Actor Suzanne Somers dies at 76

FILE PHOTO: Actress Suzanne Somers arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California

By Pete Schroeder

(Reuters) -Actor Suzanne Somers, best known for her role on the television show "Three's Company" and for fitness and health business ventures, died Sunday at age 76, according to a statement from her spokesperson.

"Suzanne Somers passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of October 15th,” Somers's spokesperson, R. Couri Hay, said in a statement.

“Suzanne was surrounded by her loving husband, Alan, her son Bruce, and her immediate family,” the statement continued. “Her family was gathered to celebrate her 77th birthday on October 16th. Instead, they will celebrate her extraordinary life, and want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly.”

The New York Times reported Somers died at her home in Palm Springs, Calif.

Somers, who launched to fame as Chrissy Snow on the popular 1970s sitcom, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, and announced in late July that it had returned.

"I had breast cancer two decades ago, and every now and then it pops up again and I continue to bat it down," she said in an Instagram post on July 31. "This is not new territory for me. I know how to put on my battle gear and I'm a fighter."

Beyond appearances in television and movies, Somers was also known for writing numerous books, mainly focused on health and nutrition, as well as pitching fitness products like the Thighmaster.

(Reporting by Pete Schroeder; editing by Diane Craft and Gerry Doyle)