Suzanne Somers’ official cause of death has been revealed less than two weeks after she passed away on October 15 at the age of 76 at her Palm Springs home.
According to the death certificate obtained by The Blast, the Three’s Company star’s breast cancer — which she battled for over two decades — had metastasized to the brain.
This was listed as a her immediate cause of death but other underlying conditions, including hypertension and hydrocephalus, also contributed to her passing.
Somers had been battling hydrocephalus — which is the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain’s ventricles that causes harmful pressure — for over a year.
Last July, the late actress underwent ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt surgery to help siphon the excess cerebrospinal fluid.
According to the certificate, the medical examiner performed a biopsy on Somers’ remains to determine cause of death but no autopsy was performed.
Her time of death is listed at 5:30AM on Sunday, October 15 — one day before her 77th birthday — and she was laid to rest at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City three days later.
Suzanne Somers’ cause of death has been revealed less than two weeks after she passed away on October 15 at the age of 76 at her Palm Springs home; seen in 2018
Somers’ longtime publicist confirmed that the TV icon was surrounded by family at her California home when she died.
Somers had an ‘aggressive’ form of breast cancer that began plaguing the actress more than 23 years ago.
She was in the process of seeking treatment for her breast cancer in the Midwest but it was sadly unsuccessful and she had returned to California.
Somer’s cancer battle was not the actress’s first bout with the disease – she revealed this past July that she had been struggling on-and-off with cancer since even before her break as Chrissy Snow on the popular program in 1977.
Now at rest, she is survived by husband Alan Hamel, 87, 57-year-old son Bruce, and two adult children and six grandchildren – all of whom had been present ahead of her birthday, her publicist confirmed.
‘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,’ it went on to reveal,’ the statement began.
‘Suzanne was surrounded by her loving husband Alan, her son Bruce, and her immediate family. Her family was gathered to celebrate her 77th birthday.
‘Instead, they will celebrate her extraordinary life, and want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly.’
The publicist confirmed that a private family burial would take place the week of her death, with a memorial for the acting icon slated for some time next month.
Somers was born in 1946 in San Bruno, California, to a gardener father and a medical secretary mother. She began acting in the late 1960s, playing the blonde driving the white Thunderbird in George Lucas´s 1973 film ‘American Graffiti.’ Her only line was mouthing the words ‘I love you’ to Richard Dreyfuss´s character.
At her audition, Lucas just asked her if she could drive. She later said that moment ‘changed her life forever.’
Somers would later stage a one-woman Broadway show entitled ‘The Blonde in the Thunderbird,’ which drew largely scathing reviews.
She appeared in many television shows in the 1970s, including ‘The Rockford Files,’ ‘Magnum Force’ and ‘The Six Million Dollar Man,’ but her most famous part came with ‘Three’s Company,’ which aired on ABC from 1977 to 1984 – though her participation ended in 1981.
On ‘Three´s Company,’ she was the ditzy blonde opposite John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt in the roommate comedy where she lived with a woman and a man posing as gay.
She quickly found recognition not only for her acting chops, but her new found status as a sex symbol – a distinction earned over five years on the program.
In 1980, after four seasons, she asked for a raise from $30,000 an episode to $150,000 an episode, which would have been comparable to what Ritter was getting paid. Hamel, a former television producer, had encouraged the ask.
‘The show’s response was, ‘Who do you think you are?” Somers told People in 2020. ‘They said, ‘John Ritter is the star.’
She was ultimately fired from the show in 1981 following a contract dispute with producers. Her character was replaced by two different roommates for the remaining years the show aired. It also led to a rift with her co-stars and they didn’t speak for many years.
Somers took the break as an opportunity to pursue new avenues, including a Las Vegas act, writing books, hosting a talk show and becoming an entrepreneur.
Somers did reconcile with Ritter before his death, and then with DeWitt on her online talk show.
Her fame for the most part stayed, with a series of starring spots on multiple TV movies, and cameos on shows such as Full House.
Within a decade, Somers was again graced with another plum primetime part – this time as the matriarch on the T.G.I.F. sitcom Step by Step, which ran for seven seasons until 1997.
This time, Somers – who wed second husband Alan in 1977 – stayed for the entire stint, during which she enjoyed a lengthy resurgence.
In the 1990s, she also became the spokesperson for the Thighmaster which saw her appear in informercials. The iconic partnership she once said earned her more than $300,000.
She went on to take a step away from acting in 2001 – but the impact she left on the American consciousness through her TV and film appearances hardly seemed to wane.
Somers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2003 literally cementing her status as a cultural icon.
Even now, more than two decades later, she remains one of the most recognizable figures of the small screen.
But behind her success was several bitter bouts with cancer – ones she revealed in an interview this summer that have plagued her for the better part of a half-century.
She told Entertainment Tonight: ‘I have been living with cancer since my 20’s. And every time that little f***** pops up, I continue to bat it back,’
‘I do my best not to let this insidious disease control me,’
According to the death certificate obtained by The Blast , the Three’s Company star’s breast cancer — which she battled for over two decades — had metastasized to the brain; seen in 2019
Her time of death is listed at 5:30AM on Sunday, October 15 — one day before her 77th birthday — and she was laid to rest at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City three days later; seen in 1978
The red carpet fixture – who also appeared in early George Lucas work American Graffiti in 1973 – did not specify what type of cancer she had been battling at the time, but from her publicist’s statement, it is apparent it was the same malady that claimed her life Sunday.
At the time, she said she was making it through thanks to both Hamel and Bruce – her son with first husband Bruce Somers Sr. – her side.
‘My cancer is a disease that affected my whole family and once it hit me in my 20’s, Alan and I got even closer and every moment of every day was precious,’ she said.
‘We have not spent even one day apart in over 42 years. That’s the big upside of my cancer.’
Aside from Bruce and her husband, Somers also leaves behind younger children Steven and Leslie Somers, both of whom are married with multiple kids, who Hay on Sunday said will also miss their grandaughter.
‘There were all these plans and she was always working and dreaming and had brought her family into the business, and the grandchildren and step-children were all part of the business,’ the publicist told People in a separate statement, adding that she was ‘very engaged right to the end.’
In fact, just a few days earlier, she told the outlet that she was looking forward to being with her ‘nearest and dearest’ on her special day, including her ‘beloved husband Alan [Hamel], our three children, Leslie, Stephen, and Bruce, [his wife] Caroline, plus our six wonderful grandchildren.’
She added that all of Somers’s ‘immediate family’ were present for her last moments.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Somers’ widower spoke about her last few days as she lost her battle with breast cancer.
‘We shared a last kiss,’ he said as he teared up, ‘and it was passionate and beautiful.’
The 87-year-old actor and producer also talked about their last road trip from Illinois to California that led them through Utah and Nevada: ‘She loved seeing all the nature,’ he offered.
Hamel shared that he had a ‘vision’ of his blonde bombshell wife days after she passed. ‘I was alone in bed half asleep when I reached out for her hand and I saw her looking at me. It felt like she was there,’ he shared.
The TV producer then shed light on their unique Hollywood love story, from how they met in the 1960s and fell in love on a houseboat. ‘She had an anklet with bells on it, she fit right in,’ he said of living in the hippie community of Sausalito.
And he revealed what her dying wish was: ‘She wanted me to continue to her company, to give organic product to her ‘ladies’ as she called them. She wanted her customers to have the best,’ he added.
Hamel admitted that the first few days without Suzanne have been hard on him.
‘Missing Suzanne is probably not a powerful enough word; I don’t know what the word is. But for the past 55 years we didn’t even spend one hour apart,’ he shared with DailyMail.com.
‘Suzanne and I were so close that she said when I wasn’t in the room she would miss me and I would miss her too – even though we were in the same house. We would actually go to sleep holding each other’s hands which was so special to me,’ he said.
Alan also relayed that he feels their souls are linked. ‘Half of me is her,’ he added.
Somers had an ‘aggressive’ form of breast cancer that began plaguing the actress more than 23 years ago; seen in 2017
She was in the process of seeking treatment for her breast cancer in the Midwest but it was sadly unsuccessful and she had returned to California; seen in 1978
Somers earned fames starring alongside John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt on Three’s Company in the 70s and 80s, a stretch that has since proved iconic in the annals of American TV
He continued: ‘I do believe in the afterlife – I’ve met with mediums before and they’ve told me things there’s no way they could’ve known.
‘There’s just too many stories about people dying and coming back and having stories it just can’t be a hoax and it actually is comforting to know that someday I may come in contact with Suzanne again.’
Hamel them walked through the last few days of her life.
The last two days before Suzanne died she was not alert: ‘She just laid there and didn’t move, she couldn’t do anything for herself, so I sat down next to her and I told her stories and I talked to her for many, many hours. I wasn’t sure if she could hear me or not but I was hopeful she could.’
Before she passed he gave her a kiss.
‘I kissed her as I always do, and she kissed me back. After the kiss I realized it was a real kiss which shocked me because she had not been responsive. And it was powerful and it made me think that she was there listening to me before she died and I’m happy that I spent so much time with her,’ said Alan.
He also revealed that he and Suzanne had discussed at length how she would pass.
‘She said she didn’t want 911 called she didn’t want be in the hospital and she didn’t want to get tubed up – she wanted to be home in a familiar environment. So we agreed that her passing would be comfortable and we would be with her cat Gloria,’ he told DailyMail.com.
She had been in a specialty clinic in Chicago for six weeks before she passed, Hamel told DailyMail.com.
‘When she left the clinic I didn’t want to take an airplane home in case the flight was canceled so we hired a medical transport team and they came with the Mercedes sprinter which was huge with beds, chairs, a small fridge, a TV and two drivers so the car would never stop except for gasoline. That’s how we drove from Chicago to Palm Springs where Suzanne spent her final days.’
‘It was a nice trip because they got to see nature as they drove through Utah Nevada and California, he added.
‘Suzanne and I love to see middle America and how real Americans lived. We got hooked one point on this TV show called 100 Rodeos, 100 days because we like to see how these people went together to rodeos – it was families and cowboy hats and this was the real heart of America,’ he explained.
He added they liked the simple life, not the flashiness of fame.
‘Suzanne and I weren’t into the glitzy showbiz parties in Hollywood and that’s why we moved out to the desert 47 years ago; we wanted to get our kids out of LA and we wanted to raise them in an environment where we could focus – Suzanne was a great mother that way, she really put the kids first.
‘When Suzanne and I first got together she said she was going to combine our two families and make it into one family and she did.
‘Now I am the beneficiary of her hard work because the children are also close to us and they’ve been out here with me nonstop helping me with the grief. I don’t know if they planned it in advance or what but they have made sure that I’m not alone and that I feel loved and that all has to do with Suzanne’s great parenting.’
He also noted that Somers battled cancer her entire adult life.
‘Suzanne had a hard life; she fought cancer since her 20s. It just never left her and I think it had to do with her childhood; she had an alcoholic father who was difficult and I don’t think that helped. She grew up with a lot of stress.’
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com , Somers’ widower spoke about her last few days as she lost her battle with breast cancer; Somers seen with husband Alan Hamel in 2015
The last two days before Suzanne died she was not alert: ‘She just laid there and didn’t move, she couldn’t do anything for herself, so I sat down next to her and I told her stories and I talked to her for many, many hours. I wasn’t sure if she could hear me or not but I was hopeful she could’; seen in 2018
Each time she beat it, but not this time.
‘This last time it overwhelmed her and there was no turning back,’ he said.
Now Alan is solo for the first time in decades.
‘Now for the first time in 55 years I’m alone; I have not lived alone much in my life – the only time was for two weeks and I hated it. I was very young and I just didn’t like it,’ he said.
But there are constant reminders of Suzanne all over the place, he shared. ‘There are photos everywhere, our kids, it helps.’