This Late Actress Who Hit Dad with Tennis Racket to Defend Mom Was Mourned with Flowers on Walk of Fame

This late celebrity had gone through a lot both as a child and as an adult, including being fired for requesting a raise, having an abusive parent, losing her home, and battling a fatal illness.

This celebrity had low self-esteem as a child and doubted her general abilities. In October 2019, she revealed in an exclusive interview how she saw herself as a child.

“I grew up believing I couldn’t learn. I thought I was stupid, and I was insecure,” said the veteran star at the time, as she was often “berated,” and she ended up believing what was said about her. She attended a Catholic school for some time but was later expelled for wearing short skirts.

A publicity portrait of the actress, 1979 | Source: Getty Images

This public figure also recalled getting ready for her first big date at age 16, and her mother had made her junior prom dress, which she loved and could not wait to wear. She admitted that she even dreamt about the outfit until her father came home one evening and started ripping it apart.

The actress at the San Diego Naval Station | Source: Getty Images

He walked into her bedroom “super drunk” and began ruining the get-up piece by piece. The girl’s mother came into the bedroom, too, and asked her father if he was out of his mind. The star recounted that her dad physically attacked her mom, knocking her down to the floor. In retaliation, the girl detailed:

“I picked up my tennis racket and, with all my might, I brought it down on his head. [..] I did give him a concussion. And a lot of stitches.”

Publicity portrait of the actress, 1977 | Source: Getty Images

After that experience, she started to fear her father but later realized that he became “afraid” of her because in one brief moment, “I got the attitude of, ‘I’ll show you. You can’t do this anymore,” she said.

Who Is This Late Actress Who Defended Her Mom against Her Dad?

The girl who bravely defended her mother from her father was Suzanne Somers, who, as a 16-year-old, developed an interest in the arts. While attending a public school, she joined the fine arts department and bagged the lead in “Guys and Dolls.” The actress played Adelaide, and although she had not studied acting before, she “morphed” into the role.

Publicity portrait of Suzanne Somers, 1977 | Source: Getty Images

One day, a well-known newspaper and radio columnist, Walter Winchell, came to the closing night of “Guys and Dolls” at Cappuccino High School, where the cast received a standing ovation. Winchell approached her and said, “You’re going someplace, sister.”

Indeed, he was right. Young Somers received a college scholarship after that and became the first person in her family to go to college. She eventually rose to superstardom, thanks to her iconic stint in one sitcom.

Somers Became a Star after Starring in ‘Three’s Company’

Somers rose to superstardom after appearing as Chrissy Snow in the hit classic television show, “Three’s Company,” alongside John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, and Don Knotts. She candidly talked about her much-loved character in January 2020, saying:

Suzanne Somers in the set of "Three's Company," 1978 | Source: Getty Images

“Creating her was actually intellectual. How do I make her likable and loveable … dumb blondes are annoying. I gave her a moral code.”

Suzanne Somers in the set of "Three's Company," 1979 | Source: Getty Images

While she became famously known for her role, Somers’ run on the sitcom was halted at its peak. She was fired from the ABC show after four seasons in 1980 after asking for a pay raise to even the playing field between her and her male co-star, Ritter.

Suzanne Somers, John Ritter, and Joyce DeWitt in the set of "Three's Company," 1979 | Source: Getty Images

The California native asked for an increase from $30,000 per episode to $150,000 an episode, to be on par with the actor. However, this backfired. She recalled in a March 2020 interview:

“The show’s response was, ‘Who do you think you are?’ They said, ‘John Ritter is the star.’”

Suzanne Somers on January 1, 1975 | Source: Getty Images

Somers, who was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2003, expressed that she would never have left the series had things ended differently. But because she was given the cold shoulder, she decided to go away.

Meanwhile, her husband, Alan Hamel, believed Somers’ termination was used as an example to ward off similar requests from other female stars. The former TV producer explained that no other woman had asked for equal pay before, making his wife the first of many until Roseanne Barr followed suit much later.

Somers Battled Cancer for Years

Suzanne Somers at the ceremony honoring her with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 24, 2003 in Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

In addition to attempting to be recognized for her work, Somers was battling health issues. While on “Three’s Company,” she revealed that she “had cancer three times” at that point, and explained that it was known as “severe hyperplasia” in the uterus.

The author disclosed in a July 2023 interview that she started battling cancer in her twenties. She fought skin cancer in her thirties and breast cancer in her fifties after being diagnosed in 2000.

Publicity portrait of Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel, 1980 | Source: Getty Images

Somers stated that once she got diagnosed with the disease, even her loved ones became heavily affected. However, it brought her closer to her spouse, Hamel, whom she had not been separated from for a day in their years together.

Suzanne Somers at the ceremony honoring her with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 24, 2003 in Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Sadly, Somers lost her battle to an aggressive form of breast cancer on October 15, 2023. Her publicist announced the news on the star’s Instagram account, revealing she died “peacefully at home” at age 76. She would have celebrated her 77th birthday the next day.

Flowers placed at the Hollywood Walk of Fame star for the late actress Suzanne Somers on October 16, 2023 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

In the wake of her passing, after surviving the disease for 23 years, people placed bouquets of flowers at her Hollywood Walk of Fame Star.

Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel at the 2018 Carousel of Hope Ball at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 6, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images

Meanwhile, Somers’ husband spoke about her final days during an appearance on the “TODAY” show and revealed that they had talked about their passing, and he always believed he would be first to go since he was ten years older than his wife.

Alan Hamel and Suzanne Somers on June 16, 2013 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Hamel said his beautiful spouse of 55 years was an “amazing woman,” mother, and wife, and was the glue that held the family together. Asked how Somers was doing before she passed, the 87-year-old said his now-late partner was “doing okay,” even though she was not 100 percent.

Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel's home in Palm, Springs, California | Source: YouTube/CNN Business

They candidly discussed the possibility of her dying, and she reminded him that she had fought cancer for so long that they needed to face the reality of her not surviving it this time.

Somers and Hamel, who lost their home in a fire outbreak in Malibu in January 2007, married in 1977 and raised three children together. She had a son from her previous marriage, and he has two children from his previous marriage, too.