R.I.P. Suzanne Somers, the thigh mistress, who has now finally achieved complete parity with John Ritter.
Suzanne Somers, the actress best known for her roles in comedies such as "Three's Company" and "Step by Step," has died, her longtime publicist announced Sunday. She was 76 years old. https://t.co/CsivGJG4Fi pic.twitter.com/p5TluuCmrH
— ABC News (@ABC) October 15, 2023
Did you know that she appeared on The Dating Game in 1974? Three’s Company didn’t start until 1977, but by the time she appeared on that game show she had already appeared as “Blonde in T-Bird” in American Graffiti, and had appeared uncredited as the topless pool girl in Magnum Force, as seen below.
Suzanne appeared topless in Magnum Force (1973), which was lensed several years before she became a household name in Three’s Company.
- In 1972, she had posed for a poster that was used to sell water skis, a fact of which the company is duly proud. That highly respected company is still in business, and recently crowed that “they knew her first.”
— Maherajah (@maherajah_skis) May 15, 2015
Suzanne was unknown at the time, so the topless image attracted little notice, but High Society magazine found it and published it in 1978, after she had become famous.
- Suzanne had done some test shots for Playboy in 1970. They did not select her for the publication at the time, but they ended up publishing the photos in 1980, after she had become famous.
Suzanne got in hot water when they came out, because she had claimed on the Tonight Show that she had never posed nude except for the one modest topless shot that had recently appeared in High Society. She admitted posing for a Playboy photographer, but claimed that her session had consisted solely of swimsuit modeling. Nobody has been able to figure out why she chose to fib about that while the photographer was still alive and able to contradict her. Playboy ran the photos, and her statement was exposed as a blatant lie.
She dug her hole even deeper when she tried to spin the situation. She tried to divert attention from the fact that she had falsely denied the existence of the nude photos by changing the subject and saying that Playboy had published the photos without her permission. Once again, her deception was easily fact-checked. Playboy had paid her $3,000 for the session, and always got signed releases for every model, so they not only had her permission, but actually had explicit permission in writing!
- Despite her lawsuit against Playboy over the 1980 issue, Suzanne was back in Playboy in 1984, this time in a (tame) spread that she controlled.
And then there was Thighmaster