Actress Suzanne Somers died Sunday, one day before her 77th birthday.
The “Three’s Company” star had been battling an aggressive form of breast cancer for more than 23 years, her publicist R. Couri Hay said in a statement on behalf of Somers’ family.
He said Somers passed away peacefully at her home while surrounded by family.
“Her family was gathered to celebrate her 77th birthday on October 16th,” Hay said in the statement. Instead, they will celebrate her extraordinary life, and want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly.”
A private family burial will take place this week and a memorial will follow in November.
Somers was born Suzanne Marie Mahoney on Oct. 16, 1946 in San Bruno, California.
Following a model career, Somers’ first credited role came in the 1973 movie “American Graffiti” where she played a nameless blonde beauty in a white Thunderbird who catches the eye of a college freshman played by Richard Dreyfuss.
In 1977, Somers was cast as one of the two female leads in the ABC sitcom “Three’s Company,” starring alongside Joyce DeWitt and John Ritter as three single roommates. Somers was replaced after the fifth season in 1981 following her lofty contract demands that caused on-set friction.
Somers’ other notable roles came in “She’s the Sheriff” from 1987 to 1989 and “Step by Step” from 1991 to 1998.
Somers also became a health and fitness pitchwoman and author after starring in TV infomercials as the national spokeswoman for the ThighMaster.
Somers married her first husband Bruce Somers in 1965, the same year their son Bruce Jr. was born. The two divorced in 1968. Somers met Alan Hamel, a game show host, while working as a prize model on “The Anniversary Game” in 1969 and the two married in 1977.
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