Birth Name: Suzanne Marie Mahoney
Age: 66, born 16 October 1946
Born and residing in: United States
Height: 5' 6"
Ethnicity: White / Caucasian
Relationship Status: Married
Partner: Alan Hamel
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About: Suzanne Somers is the third of four 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 was a poor student. She excelled, however, in the arts and was active in her school's theater program. She won a music scholarship to college, but became Suzanne Somers is the third of four 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 was a poor student. She excelled, however, in the arts and was active in her school's theater program. She won a music scholarship to college, but became pregnant after six months. She married the baby's father, "Bruce Somers", and her only child, Bruce Somers, 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 it and the marriage ended after just two years, in 1967. A single mom, she 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, she 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 she became pregnant while Hamel was still married. They came to the conclusion that Suzanne should have an abortion, from which she suffered severe bleeding for several days. In 1971, her 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" (1977), where she modeled her character after Dick Clark's wife. She married Hamel in 1977. She was fired from the series 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" (1991). Since the end of that show, she has begun co-hosting the series "Candid Camera" (1992/I).
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.
At the beginning of the 1980-81 season of "Three's Company" (1977), she asked for a raise from $30,000 an episode to $150,000 an episode and 10% ownership of the show. She was denied, and then boycotted the second and fourth shows of the season, claiming illness. ABC forced her to finish out the remaining season on her contract, but cut her character's role to 1 minute a week in taping. She was escorted by a security guard to a sound stage behind the set, where she filmed her few scenes, because she was no longer allowed on the set with John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt. Somers was then fired after her contract expired, and she sued ABC for $2 million, claiming her credibility in the business had been damaged. The suit was settled for about $30,000.
Graduated from Capuchino High School. Was active in drama.
Initially, got the role of "Jill Munroe" in "Charlie's Angels" (1976), but lost it to Farrah Fawcett.
Announced on "Larry King Live" (1985) 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" (1977). She was wearing a wig.
Appeared as a contestant on "The Dating Game" (1965) in 1973.
Was named Las Vegas' Female Entertainer of the Year in 1986.
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" (1977) 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.
Stepchildren (from Alan Hamel): Stephen Hamel and Leslie.
Daughter of Marion Mahoney.
Sister of Maureen Gilmartin and Daniel Mahoney.
Mother of Bruce Somers.
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" (1977). Actress Susanne Zenor played "Samantha", a Chrissy type in the first pilot. After being rewritten as "Chrissy Snow", ABC hired then fired Denise Galik, replacing her with Susan Lanier. After ABC reviewed the 2nd pilot, they dropped Lanier and hired Somers.
Mother-in-law of Caroline Somers.
In January 2007 her Malibu seafront home was burned to the ground.
According to Somers' second autobiography, when she signed to do "Three's Company" in the spring of 1977, she was to receive $2,750 per episode - it was (and is) standard practice for a beginner on a series to get "scale plus 10 percent," the 10 percent to go to her agent at the time, Jay Bernstein. Somers says she promised Bernstein *all* of the money if he would book her into every guest appearance he could find for her, which he did.
In 1970, she auditioned for Playboy's Playmate of the Month and got as far as a test series of photos taken in the Mexican jungle. She was fully nude except for a gold chain around her waist (Playboy did not publish full nudes at the time, so this was unusual). Playboy decided not to use her at the time, but paid her $3,000 for the test. When she became a star on "Three's Company," Playboy published the entire series of photos and the handwritten quick-autobiography that each Playmate writes (supposedly in her own handwriting, although the handwriting looks suspiciously the same each time). In the bio, she gives the year of her birth as 1947.
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