Suzanne Mahoney was born October 18, 1946 in San Bruno, California. In 1965, she married Bruce Somers with whom she had a son. They divorced in 1968.
In 1969 she was hired as a model on the game show Anniversary Game, where she worked for about a year. She married the host of that show, Alan Trammel in 1977.
Hollywood Bit Parts
Somers started getting small roles in the early 1970s. She was essentially an extra in both American Graffiti (1973) and Magnum Force (1974). She also did a single episode of each of the following shows: Six Million Dollar Man (1977), One Day At A Time (1976) and The Rockford Files (1974). She also appeared on The Dating Game in 1974.
In 1977 she was cast as Chrissy Snow on the third pilot for Three’s Company. In addition to Chrissy, Somers also played the brunette that causes John Ritter to fall of his bike in the opening credits of the series. She was wearing a wig.
In the show’s fifth season in 1980 Somers demanded a pay increase of $120,000 per episode as well as a 10% ownership stake in the series. Her negotiated salary was $30,000 an episode under her contract.
When ABC denied her the pay raise she demanded refused to appear in two episodes out of spite. The producers began to write her off the show by having her appear in only 60 seconds an episode. At the end of the season she was fired.
Life After Three’s Company
In 1987 she was cast in the series She’s the Sheriff, which ran for two seasons. Then, in 1991 she starred opposite Patrick Duffy on Step by Step, which lasted six years. She followed that up hosting Candid Camera for two years.
In 2001 Somers battled breast cancer and was victorious, using radiation but opting out of chemotherapy.
In 2005, she starred in a Broadway show about her life called The Blonde in the Thunderbird. The show closed in under a week due to terrible reviews and even worse ticket sales.
In 2015, she appeared on Dancing With The Stars.
Somers has written several self-help books as well as a book of poetry. She has also been the spokesperson for the Thighmaster exercise device since the 1990s.