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Actress Joyce Dewitt is offering her condolences following the death of her former Three’s Company costar Suzanne Somers.
“My heart goes out to Suzanne’s family,” DeWitt, 74, said in a statement to Us Weekly on Monday, October 16. “They are a very close family — deeply connected and caring one to the other. I can only imagine how difficult this time is for all of them.”
She continued: “I’m sure Suzanne was greeted by Angels into the loving wisdom waiting for all of us on the other side, and I hope that will assist her family’s hearts in healing as they travel through this difficult time.”
Somers passed away at the age of 76 on Sunday, October 15, following a two-decade-long battle with breast cancer. “She survived an aggressive form of breast cancer for over 23 years,” R. Couri Hay, Somers’ longtime publicist, said in a statement to Us. “Suzanne was surrounded by her loving husband Alan, her son Bruce, and her immediate family.”
Sunday would have marked Somers’ 77th birthday. Despite the loss, Hay noted that her family would still “celebrate her extraordinary life” in her memory. “[They] want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly,” Hay’s statement concluded. “A private family burial will take place this week, with a memorial to follow next month.”
Somers and DeWitt starred alongside the late John Ritter on the hit sitcom Three’s Company, which ran for eight seasons from 1976 to 1984. The show followed the hijinks of Ritter’s John Tripper after he moves into an apartment with two single girls, Janet Wood and Chrissy Snow, played by DeWitt and Somers, respectively.
Somers was fired from the show in 1980 after demanding pay equity with Ritter. Her departure from the show also marked the end of her friendship with DeWitt, though the two made amends during a February 2012 episode of Somers’ talk show Suzanne Somers Breaking Through.
“It’s time [to reunite]. I think that you gave me the opportunity to make sure that I walk my talk for the last 30-odd years,” DeWitt said during the emotional reunion. “Whenever something about Three’s Company comes up, I have relentlessly said that it is my opinion that the only reason Three’s Company is worth remembering is that it created an opportunity for all of us to laugh together, to celebrate joy. It’s a profound gift.”
When it came to their falling out, DeWitt noted that she and Somers had “very different approaches” to their careers as Somers was focused on making money to support her son, Bruce Jr., whom she shared with ex-husband Bruce Somers. “We had very different needs. I did not have a child that I was supporting on my own,” DeWitt added. “I didn’t have a business head, so I didn’t understand someone who did.”
Somers, for her part, shared that she respected and respected DeWitt’s formal acting training. “I do want you to know how much I learned from watching you,” she told her former cast mate.
Last year, Somers proposed the idea of a Three’s Company reboot. During an interview on the “Behind the Velvet Rope” podcast, she suggested that the series could follow the son of her and Ritter’s characters and that the child could be played by Ritter’s own son, actor Jason Ritter. (John died in 2003 at the age of 54 due to an aortic dissection.)
“I had suggested this to Jason’s people and that the show would be me and Jason, but that John would appear as a hologram because it’d be like he was back and alive,” she explained on the podcast in April 2022. “But Jason doesn’t want to do anything reminiscent of what his father did.”