Actor, health advocate and author Suzanne Somers has died at the age of 76, according to her team.
“Suzanne Somers passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of October 15th,” her longtime publicist, R. Couri Hay, said in a statement to HuffPost. “She survived an aggressive form of breast cancer for over 23 years.”
“Suzanne was surrounded by her loving husband Alan, her son Bruce, and her immediate family. 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.”
Somers, who found fame with her turn as ditzy blonde Chrissy Snow in “Three’s Company,” talked about the return of her cancer with Entertainment Tonight in July.
Suzanne Somers poses for a portrait session in 1977 in Los Angeles. According to reports, the actor died after a five-decade long battle with cancer on Sunday.
The actor’s health journey began back in her 30s with skin cancer. Two decades later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 50s.
“I have been living with cancer since my 20s. And every time that little fucker pops up, I continue to bat it back,” Somers shared. “I do my best not to let this insidious disease control me.”
“It’s a recurrence of my breast cancer. Like any cancer patient, when you get that dreaded, ‘It’s back,’ you get a pit in your stomach. Then I put on my battle gear and go to war. This is familiar battleground for me, and I’m very tough.”
After making it big on “Three’s Company” in the late ’70s, Somers went on to star in the blended family sitcom, “Step By Step,” in the ’90s.
Her film credits include 1973’s “American Graffiti,” 1980’s “Nothing Personal” and 1984’s “Serial Mom.” Somer’s final movie appearance was an uncredited role in the raunchy 2001 comedy, “Say It Isn’t So.”
Back in 1980, Somers told The New York Times her talent for playing the “dumb blonde” was often confused for true foolishness.
“I’ve been playing what I think is one of the best dumb blondes that’s ever been done, but I never got any credit,” she said. “I did it so well that everyone thought I really was a dumb blonde.”
Along with her acting, Somers was also the blueprint for modern fitness influencers, gaining a cult following with her home workout videos and branded exercise equipment, the ThighMaster.
Somers is survived by her husband, Alan Hamel, and son Bruce Somers Jr., whom she shared with her ex-husband, Bruce Somers.
A private family burial for Somers is planned for this week, and Somers will be celebrated with a memorial in November, according to Hay.