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Suzanne Somers Turns 70: A Look Back at Her Storied Career

by Raphael Chestang 3:50 PM PDT, October 21, 2016
Playing Suzanne Somers Turns 70: A Look Back at Her Storied Career

From fitness queen to best-selling author, Suzanne Somers has proven to be much more than just an iconic TV star. ET is looking back on her career as she celebrates turning 70 years old!

After making her debut in 1973's American Graffiti and appearing on Starsky and Hutch in 1975, Somers became a household name in 1977 when she landed her role as Chrissy Snow on Three's Company.

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"I'm so glad I did that show," Somers told ET in 1982. "It made me. It gave me everything. It was the chance that everyone hopes to get."

America quickly fell in love with her character as the ditzy blonde bombshell with the infectious laugh, but executives weren't willing to pay her as much as her late co-star, John Ritter.

Without equal pay, Somers stopped showing up for work and she claims she was eventually fired.

READ: Jennifer Lawrence Chants for Equal Pay During a Surprise Drop-In at the Women in Film Pre-Oscar Party

"I've been the subject of a lot of negative press over the years," she told ET at the time. "People who I don't even know say things."

In the '80s, Somers returned to television in the short-lived series, She's the Sheriff, but she hit another hot streak in the '90s with a starring role in the sitcom Step by Step and a spokesperson gig as the face of ThighMaster.

Rebranding herself as a health and fitness expert, Somers sold more than 10 million ThighMasters, authored 25 books and built a $100 million empire, but it nearly came crashing down in 2001 when she received a devastating diagnosis of breast cancer.

"I eat right. I exercise. I've done all the right things," she told us in 2001. "I've always taken care of myself and I never ever thought that I'd hear those words -- you have breast cancer -- applied to me."

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Somers conquered the disease with her husband and manager, Alan Hamil, by her side, and went back to living her life better than ever.

At 68 years old, she competed on Dancing With the Stars. During one of her dance rehearsals with pro partner Tony Dovolani, Somers told ET that when it came to having sex, she didn't miss a day.

Watch the video below for more.

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