Remembering actress and entrepreneur Suzanne Somers, useless at 76

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Pals and fellow actors are remembering actress and entrepreneur Suzanne Somers with fondness. Somers died Sunday at age 76 after battling most cancers for greater than twenty years.

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Actress Suzanne Somers died yesterday after battling breast most cancers for greater than twenty years. As NPR’s Anastasia Tsioulcas stories, Somers parlayed her comedic skills into solely new endeavors as an creator and wildly profitable entrepreneur.

ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, BYLINE: Suzanne Somers first caught consideration in a job within the 1973 movie “American Graffiti.” She was on display screen for lower than 10 seconds and did not say a phrase, however her magnificence and allure had been greater than sufficient. That scene in “American Graffiti” received her an audition for the sitcom “Three’s Firm,” which premiered in 1977.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “COME AND KNOCK ON OUR DOOR (THREE’S COMPANY THEME)”)

RAY CHARLES: (Singing) Come and knock on our door.

JULIA RINKER MILLER: (Singing) Come and knock on our door.

CHARLES: (Singing) We have been ready for you.

RINKER MILLER: (Singing) We have been ready for you.

TSIOULCAS: For 5 seasons, Somers was a star on some of the standard exhibits on tv, taking part in the last word ditzy blonde. However after she demanded a elevate from ABC, she was fired. That did not finish her tv profession. There was a short-lived present referred to as “She’s The Sheriff,” which ran for 3 seasons within the Nineteen Eighties. And thru a lot of the Nineties, she starred in one other sitcom, this one referred to as “Step By Step.” She even sang on that one.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, “STEP BY STEP”)

SUZANNE SOMERS: (As Carol Foster-Lambert, singing) Tonight we’ll put different issues apart.

(As Carol Foster-Lambert) Come up right here.

TSIOULCAS: However within the meantime, she developed a complete different position as a enterprise mogul.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SOMERS: I used to do aerobics until I dropped. Then I discovered Thighmaster.

TSIOULCAS: Somers started an extended stint because the spokesperson for the Thighmaster exercise gadget, one of many quintessential As Seen On TV merchandise of the Nineties. Somers and her husband, Alan Hamel, got here to be the only homeowners of the enterprise. Somers informed the podcast Hollywood Uncooked final yr she had offered about 15 million Thighmasters at round $20 a pop.

(SOUNDBITE OF PODCAST, “HOLLYWOOD RAW”)

SOMERS: For somebody who performed the dumbest blonde on tv, I’ve a extremely good mind (laughter).

TSIOULCAS: She was open about her well being struggles. In 2018, she talked to Yahoo Way of life about her most cancers.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SOMERS: Whenever you hear these three phrases – you may have most cancers – wow. That is coming nose to nose along with your mortality.

TSIOULCAS: At the same time as she was battling most cancers, Somers remained very a lot within the public eye. She wrote greater than two dozen books, together with 14 bestsellers. The books centered round well being and wellness, and she or he additionally appeared on “Dancing With The Stars.”

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, “DANCING WITH THE STARS”)

UNIDENTIFIED MUSICAL ARTIST: (Singing) Nicely, I stated come on over, child. Child, you’ll be able to’t go mistaken.

TSIOULCAS: After her dying, tributes poured in on social media from her associates and former colleagues. Fellow actress Morgan Fairchild stated the 2 supported one another by means of well being challenges. Fairchild wrote, quote, “once we bumped into one another, she would lean over and whisper, we’re survivors.” Additionally on social media, singer Barry Manilow wrote, quote, “she was the sister I by no means had and my shut confidant eternally. We shared triumphs and heartaches. I’ll miss her dearly and hope that she is now out of ache and at peace.”

TSIOULCAS: At the moment Somers would have turned 77 years previous. Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR Information, New York.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “COME AND KNOCK ON OUR DOOR (THREE’S COMPANY THEME)”)

RAY CHARLES AND JULIA RINKER MILLER: (Singing) Three’s firm, too.

CHARLES: (Singing) Come and dance on our ground.

RINKER MILLER: (Singing) Come and dance on our ground.

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