Suzanne Somers’ family is still mourning her loss.
“Extra’s” Billy Bush spoke with her widower Alan Hamel and son Bruce, who shared their grief and their memories of the beloved wife and mother they lost to breast cancer just one day before her 77th birthday.
Alan shared, “Sunday night was the first time in 42 years I didn’t have Suzanne next to me. We would hold hands and go to sleep.”
Billy recalled, “When I lost my father, I was in the room with him and I felt a physiological change, I felt his spirit leave the room,” asking if that’s how it felt for Alan when Suzanne took her last breath.
“No, I thought she was with me even when she wasn’t breathing,” Hamel said. “I spent the last two nights before, including that night, just talking to her and leaned over and kissed [her]. She responded with a kiss so I knew she could hear, and then the breathing stopped. I think she had reached the point that every day was a major fight and it was difficult. She couldn’t do anything for herself anymore.”
The couple’s love was a storybook romance.
Telling Billy about the first time they met, Alan recalled, “I was hired by ABC to do a game show, to do ‘The Anniversary Game.’ The day comes when we start shooting a series and they bring in a prize model and I look across the stage… and there’s the most incredibly beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my entire life… and I’ve always been really bad with come on lines… so I thought, ‘What am I going to say?’ And I got right up to her and I said, ‘Would you mind getting me a cup of coffee?’”
Alan and Suzanne were married for 46 years. He explained, “When you’re together with someone constantly, the relationship gets deeper and deeper and deeper, and it’s beyond a feeling. She’s so deep inside me and when she left, I lost half of me. When she left, I wondered if I was going to see her again.”
Billy noted, “She made you the best man,” and he replied, “She did. The most important thing she taught me was how to say, ‘I’m sorry.’”
He went on, “When I first met her, I fell in lust, but almost immediately something else started happening. It was this thing that continued to grow for 55 years… and it has affected every cell in my body and I would give my life to have her come back right now.”
Suzanne was an actress, New York Times best-selling author, and a Las Vegas Female Entertainer of the Year who performed with the likes of Frank Sinatra. She was also the face of the ThighMaster, and became full owner of rights to the exercise device.
Alan recalled, “It was V-shaped and an upper body toner and that was it. I think they sold 10 or 12 units. So, we said, ‘Leave it with us,’ and she put it between her thighs and she said to one of the guys, ‘Is this good for your thighs?’ and he said, ‘Oh, yeah.’”
Billy reflected on his own memories, saying, “When I was in the worst period of my life, just fired and thrown out, I was just beside myself depressed, but a letter came in the mail handwritten from Suzanne reminding me who I am. To take time out of her busy life and success — a friend for life. It just touched me.”
Her son Bruce shared, “She loved you,” and Alan added, “She really loved you, and I say that with honesty because I watched her write the letter.”
Bruce continued, “You know, Billy, every time we would run into each other and I would tell my mom, she’d say, ‘He’s so great,’ and I think she had a little crush on you because she’d say, ‘He’s so cute.’”
Billy insisted, “But she knows I couldn’t keep up with Alan.”
Hamel said, “She wants people know how important it is to pay back. I’m getting a little emotional about it. Pay back those people who go to war, who lose an arm or a leg or their lives. It’s important to make sure these people are looked after.”
Bruce then asked for a toast, saying, “Around this hour every day she’d have a tequila,” and Alan said, “Here’s to the greatest woman in the world.”