‘Three’s Company’ Actor Suzanne Somers Revealed How Her Iconic ‘Snort’ Laugh Came to Be

by Suzanne Halliburton

When you think of Three’s Company and Chrissy Snow, there are several images that come to mind.

She always seemed to sport a ponytail, usually kind of off-balance in a really casual, unplanned, yet fashionable kind of way. The character was beautiful — the perfect image of a California girl. And she was ditzy and naive, more girl-next-door cute than in-your-face gorgeous.

There also was another disarming Chrissy trait on Three’s Company. Call it the snort. When she laughed, she sounded like a charming piglet. Suzanne Somers, who portrayed Chrissy for five seasons, said it all was “by accident.”

“One day in rehearsal I laughed so hard I snorted,” Somers said in 2012, when she played host to her own Three’s Company reunion show with co-star Joyce DeWitt.

“And I thought we’d stopped taping it,” the Three’s Company star recalled. “They said, ‘Leave it in.’ Really? And then they started writing it in.”

And as Tom Hill, the then-creative director at TV Land said, “a trademark is born.”

Somers Said Three’s Company Fans Still Ask Her to Snort

Somers is 74 now. She said during this 2012 interview that Three’s Company fans come up to her and ask her to snort. And she can do it on command.

“Even to this day, people will come up to me and say ‘do the snort,” she said. “And I’m thinking you know ‘I’m a grandmother now.’

And then Somers, the grandmother of three, snorted.

Somers said she’s happy that the show is still so popular. People have rediscovered the show via reruns on cable channels and streaming services. She’s forever the young, beautiful California blonde. Three’s Company was a comedy with a unique approach to telling the story of young, attractive single men and women.

The show featured three roommates — Somers and DeWitt along with John Ritter, who played Jack Tripper. But Tripper had to pretend to be gay. Otherwise, his landlord wouldn’t allow him to rent with single women.

Somers said of Three’s Company: “It is satisfying that it still has an effect.”

Added Hill, “It was risque at the time. But on TV Land, it all seems so innocent.”

Folks loved daffy Chrissy, the secretary with the funny hair and the funny walk. Everything about the character was delightful, especially her snort.

Unfortunately, Somers and the producers of Three’s Company differed on how much she should make. Somers asked for a bigger contract and producers cut her loose after five seasons as Chrissy. Jenilee Harrison, a former cheerleader for the Los Angeles Rams, was cast as Cindy Snow, Chrissy’s cousin. Then, Three’s Company replaced Cindy with Terri Alden, a smart nurse portrayed by Priscilla Barnes.

None of them ever replaced Chrissy in the hearts of Three’s Company fans. The series ended its run in 1984.