Everlasting Somers

Suzanne Somers conquered cancer, built a worldwide health and beauty brand, went organic before it was cool, and proved that age really is only a number. For this Palm Springs resident, the good times are just getting started

Mona de Crinis Arts & Entertainment 0 Comments

 

She may qualify for Medicare and senior discounts at the movies, but describing Suzanne Somers as “old” is like saying all blondes are ditzy.

Somers, 68, wields a buoyancy that belies her age and her entrepreneurial savvy. When it comes to brains, she is no Chrissy Snow, the lovable bubblehead Somers portrayed on the popular late-’70s sitcom Three’s Company. She captains a globally recognized health and beauty brand featuring more than 1,000 products, which grew from her experiences battling breast cancer 15 years ago. Rather than buckle under the weight of the diagnosis, Somers weighed her options and chose to substitute conventional post-surgery treatment for artillery crafted from nature.

“I turned down chemotherapy and harsh after-care drugs in favor of balancing my biochemicals with bioidentical hormones,” she says. “I decided to eat as though my life depended on it and began growing all my own vegetables in my organic garden.”

 

Suzanne Somers says her lifestyle has helped her grow older fearlessly.

 

She researched nutrition, learned about pesticides and genetically modified food, and began an all-organic diet.

“Think of this,” Somers challenges. “If you eat conventionally grown food sprayed with poisons, your liver has to filter out all the toxins, which sucks up your energy. My liver has no need to do this; ergo, eating organic food gives me enormous energy.” She is also skeptical of pharmaceuticals. While she acknowledges that many conditions and illnesses require prescription drugs, you’ll rarely find her in a pharmacy.

Somers says her lifestyle has helped her grow older fearlessly. “Today I love aging, because I have found a new way to age,” she asserts. She works up to 12 hours a day, gets eight-plus hours of sleep at night, hikes in the local mountains (she and husband Alan Hamel have a home in Palm Springs), and rocks a youthful physique. “My weight is what it was in my 20s, and since doing Dancing With the Stars this season, my body has changed for the better. Alan says it’s like having a mistress,” Somers adds playfully. “And I am OK with it.”

Married for almost 50 years, she says she’s still crazy about her husband and is grateful for a thriving family and six robust grandchildren. “Other than that,” she says, “my work in health is my greatest accomplishment.”

 

Suzanne Somers and her husband, Alan Hamel, are approaching 50 years together.

 

An advocate of alternative medicine and bioidentical hormones, Somers has researched and written 25 books chronicling her challenges and triumphs. Her latest offering, Tox-Sick: From Toxic to Not Sick, made The New York Times best-seller list, her 14th book to earn that distinction. Her brands include skin care, hair care, and cosmetics lines — all organic, of course — and a beefed-up, vibrating version of her iconic ThighMaster, which is undergoing market testing. For her beloved desert, Somers is working on a project she hopes will help people achieve and maintain good health: the Suzanne Somers Wellness Clinic.

“If it all comes together,” she says, “I will be happy to contribute this to all my friends in the Coachella Valley, who live here in paradise because they want to live a healthy and long life.”

Even with all her products, projects, and books, Somers finds time to nurture the artist within. In May, she opened Suzanne Sizzles at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino for a long-term residency. A veteran performer, Somers played the Westgate — then known as the Las Vegas Hilton — throughout the 1980s. Her new, intimate show harkens back to the heyday of the Rat Pack. “I love the music from the Great American Songbook that Sinatra and Sammy and Dean performed in the early Vegas days,” she says. “My show will have beautiful music, lush sound, sexy lights, and big laughs.”

The resort rolled out the red carpet for Somers’ return, creating a new performance venue — called Suzanne’s — along with the on-site Suzanne Somers Organic Spa Café.

 

Suzanne Somers was paired with professional dancer Driton “Tony” Dovolani for season 20 of Dancing With the Stars. They finished in ninth place.

 

“If you had asked Chrissy what she saw for her future, she would have said a house full of great kids and a husband who is decent and honest and sincere and makes her laugh,” says Somers. “My vision of the future changes constantly; just when I accomplish something personal or in business, I look to the next thing or place. It is a never-ending evolutionary process that is important to keep one’s brain healthy. I want to keep working at my business until I enter God’s waiting room.”

And she doesn’t envision that happening until she’s a decade or two past the century mark.

The story of Somers’ life is still being written, with conquests yet uncharted. As each page turns, the biography grows richer. Until those final keystrokes hammer, closing the book on her remarkable life, Somers has no intention of slowing down.

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