When it comes to Hollywood, divorce and separation are almost expected between celebrity pairings. Even though some take us by surprise (like Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux), it’s easy to imagine how things fall apart.
With the possibility of differing filming schedules and location changes, it can be hard to keep the romance going. But there are still plenty of success stories — one of them being Suzanne Somers, who is celebrating her 42nd anniversary.
Suzanne is best known for Three’s Company, but she has a lot of other hits on her résumé. Those who were kids in the ’90s will recognize her best as Carol Foster Lambert from the family sitcom Step by Step. Born Suzanne Mahoney, she actually took the last name of her first husband to use for show business.
Years after that divorce, in 1977, Suzanne went on to marry Alan Hamel, and the two continue to share a life together.
As a couple, they’ve been through a lot. In 2000, Suzanne was diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2007, they lost their home to a wildfire. But no matter what life has thrown at them, they’ve managed to stay strong for 42 years, which is a monumental achievement.
So who is Alan Hamel? He’s more popular in Canada than in the United States. In the ’60s, he hosted a show called Razzle Dazzle, geared toward children.
He reportedly met Suzanne on the set of a show called The Anniversary Game. Suzanne was a model, and Alan was the host. The two lived together for a full decade before officially tying the knot.
The two haven’t been shy about their love. In a book called Two’s Company, they revealed that they still have a very active sex life and make a lot of time for each other. “Oh, he’s just so beautiful,” Suzanne told the Daily Mail, per Hollywood Life. “I had sex with [Alan] on our very first date just in case there wasn’t a second one. I just wanted to be with him that first time.”
Alan also made headlines a few weeks ago, after taking a topless photo of Suzanne that went viral. The picture was featured on Instagram, showing Suzanne in a field looking radiant. “Here I am at 73 in my Birthday Suit!!!,” she captioned the photo.
So knowing that, the video that Suzanne shared to celebrate their anniversary is even more touching. The video was put together by their son and daughter-in-law, Bruce Somers Jr. and Caroline Somers. “I’ve seen it a hundred times and I still cry every time. In life, it’s only about who you love and who loves you back,” Suzanne wrote.
The video was a big hit. Leeza Gibbons wrote, “One of our favorite all-time couples! We love you,” while actress Jillian Barberie noted that she “can’t stop watching and crying.” It’s a beautiful token of a wonderful life together.
In 2017, Suzanne admitted that one of the biggest struggles of their relationship actually happened early on, while she was on Three’s Company. Suzanne had argued for equal pay while on set, and speaking up led her to being fired. As this is still a huge issue for women, it should be noted that Suzanne was a pioneer in demanding what was right.
“I was absolutely stunned and heartbroken,” she said to Inside Edition. The loss of a job led to more opportunities, such as books and other television shows. And, of course, the product that Suzanne is still linked to today — the Thighmaster.
Suzanne is still all about health these days. On Instagram, she promotes her line of hair, skin, and nail supplements. Her brand is called Suzanne Selects.
Even though she’s been keeping active and busy, she hasn’t been on a set since 2001. Her last acting role was in Say It Isn’t So, where she played “Gilbert’s Mom.” Before that, she had a role in a 1999 TV movie called The Darklings.
She may have been cut from the cast of Three’s Company, but she still thinks of the show fondly — especially her connection with John Ritter. John died unexpectedly in 2003. Through Instagram, Suzanne has posted tributes honoring their friendship.
Curious about the other secrets of Alan and Suzanne’s successful marriage? In a video for Today, Suzanne stated that you should never start sentences with the phrases “you always,” “you never,” or “you should.” Those can often lead to fights.
She also said that it was hard at first, because there were kids in the mix. “There’s no child who wants a new parent,” she admitted. With blended families, it always takes more effort to make sure everyone’s comfortable with the new arrangement.
But based on the fact the son she shares with Bruce Somers is the one who helped create that tribute video, she obviously found success with making it work. She also said that it’s important to still “date” at night, and make nights together special. Romance is still huge in her life.
May all of us be so lucky to find a relationship as loving as the one between Suzanne and Alan. These two have proven that with a little bit of work and understanding, a marriage at 70 can still resemble a marriage at 30. They should be the couple that Hollywood looks up to.