'Three's Company' star Suzanne Somers dies aged 76

Suzanne Somers, best known for her roles in Three's Company and Step by Step has died at the age of 76 just a day before her birthday.
News of the actress's death was confirmed by her longtime publicist R. Couri Hay, who revealed she had died in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The statement said: "Suzanne Somers 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."
Hay added that Somers' family was around her as they had prepared to celebrate her 77th birthday on Monday, the day after she passed away,

The statement continued: "Her family was gathered to celebrate her 77th birthday on October 16th. Instead, they will celebrate her extraordinary life, and want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly."

Hay also told People that the "beautiful" house Somers had spent her final moments in was "one of her dreams" and that she was "very engaged right to the end."

The publicist also confirmed that a private family burial will take place this week but a memorial will be held for the star in November.

Somers had opened up about her plans for her birthday, telling People she was going to spend it with her "nearest and dearest" including her "beloved husband Alan [Hamel], our three children, Leslie, Stephen, and Bruce, [his wife] Caroline, plus our six wonderful grandchildren."

The couple had been married since 1977 and Hamel, 87, had told the publication about his awe at her strength amid her health battle.

"Suzanne and I just returned home from the Midwest where Suzanne had six weeks of intensive physical therapy," he told the publication. "Even after our five decades together, I still marvel at Suzanne’s amazing determination and commitment."

Somers had revealed in July that her breast cancer had returned for the first time since she was first diagnosed in 2000.

She shared a photo of herself with her husband, telling her followers at the time: "As you know, I had breast cancer two decades ago, and every now and then it pops up again, and I continue to bat it down.

"I have used the best alternative and conventional treatments to combat it. This is not new territory for me. I know how to put on my battle gear and I’m a fighter."

Somers also used the post to thank her family for their support, adding: "Alan has been by my side every step of the way. I can’t even explain how much he has done for me. If it’s even possible, we are even closer than ever.

"My incredible family has been so supportive, and have helped so much by keeping the business running so you can still have access to all the wonderful products.

"Thank you for the continued love and support. It’s only about who you love and who loves you - and I love you!"
As well as her iconic role as Chrissy Snow in Three's Company, which she starred in from 1977 until 1981, and Carol Foster Lambert on Step by Step from 1991 until 1998, she was also known as an author, having written over 25 books, as well as her health and beauty businesses, including the ThighMaster exerciser.

Our thoughts are with Somers' family, friends, and fans at this heartbreaking time.

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