November 30, 2023

Suzanne Somers, who gained fame taking part in a ditsy blonde on the sitcom “Three’s Firm” after which by getting fired when she demanded equal pay with the sequence’ male star — and who later constructed a well being and eating regimen enterprise empire, most notably from the ThighMaster, a exercise system — died on Sunday at her house in Palm Springs, Calif. She was someday away from turning 77.

The trigger was most cancers, R. Couri Hay, a spokesman, mentioned.

“Three’s Firm” instructed the story of two roommates — Chrissy Snow, a secretary, performed by Ms. Somers; and Janet Wooden, a florist, performed by Joyce DeWitt — who hire a room of their residence to Jack Tripper, a culinary pupil performed by John Ritter. Since their landlord would frown on an single man dwelling with two single girls, the group pretends that Jack is homosexual. (Excessive jinks ensue.)

By the present’s fifth season, “Three’s Firm” was one of many nation’s hottest sitcoms. Throughout Ms. Somers’s contract negotiations with ABC in 1980, it was broadly reported, she requested for a elevate from $30,000 to $150,000 — equal pay with the sequence’ male star, Mr. Ritter. As an alternative of getting the elevate, Ms. Somers was fired.

“I’ve been taking part in what I believe is without doubt one of the finest dumb blondes that’s ever been finished, however I by no means bought any credit score,” she told The New York Times that year. “I did it so properly that everybody thought I actually was a dumb blonde.”

Within the years to return, she remained recognizable for frequent appearances in motion pictures and on tv, together with the Nineties sitcom “Step by Step” and discuss exhibits.

However her later repute sprang simply as a lot from her enterprise acumen — which proved to be extra formidable than ABC’s executives appreciated in 1980.

She and her husband, Alan Hamel, made the ThighMaster some of the recognizable merchandise in infomercial historical past, thanks partially to Ms. Somers’s many leggy appearances alongside the product. She said that she and her husband had earned a whole bunch of tens of millions of {dollars} from its sale.

Ms. Somers additionally wrote greater than 25 books, a number of of them finest sellers, which tended to give attention to points associated to the physique and growing older.

Among the strategies she promoted — together with bioidentical hormone alternative remedy, a remedy that she known as “the juice of youth” for menopausal girls — were criticized by docs as unproven and probably unsafe.

The muse of her enterprise efforts was the intercourse positivity that she had embodied since “Three’s Firm.”

“A sexual particular person,” she told The Times in 2020, “is a wholesome particular person.”

A full obituary will probably be printed quickly.

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