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Suzanne Somers BiographySuzanne Somers is the third of four children born to Frank and Marion Mahoney. Her father worked loading beer onto boxcars, and her mother was a homemaker. She grew up living in constant fear of being hurt or even killed at the hands of her verbally and physically abusive alcoholic father. She was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was young, and was a poor student. She excelled, however, in the arts and was active in her school's theater program. She won a music scholarship to college, but became pregnant after six months. She married the baby's father, "Bruce Somers", and her only child, Bruce Somers, was born in November 1965. She was unhappy in her marriage and began an affair with her former drama teacher. Her husband found out about it and the marriage ended after just two years, in 1967. A single mom, she turned to modeling in San Francisco to support herself and her son. She also distanced herself from her family because her older brother and sister by then were also alcoholics. In 1968, she won a job as a prize model on a game show hosted by her future husband, Alan Hamel, who was married at the time. The two began dating, and she became pregnant while Hamel was still married. They came to the conclusion that Suzanne should have an abortion, from which she suffered severe bleeding for several days. In 1971, her son Bruce was severely injured when he was hit by a car, and the therapist counseling him only charged the struggling Suzanne $1 per week. Suzanne herself also underwent therapy to overcome the problems of her dysfunctional childhood. In the early 1970s, she landed minor roles in film and TV, and finally won a role on the series Three's Company, where she modeled her character after Dick Clark's wife. She married Hamel in 1977. She was fired from the series after she asked for a raise at the beginning of the fifth season. She then headed to Las Vegas, where she performed extensively in the mid-1980s. In 1986, she began writing her autobiography, "Keeping Secrets", which was later made into a TV movie. In 1991, Suzanne landed the role of "Carol Foster", opposite Patrick Duffy, on the TV series Step by Step. Since the end of that show, she has begun co-hosting the series Candid Camera.
SalaryAmerican Graffiti (1973): $1,360.72
TriviaWhen she was 16 she hit her father over the head with a tennis racket to stop his abuse during a drunken rage. He suffered a concussion, and did not speak to Suzanne for 2 years. Associated with the Thighmaster exercise device. Graduated from Capuchino High School. Was active in drama. Announced on "Larry King Live" (1985) that she is battling breast cancer, and that she is undergoing homeopathic treatment against the will of her doctors. She also underwent liposuction in an effort to deal with the effects of the cancer. [28 March 2001] Appeared as a contestant on "The Dating Game" (1965) in 1973. Was arrested in 1970 for passing bad checks; the charges were dropped when she paid restitution. She and Joyce DeWitt did not speak for almost 20 years. Stepchildren (from Alan Hamel): Stephen Hamel and Leslie. Sister of Maureen Gilmartin and Daniel Mahoney. 24 January 2003, Received Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame She was the fourth actress to be hired for the "Chrissy" role on "Three's Company" (1977). Actress Susanne Zenor played "Samantha", a Chrissy type in the first pilot. After being rewritten as "Chrissy Snow", ABC hired then fired Denise Galik, replacing her with Susan Lanier. After ABC reviewed the 2nd pilot, they dropped Lanier and hired Somers. Mother-in-law of Caroline Somers. According to Somers' second autobiography, when she signed to do "Three's Company" in the spring of 1977, she was to receive $2,750 per episode - it was (and is) standard practice for a beginner on a series to get "scale plus 10 percent," the 10 percent to go to her agent at the time, Jay Bernstein. Somers says she promised Bernstein *all* of the money if he would book her into every guest appearance he could find for her, which he did.
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