American TV actress, Suzanne Somers, has sadly passed away just one day before her 77th birthday, after a long and protracted health battle.
Known for her performances in the popular 70s sitcom Threes’ Company and 90s family comedy Step by Step, the actress passed away peacefully at home after succumbing to an aggressive form of breast cancer she had fought for 23 years.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 but refused chemotherapy at the time – instead opting for a lumpectomy and radiation. She then went 11 years without one of her breasts, before undergoing a pioneering procedure to regrow it using stem cell regeneration.
In a statement released by her long-time publicist, R. Couri Hay, Somers’ husband of 46 years, Alan Hamel, wrote a poem describing the impossible task of describing his deep and abiding love for his wife.
“I could go on ad infinitum, but you get it. What brand of love do I feel for my wife Suzanne? Can I find it in any of the above? A resounding no!!!! There is no version of the word that is applicable to Suzanne and I even use the word applicable advisedly.
“The closest version in words isn’t even close. It’s not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction. Unconditional love does not do it. I’ll take a bullet for you doesn’t do it. I weep when I think about my feelings for you. Feelings… That’s getting close, but not all the way.”
“55 years together, 46 married and not even one hour apart for 42 of those years. Even that doesn’t do it,” he added.
“Even going to bed at 6 o’clock and holding hands while we sleep doesn’t do it. Staring at your beautiful face while you sleep doesn’t do it.”
Soon after the news of her passing, social media lit up with friends and fans honouring the beloved actress who also pioneered the way for equal pay and women in comedy.
Never forget Suzanne Somers was a one of the pioneers for women equality & equal pay. She was fired from Three’s Company for asking to be paid equally as the men. Her contribution to comedy will always be appreciated. #suzannesomers #RIPSuzanneSomers #threescompany #stepbystep pic.twitter.com/WXPlJYDswE
— Bald Headed William Dent act right Heffias (@bougiegentleman) October 15, 2023
#SuzanneSomers passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of October 15th. 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. pic.twitter.com/obBhxoZgHf
— Ralph Terry (@moneyfirstralph) October 16, 2023
— Petty Pablo (@electricsoul123) October 15, 2023
We are extremely saddened… Of the loss of Suzanne. She passed this morning… Day before her birthday….. We send condolences to her family, friends & rest of her fans. May she rest in peace….#ThreesCompany #suzannesomers#ChrissySnow pic.twitter.com/OeGhx7zIjs
— TC (@Threes_Company) October 15, 2023
We would like to pay tribute to #SuzanneSomers, friend & co-star of Dallas alumni Patrick Duffy & Sasha Mitchell, who all starred on sitcom Step By Step 1991-1998. Suzanne passed away Oct 15, one day before her 77th Birthday. R.I.P. #Dallas45 pic.twitter.com/1Akiwt6Xhv
— Dallas Fanzine (@DallasFanzine) October 15, 2023
According to Hay’s statement, Somers passed away on Sunday, October 15 surrounded by her family. Her death came just three months after Hamel announced that her breast cancer had returned.
The Somers family had intended to celebrate her 77th birthday but the family would now pay tribute to her “extraordinary life”.
“A private family burial will take place this week, with a memorial to follow next month,” the statement read.
Somers is survived by her husband, Alan Hamel, and son Bruce.