San Bruno, California, USA
Suzanne Somers (born October 16, 1946) is an American actress, author and businesswoman, best known for her roles on Three’s Company and Step by Step. Somers later became the author of a series of best-selling self-help books, including Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bio > She has also released two autobiographies, four diet books, and a book of poetry entitled Touch Me (1980). She currently features items of her design on the Home Shopping Network.
Somers was born Suzanne Marie Mahoney in San Bruno, California, the third of four children in an Irish Catholic family.    Her mother, Marion Elizabeth (née Turner), was a medical secretary, and her father, Francis Mahoney, was a laborer and gardener.  Her father was an alcoholic who could become violent on occasion, as Somers recounted, often forcing her to hide in her closet. She suffered from dyslexia and was a poor student. After being expelled from parochial school for having love notes in her locker, Suzanne went to Capuchino High School, where she appeared in several drama productions, including portraying Adelaide in the Frank Loesser musical Guys and Dolls. Due to his drinking problem, her father was too inebriated to attend Suzanne’s high school graduation in June 1964. A made-for-TV-movie starring Somers (based on her first autobiography, Keeping Secrets) was made about her life and growing up with an alcoholic father.
In September 1964, she was accepted at San Francisco College for Women (commonly referred to as “Lone Mountain College”) on a music scholarship, a Catholic school that is now a campus of the University of San Francisco. She left during her Sophomore year, after becoming pregnant. She gave birth to her son Bruce Jr. on November 8, 1965, after marrying the boy’s father, Bruce Somers. She left her husband three years later and began modeling. In 1971, her son was severely injured when he was hit by a car.
In 1968, Suzanne won a job as a prize model on the short-lived game show, The Anniversary Game hosted by her future husband, Alan Hamel. She has been married to Hamel since 1977. Hamel was her business manager during the failed negotiations which led to her leaving Three’s Company.
Early acting roles
She began acting in small roles during the late 1960s and early 1970s (including on various talk shows promoting her book of poetry, and bit parts in movies such as the “Blonde in the T-Bird” in American Graffiti, and an episode of the American version of the sitcom Lotsa Luck as the femme fatale in the early 1970s) before landing the role of the ditzy blonde “Chrissy Snow” on the ABC sitcom Three’s Company in 1977.
At the beginning of the fifth season, Suzanne demanded a raise from $30,000 to $150,000 an episode and 10% ownership of the show’s profit. Those close to the situation suggested that Suzanne’s rebellion was due to husband/manager Hamel’s influence over her. When ABC denied her request, Somers boycotted the second and fourth shows of the season, due to several excuses such as a broken rib (which was false). She finished the remaining season on her contract, but her role was decreased to 60 seconds per episode. After her contract expired, she sued ABC for $2 million, claiming that her credibility in show business had been damaged. It went to an arbitrator who dec >
Before the feud with Three’s Company producers and ABC had even ended, rival network CBS knew that Somers was ultimately going to be available. They eventually signed her to a contract and a development deal for her own sitcom, which was going to be called The Suzanne Somers Show, in which she played an “over-the-top” airline stewardess. Once she was indeed available (after her firing from Three’s Company), CBS gave Somers – and the public – a timeframe in which to expect the show to hit the air, but due to a change in administration at CBS’s entertainment division in early 1982, the brass ended up passing on the project. Also, Suzanne claimed in her book After the Fall (1998), that the producers of Three’s Company kept sending “cease & desist” forms to CBS stating that Suzanne could not use any of her Chrissy Snow characterization, and that chilled the creative process.
Spokeswomen for the Thighmaster
During the 1980s, Somers became a Las Vegas entertainer. She was the spokeswoman for the Thighmaster, a piece of exercise equipment that is squeezed between one’s thighs. Thighmaster was one of the first products responsible for launching the infomercial concept. During this period of her career, she also performed for U.S. servicemen overseas.  
Somers appeared in two Playboy cover feature nude pictorials: in 1980 and 1984. The 1980 pictures were taken years before, when Suzanne was a struggling model and actress and did a test photoshoot for the magazine,(She was approved by Hefner to be a Playboy Playmate but she declined at the last minute to pose for the magazine out of fear that it would disappoint her father).
She’s the Sheriff
At the height of her exposure as official spokesperson for Thighmaster infomercials, Somers made her first return to a series, although not on network television. In 1987, she starred in the sitcom She’s the Sheriff, which ran in first-run syndication. Somers portrayed a widow with two young kids who decided to fill the shoes of her late husband, a sheriff of a southern town. The show ran for two seasons.
Step by Step
In 1990, Somers returned to network TV, appearing in numerous guest roles and made-for-TV movies, mostly for ABC. Her roles in these, including the movie Rich Men, Single Women, attracted the attention of Lorimar Television and Miller-Boyett Productions, who were developing a new sitcom. For Lorimar, this was asking Somers back, since they alone had produced She’s the Sheriff.
In September 1991, Somers bounced back to series TV by starring in the successful sitcom Step By Step (with Patrick Duffy), which ran for seven seasons. Playing off her rejuvenated career, Somers also launched a daytime talk show in 1994, albeit briefly, aptly titled Suzanne Somers. During Step By Step’s final season, on CBS, she began co-hosting Candid Camera with Peter Funt.
From 1997–99, Somers cohosted the revised Candid Camera show, when CBS chose to bring it back with Peter Funt (the series was in the network’s top 10 for five years in the mid 1960s). Somers stayed for two years before PAX TV renewed the series without her.
Bout with breast cancer
Somers announced in spring 2001 that she had breast cancer and she was treated with conventional surgery and radiation therapy. Instead of pursuing elective chemotherapy after her treatment, Somers chose an alternative therapy using mistletoe injections.
Somers is also a supporter of bio > includes interviews with 16 leading practitioners of bioidentical hormone therapy, but gives extra discussion to the Wiley Protocol.
As a business executive
As a business executive, Somers has created a multimillion-dollar lifestyle empire. Through her companies ELO Somers and Port Carling Inc, of which Somers serves as president, Somers has created hundreds of personally branded fashion, diet, beauty and exercise products which are marketed through the Home Shopping Network, her website and through Suzanne, a direct sales organization in the vein of Avon or Tupperware.
The Blonde in the Thunderbird
In summer 2005, Somers made her Broadway debut in a one-woman show, The Blonde in the Thunderbird, a collection of stories about her life and career. The show was supposed to run until September, but negative publicity and disappointing ticket sales caused a late July closing. Somers blamed the harsh reviews (the New York Times: “. a swan dive into narcissism”; New York Post: “smug and remorseless”) and told the Post: “These men [New York critics] are curmudgeons, and maybe I went too close to the bone for them. I was lying there naked, and they dec >
Wildfire at her Malibu home
On January 9, 2007, the Associated Press reported that a wildfire in Southern California had destroyed Somers’ Malibu home, and all she had left was the clothes on her back. Appearing on television, Somers told reporters they planned to rebuild.  In March 2007, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Somers explained that she found her wedding band from her husband of 29 years while sifting through ashes of her home.