Suzanne Somers is one of America’s most popular and beloved personalities. In a multifaceted career that has spanned nearly three decades, she has achieved extraordinary success as an actress, singer, comedienne, New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur, and lecturer. Ageless, Suzanne’s informed and empowering book on anti-aging medicine and maintaining an optimal quality of life, released by Crown Publishers in October 2006, became an instant #1 bestseller on Amazon, a #1 New York Times bestseller, and a USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller in its first week on sale. Her most recent book, BREAKTHROUGH: Eight Steps to Wellness, published by Crown in the fall of 2008, was an instant New York Times bestseller.
Her first big break as the mysterious blonde driving the white Thunderbird in George Lucas’ 1973 cult classic, “American Graffiti,” was soon followed by her portrayal of the ditzy, yet lovable Chrissy Snow on “Three’s Company,” which propelled her to nationwide fame. During her five years with the show, Suzanne helped make the television sit-com one of the most highly rated in history. From 1987-89, Suzanne held the title character role in the hit series “She’s the Sheriff,” and starred with Patrick Duffy in the situation comedy series, “Step by Step,” which ran for seven seasons from 1991-97. She also hosted her own daytime talk show, “The Suzanne Somers Show” and, from 1998-2000, was the weekly co-host of “Candid Camera.” Suzanne is the recipient of two People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Actress in a New Television Series in both 1978 and 1992.
Suzanne enjoys a successful career as a live performer. Her one-woman, musical autobiography, “The Blonde in the Thunderbird,” debuted on Broadway in a limited engagement at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in Summer 2005.
Always exploring different avenues of self-expression, Suzanne has authored 18 books, including eight New York Times bestsellers. In 1997, Suzanne published Suzanne Somers’ Eat Great, Lose Weight (Crown), the first in what has become a phenomenally popular series of books on “Somersizing,” her sensible approach to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. This New York Times bestseller was followed by Suzanne Somers’ Get Skinny on Fabulous Food (Crown; 1999). An immediate New York Times bestseller, the book was among the top fifteen nonfiction bestsellers on Publishers Weekly’s 1999 hardcover list. Both titles appeared simultaneously on the New York Times bestseller list in the top two positions and were among the New York Times’ and USA Today’s top 100 sellers in the years they were published.
Suzanne Somers’ Eat, Cheat, and Melt the Fat Away (Crown) was published in 2001 and became an instant New York Times bestseller. It also appeared on the bestseller lists of The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. Somersize Desserts (Crown) followed later that same year. Suzanne Somers’ Fast & Easy: Lose Weight the Somersize Way with Quick, Delicious Meals for the Entire Family (Crown; 2003), debuted in the #1 spot on the New York Times Advice/How-to bestseller list after just one week on sale. Published in March 2004, The Sexy Years (Crown), focused on the positives of aging and understanding natural bioidentical hormone replacement and started a revolution in the way women think about their bodies and menopause. It debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list, placed at #28 overall among non-fiction titles published in 2004, according to Publishers Weekly, and has sold more than 1 million copies since its publication. In November 2004, Crown published Somersize Chocolate: 30 Delicious, Guilt-Free Desserts for the Carb-Conscious Chocolate Lover. This title featured a variety of decadent treats made with Suzanne’s signature product, SomerSweet, a delicious sweetener blended with natural sweet fiber to take the place of sugar. Less than one week on sale, Suzanne Somers’ Slim and Sexy Forever (Crown; April 2005) became an immediate New York Times bestseller, debuting as well on the bestseller lists of The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. There are currently more than 10 million copies of Suzanne’s books in print.
Suzanne also published Keeping Secrets (Warner Books; 1988), her powerful New York Times bestselling autobiography, which chronicled her childhood as the daughter of an abusive alcoholic and the effect that had on her life. In 1998, she wrote After the Fall (Crown), its moving and inspiring sequel, which revisited her years before and after “Three’s Company,” and candidly explored the pain and triumph of blending families. In addition, Suzanne is the author of 365 Ways to Change Your Life, an inspirational guide of daily affirmations (Crown; 1999), and Wednesday’s Children, which discusses adult survivors of abuse. Her first book, Touch Me (Workman Publishing), a lauded collection of her poems, was originally published in 1973.
A savvy businesswoman as well, Suzanne launched her direct sales company, SUZANNE, in October 2006. An outgrowth of the success of her extensive branded product line on suzannesomers.com, SUZANNE initiated U.S. operations through a direct sales force and home parties. Suzanne hosted the first SUZANNE national sales convention in 2007. She is the owner of the flourishing line of ThighMaster personal fitness products (more than 10 million sold) and the Suzanne Somers Jewelry Collection on the Home Shopping Network, where it is among the top sellers. She has also created a line of skin and hair care products, apparel, and Somersize food products. FaceMaster, a facial toning system approved by the F.D.A, was introduced to consumers in 2000. In January 2003, Suzanne introduced her newest fitness product, the BodyRow, on national television. Recognizing her outstanding success and noting her as a pioneer in the electronic retailing industry, the Electronic Retailing Association presented Suzanne with its Lifetime Achievement Award in September 2005. In July 2008, she added the Suzanne Somers EZ GYM, a revolutionary portable gym, to her top-selling fitness line.
Suzanne has toured extensively with her nightclub act for the past 24 years and was named Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year in 1986. One of the most popular nightclub entertainers in the nation, Suzanne still appears in Las Vegas, as well as Monte Carlo, Atlantic City, and Lake Tahoe.
Suzanne’s most recent telefilm work includes the lead role in the USA Network movie, “No Laughing Matter.” Playing an alcoholic, single mother, Suzanne did a great deal of research and drew on her own painful childhood to bring startling realism to the part. She starred in “Devil’s Food,” a 1996 Lifetime made-for-television movie, and produced and starred in “Seduced by Evil” for the USA Network in 1994, “Exclusive” for ABC-TV in 1992, as well as “Keeping Secrets,” an adaptation of her autobiography for ABC-TV. Her television and feature film credits also include “Happily Ever After,” “Nothing Personal,” “Sky Heist,” “Yesterday’s Hero,” “Serial Mom,” “Hearts of Stone,” “The Darklings,” and “Say It Isn’t So.”
In January 2003, the entertainment community recognized Suzanne with her own Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was the 1999 Hall of Fame Inductee of Books for a Better Life, which honors the year’s most outstanding books in the self-improvement genre. In 2000, Suzanne received the Rick Weiss Humanitarian Award for her ongoing fundraising efforts on behalf of AIDS-related projects. Suzanne’s other honors include the 1997 KNX Woman of the Year award for her contribution to the research, education, and prevention of alcoholism in families; the first R. Brinkley Smithers Award, established in 1995 to honor one of the chief architects in the field of alcoholism research; and the 1993 “Mother of the Year” award given by The National Mother’s Day Committee in New York City.
A knowledgeable and dedicated health care advocate, Suzanne received the Humanitarian Award from the National Council on Alcoholism, and the Distinguished Achievement in Public Service Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has served two terms as National Honorary Chairperson of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics and, most notably, was the first layperson named to the American Psychiatric Foundation’s board of directors. Suzanne was also selected to serve on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Advisory Council to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
A sought-after commencement speaker and lecturer on the topic of addiction, recovery, and motivation, Suzanne has spoken to audiences of up to 50,000 people. She is the founder of the Suzanne Somers Institute for the Effects of Addiction on Families.
Suzanne and her husband Alan Hamel, whom she first met in 1968, are something of an anomaly in Hollywood, having enjoyed an enduring relationship for 40 years. Together, they have two sons, a daughter, and six grandchildren. They live in Los Angeles, where they oversee a manufacturing and marketing company that annually produces more than 1,000 products that are marketed globally.