Three’s Company star Suzanne Somers calls career setbacks or struggles to get ahead “big fist moments.” They’re her “rocket fuel” to become reinvent herself.
She received a big boost of that fuel when ABC fired her from Three’s Company at the height of the show’s popularity. She says she was fired for seeking pay equity with her male co-star John Ritter. He made $150,000 an episode to her $30,000.
“I now get that these careers are high and low,” Suzanne Somers told Closer Weekly, “and you don’t learn anything when you’re high. You learn when you’re low. That’s when you have time to sit back and think and realize that when you hit the top of the mountain, there’s nowhere to go further up. You can only start going down, and that’s the time to go left or right and reinvent. I’ve actively reinvented myself over and over and I’ve taken every big fist that has come my way and turned it into rocket fuel. Kind of, like, ‘Oh, yeah? Let me show you!’”
So, after thinking through her options and taking jobs she wouldn’t have originally, she figured out her next big move. She’d start a Las Vegas act.
“I used my fame and the fact that people were craving to see Chrissy Snow again,” she says. “And I hired the best Hollywood writers and choreographers and put together this big act. I brought Chrissy to life on stage in the middle of the show and people would give her a standing ovation every night.”
By 1987, she was one of the hottest shows in Vegas. In fact, she won Female Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year. Frank Sinatra won Male Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year.
Somers Made Up With ‘Three’s Company’ Cast
Following the fallout of her being fired, Suzanne Somers was persona non grata with the rest of the Three’s Company cast. And she wasn’t exactly looking forward to speaking with them either.
“In the beauty salon, the receptionist comes over and says, ‘You have a phone call… It’s John Ritter.’ I go over and pick up the phone and he says, ‘Listen, I forgive you.’ I had a little trouble with that, but I let that go, and I said, ‘I love you and I’ve always loved you.’”
“He said, ‘I’m doing a show called 8 Simple Rules and there’s a dream sequence and I want to have a nightmare, and in my nightmare, you… are in the dream.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I’d love to work with you again, but… This isn’t the way I want to come back, a nightmare. Really?’”
She turned down the offer. But they spoke for a while, she said and promised to find a project they both could work on. Unfortunately, Ritter died unexpectedly a month later.
She and Joyce DeWitt made up on Suzanne Somer’s web series in 2012. They hashed out their issues in front of the audience and seemed to genuinely miss one another.