Barry Manilow Reflects on Decades-Long Friendship With Suzanne Somers After Her Death at 76

The iconic singer paid tribute to the actress following her death on Sunday.

Barry Manilow is paying tribute to the late Suzanne Somers, following her death on Sunday at age 76.

The "Could It Be Magic" singer, 80, released a statement to ET Sunday afternoon mourning Somers' death, after a years-long battle with breast cancer.

"Suzanne and I were friends for decades," Manilow shared. "She was the sister I never had and my close confidant forever. We shared triumphs and heartaches."

"Her fame in so many fields overshadowed her real talent as one of our greatest comedic actors, a loving mother, an amazing homemaker, and one of the world’s best cooks," Manilow continued. "I will miss her dearly and hope that she is now out of pain and at peace.”

Somers and Manilow were close friends since her time on Three's Company and were neighbors living in Palm Springs.


Somers died on Sunday at 5 a.m., one day ahead of her 77th birthday. The news was confirmed by her publicist and longtime friend in a statement to ET. 

"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," R. Couri Hay said. "Suzanne was surrounded by her loving husband Alan, her son Bruce, and her immediate family." 

Couri shared that her family's original plans were to be with her on her to celebrate her birthday on Monday.

"Instead, they will celebrate her extraordinary life, and want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly. A private family burial will take place this week, with a memorial to follow next month," he shared.

In July, Somers exclusively told ET that her breast cancer had returned. At the time, the Step by Step star said she had plans to continue to fight. 

"I have been living with cancer since my 20’s. And every time that little f**ker pops up, I continue to bat it back. I do my best not to let this insidious disease control me," her statement read. "It's a recurrence of my breast cancer. Like any cancer patient, when you get that’s dreaded, 'It's back' you get a pit in your stomach. Then I put on my battle gear and go to war. This is a familiar battleground for me and I’m very tough."

Somers credited her husband, Alan, and her children for helping her get through her decades-long battle. 

"My cancer is a disease that affected my whole family and once it hit me in my 20s, Alan and I got even closer and every moment of every day was precious. We have not spent even one day apart in over 42 years. That’s the big upside of my cancer," she said. "My son refers to our relationship as functionally co-dependent. And my incredible family has been unbelievably supportive every step of the way."

The actress was public about her health issues. In her thirties, the Somers battled skin cancer, before fighting breast cancer in her fifties after being diagnosed in 2000.