and were together for decades.
After meeting on the set of the marriage competition show in 1969, the couple wed in 1977 and remained inseparable until the . Hamel was by his wife's side when she "passed away peacefully at home" on Oct. 15, Somers’ longtime publicist R. Couri Hay wrote in a statement on behalf of her family. The star was 76 years old.
Throughout the course of their decades-long marriage, the pair worked closely to build Somers' lifestyle brand and wellness empire, with Hamel even serving as Somers' manager. In recent years, the two weren't afraid to talk about the inner workings of their relationship, including opening up about their sex life and how they never spent a day apart.
"I've never enjoyed anybody in my whole life the way I enjoy Al," Somers told PEOPLE in 2020. "!"
From creating one of the most iconic commercials in fitness history to writing numerous best sellers on life, love and business, here's everything to know about Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel's relationship.
Somers met Hamel on the set of , where she worked as a prize model, and Hamel hosted the syndicated game show during its one-year run. Though her time on the show was brief, a flame between Somers and Hamel ignited that has never burned out.
Somers told PEOPLE in 2017 that Hamel "turned on women and turned on men."
", everybody liked to be around him. I just stood in awe," she said.
To escape the paparazzi and city life, Somers and Hamel searched for a quiet, private retreat away from Los Angeles and , California. The couple originally purchased the home for $420,000 in 1977, .
"As we rode up the romantic funicular, I said to Alan, 'Let's buy this,' and he said to me, 'Could you please adopt a poker face so we don't have to pay full price?'" Somers told PEOPLE. "I was not able to contain my excitement, and we paid more than full price."
After meeting, Somers and Hamel were never without each other, dating for 10 years before tying the knot in 1977. Together, they worked to blend their families (Somers' son Bruce Jr. from her previous marriage and Hamel's two children from his first marriage).
"If you want to get really lofty, did we know each other in another life? It was that instant," Somers told PEOPLE of her connection with Canadian Hamel.
She added, "I think the 10-year difference, he has a perspective that I've been catching up with. He's been a great teacher, as I believe I've been a great teacher for him."
Hamel isn't just Somers' partner in life, he's her partner in business, too. In a 2006 interview with , Hamel said Somers' previous manager didn't have her best interests at heart.
"When Suzanne was doing , I was doing a television series in Canada," Hamel said "I noticed her manager was making a lot of short-term deals for her, not career-oriented, long-term deals. I wanted to stop doing the TV show in Canada, so we decided to terminate the manager and I'd take over. We've been doing it that way ever since."
Once she was , Somers packed her bags and went to Las Vegas to work as a showgirl — she opened at the MGM Grand in 1980. After three years (and countless nights of performing), Somers said she'd had enough and decided to find a new way to make money. Enter the ThighMaster.
"I'd just bought a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes for $560. Like any wife, I'm thinking, 'How am I going to tell my husband I spent almost $600 on a pair of shoes?' I was in my dressing room in my underwear, and I thought, this is the perfect time to show him," Somers told "So I walked out in a bra and panties and my new high heels, and I watched my husband's eyes go up from the shoes to my legs
She continued, "And he said, 'Great legs!' And I thought — that's the commercial. We'll pan up, showing my legs, using my husband's voice to narrate, 'Great legs!' We ended up selling over 10 million ThighMasters."
In April 1995, Hamel's daughter Leslie Hamel gave birth to his granddaughter, Daisy Hamel-Buffa. Later that year, Somers' son, Bruce Jr., welcomed Camelia Marie Somers into the world.
Somers told PEOPLE in 2017 that one of the best parts of having grandchildren is that "you get to fall in love all over again."
She added, ". There's no 'Yours, mine, ours or anything."
Somers was scheduled to have a routine mammogram in April 2000. During the appointment, the doctor recommended she try his new ultrasound machine, which could detect up to 20 percent of lumps that traditional mammograms are likely to miss.
Following the ultrasound, the doctor told Somers she'd need to have a biopsy. One hour later, Somers' doctor broke the bad news: She had a malignant tumor in her right breast.
"," Hamel told PEOPLE in 2021. "That day was the saddest day of my life."
Despite his sadness, Hamel remained by his wife's side during her cancer treatment. Fortunately, her doctor was able to remove the tumor. While recovering in bed, Somers said she was "in incredible pain" and leaned on Hamel for support.
"For five days, he stayed in bed with me," Somers told PEOPLE. "Business didn't exist. He brought me soup and turned off the phones."
In 2007, a wind-driven fire destroyed the couple's Malibu, California, home.
"There's not a death in the family," Somers told reporters, . "We'll rebuild, and I really think we'll learn something great from this. What else can you do with tragedy but look for the opportunity to grow? It was a beautiful house. It was a beautiful place to live."
Somers gave PEOPLE a tour of her and Hamel's new Malibu home 10 years later.
"It took a long time since our house burned down to get back on the water," Somers said before adding, "I can't get over it. It's such a gift. There's just a lot of nature and light and beauty, and I love my life."
In an exclusive email interview with PEOPLE, Somers revealed her secrets to a long-lasting marriage. While speaking about her book , she admitted that she and Hamel haven't spent a night apart since their wedding.
"No agreement was ever made, just an insatiable desire to be together," Somers told PEOPLE. "I can't imagine a night without him. It sounds corny, but we are one."
Somers opened up to PEOPLE about her first date with Hamel decades ago.
"I went on my first date with him [and] slept with him on the first date [because] I thought, 'I may never get another chance,'" Somers said in 2017. "It was so incredible. I've been with him ever since."
On her 73rd birthday, Somers posed topless in a field in Palm Springs, California. She posted the photo, captured by her husband Hamel, .
"We were walking on the hillside road [on her property], and I think it was like June. It was hot and dry," Somers told PEOPLE. "I said, 'Oh my god, the foliage here is the same color as my hair.' Because, by that time, all the weeds and bushes had turned yellow."
She continued, "So I got down and said, '. The weeds will look like my hair. I took my top down because I was with my husband, and he took that great picture."
In February 2020, Somers posted a video on Instagram soaking in an outdoor bathtub while Hamel danced in circles around her in nothing but a red jacket and underwear. "Let Me Entertain You" from the 1959 musical played in the background.
"Happy Valentine's Day," Somers . "This is what you call an 83 year old STRIP TEASE! How lucky am I to have Alan as my Valentine!? Happy Valentine's Day to all of you from my #weirda–family! LOVE IS ALL THERE IS! ❤️."
Somers, who was already using a crutch from a fractured hip, injured herself again after Hamel tried to help her down the stairs. Instead, he tripped himself, resulting in Somers falling.
"," Somers told PEOPLE in 2020. "We went and had X-rays, and they said, 'Immediate spinal surgery.'"
After the procedure, Somers was ordered to wear a neck collar to keep her spine immobile. However, that didn't keep the couple from being intimate.
"You would think I couldn't have sex, but my husband has figured that one out," Somers said.
On their 44th wedding anniversary, Somers with the caption: "My darling, @therealalanhamel - how I love being your wife. Married today 44 years and together 53 years!"
The video, created by her son, featured photos of Somers and Hamel over the years.
"I don't want to spend a day without you. What a life! Happy Anniversary! Thank you to @brucesomersjr and @carolinesomers for this beautiful video ❤️," she wrote.
If there's one thing Somers and Hamel have in common, it's passion. In 2021, Somers got candid about her and Hamel's sex life on the podcast . On the episode, Somers revealed that she and her husband get busy at least three times per day.
"At this stage of life, most people think that's over the hill," Somers said. "What time is it, noon? so far today."
She continued, "God, our relationship has always been amazing, but now that our kids are raised, and it's just me and Al, and we paid for the tuition, we paid for the weddings and helped them get their start — now it's just us. Man, are we having fun."
Somers and Hamel's real estate agent , star of Bravo's first announced the $8.5 million listing on Jan. 22, 2021. By May, the in 1977 was in escrow.
"Not only is it one of the most special properties, we are most happy to represent it considering we adore Suzanne and Alan more than anything," Flagg told PEOPLE in an exclusive statement. "Their relationship is magical, as is the home."
Somers revealed to PEOPLE in 2021 that she and Hamel might be returning to the small screen with their own reality TV series.
"At the moment, this is just an idea that is in development," Somers said. "We have been doing our Facebook Live and IGTV shows Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the past few years, which has evolved into the possibility of a reality show."
Although there had been previous offers to return to TV, this particular opportunity intrigued them.
"The idea of doing an unscripted show and flying by the seat of my pants is an attractive concept," she added. "And exactly what we have been doing for the past few years online, so we will see."
In a July 2022 exclusive with , Somers recalls how much fun she and Hamel used to have at New York City's legendary Studio 54 nightclub. She told that they would dance until "the wee hours of the morning," before taking a limo back to a "fabulous" hotel.
"We had the best time ever. We loved it," Somers said. "And then I'd come back to Los Angeles, and I'd go in the studio and do , and then at night I'd do magazine covers, and then [on] the weekend we'd fly to New York. What a life, huh?"
She added, "When you look up [photos from] Studio 54 with Alan and I ... what you'll mainly see on my face is pure joy and excitement. That's what Studio 54 was. Pure joy and excitement and a thrill, a real thrill."
Never one to miss an opportunity to express her love for Hamel, Somers posted a then-and-now photo of the two.
"Still smiling 55 years later ☺️ #TBT," she on Instagram.
Hamel revealed that Somers had been privately dealing with the return of her cancer, in July 2023, "Suzanne has lived with cancer all her life."
"She has now dealt with her cancer once again … On June 6, she got an all-clear, but cancer is tricky, and we will now closely monitor everything going forward," he said.
Known for being , where they often share their favorite lifestyle products, Hamel also revealed that he and Somers are staying offline for a bit.
"We decided to put work on the back burner for now and focus on her health," he added.
Shortly after, Somers shared a health update on Instagram.
"As you know, I had breast cancer two decades ago, and every now and then it pops up again, and I continue to bat it down," she captioned a . "This is not new territory for me. I know how to put on my battle gear and I'm a fighter."
Somers continued, "Alan has been by my side every step of the way. I can't even explain how much he has done for me. If it's even possible, we are even closer than ever … Thank you for the continued love and support. It's only about who you love and who loves you - and I love you! ✨💛✨."
On Oct. 15, Somers' publicist R. Couri Hay confirmed that the actress had died one day before her 77th birthday.
“Suzanne Somers passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of October 15th. She survived an aggressive form of breast cancer for over 23 years,” Hay wrote in a statement.
“Suzanne was surrounded by her loving husband Alan, her son Bruce, and her immediate family,” the statement continued. “Her family was gathered to celebrate her 77th birthday on October 16th. Instead, they will celebrate her extraordinary life, and want to thank her millions of fans and followers who loved her dearly.”
In the days leading up to her death, Somers stopped eating, taking her medications and was unresponsive to Hamel's questions.
"I was staying up most of the night just talking to her," Hamel told PEOPLE. "Then I kissed her, and she responded to that, and it was a physical response with her lips. I knew she was still with us, and I knew that she could probably hear what I was saying."
He continued: "Normally, when people are not responding, stop eating and stop taking their meds, you call 911 and they take you to the hospital. I knew that she did not want to be in a hospital setting. That was the difference. So , and that's the way it all went."