweet & talented woman, a wife and mother. Survivor and thriver for more than two decades. But so sad to say she passed away today. Life is very hard, wherever we can bring joy, love, empathy and kindness as we move thru each day, do it! RIP dear Suzanne, you will long be remembered.”
“I am shocked and saddened,” wrote comedian and actor Kathy Griffin on Threads. “Suzanne was a real pal and ‘connector.’ She loved connecting people with one another. Also a real pioneer regarding equal pay for actresses in situations where the man got substantially more salary than the woman.”
“Suzanne and I were friends for decades. She was the sister I never had and my close confidant forever,” singer-songwriter Barry Manilow wrote on Instagram. “We shared triumphs and heartaches. Her fame in so many fields overshadowed her real talent as one of our greatest comedic actors, a loving mother, an amazing homemaker, and one of the world’s best cooks. I will miss her dearly and hope that she is now out of pain and at peace.”
(Excerpt) Read more in: Variety