Suzanne Somers in publicity photo as Chrissy in 1979.
|Typist/Receptionist for a law firm|
|Related to:||Reverend Luther Snow (father) |
Mrs. Luther Snow (mother)
Mr. Snow (Uncle)
Cindy Snow (cousin)
Rebecca Madison (aunt)
|Appeared on:||Three's Company in 89 episodes from 1977-1981 (Seasons 1-5)|
|Episodes appeared in:||First/Last Episode appearances |
"A Man About the House" (pilot)
"And Baby Makes Four" in Season 4 (last appearance)
|Character played by:||Suzanne Somers, Susan Lanier in second unaired pilot (1976)|
In the original unaired pilot to Three's Company, the character that became Chrissy (then called Samantha) was portrayed by Susanne Zenor. Zenor was not picked for the second filming, so actress Susan Lanier took over the role of Chrissy. Finally, for the final product, Somers won the audience.
Chrissy was born in Fresno, the eldest child of Reverend Luther Snow (Peter Mark Richman) and his wife. In one episode, she explains that she was named "Christmas" because her father was a big fan of Bing Crosby. In another episode, she states that her name is Christmas due to having been born in December. However, in "Roper's Niece", Janet states that Chrissy's birth was "not until January." Yet, in another episode, (Season 4, Ep 9: "Chrissy's Hospitality") Chrissy falls and hits her head. She ends up in the hospital and explains to the nurse that her father named her Christmas because "she was the best present he ever got".
She was born into a very religious family and always loved her family traditions, such as Christmas with all her relatives. Every Sunday the Snow clan would go to church to hear her father preach. She always loved her family and friends, and upon moving to Santa Monica she ensured she would be back.
Arrival in Los Angeles
In her early twenties, Chrissy decided to move to Los Angeles, settling in Santa Monica where she got a job as a typist. She found an apartment, owned and operated by Stanley and Helen Roper, which she would share with two other women, Janet Wood and Eleanor Garvey.
In the pilot episode, a pregnant Eleanor got married in a reception in the apartment, but went into labor just as she was cutting the cake. After Eleanor had her baby and moved away, Janet and Chrissy were left to hunt for a new roommate. In their bathtub, they found a man who was passed out and who upon waking claimed that he was a friend of one of the party guests. They decided to select the man, Jack Tripper, as their new roommate instead of other, less desirable candidates, such as a pompous, nasal voiced woman, Patricia, nicknamed "Pattikins".
Chrissy's personality was an exaggerated characterization of the "dumb blonde" stereotype, as evidenced by her repeated confusion and misunderstandings, malapropisms and girlish behaviour, being both quick to laugh (often at her own jokes) and quick to cry (in an exaggerated loud fashion). The naivete aspects of Chrissy's behaviour was continued somewhat in her cousin (and eventual replacement) Cindy Snow, although Cindy was much more klutzy, much to the chagrin of Jack, who would always be on the receiving end of accidents around the apartment which arose, and a little less dim-witted.
Chrissy was very innocent (likely due to her small-town suburban religious upbringing), and she frequently and unknowingly would utter suggestive double entendres. She was also leered at by many men on the series, even though she was rarely interested in anything other than love. Her roommate Janet remarked that Chrissy totally fell apart at the littlest hint of "sweet talk." In another instance, Chrissy was picked up by a police officer, who believed she was a prostitute, despite her innocent and good intentions.
With Suzanne Somers playing the role, Chrissy had emerged as a breakout character in the show, as Somers also began to acheive TV superstar status as a celebrity. In 1978, she appeared on fifty magazine covers. There were also best-selling Chrissy Snow posters and ABC even launched a doll which portrayed Somers as Chrissy. Somers was promoted as a rival to Farrah Fawcett by her manager, Jay Berstein, who also managed Fawcett and other actresses like Cheryl Ladd. After marrying her husband Alan Hamel, Somers made him her manager. Somers was eventually axed from the series in the fifth season after a bitter and highly publicized salary dispute with the producers.
In the show's storyline, it was written in that Chrissy went back to Fresno to care for her ill mother. For a short while (and to finish off Somers' contract), Chrissy continued to appear on the show for brief sequences wherein she would call Janet or Jack from Fresno and speak to them over the telephone. Soon after, her cousin Cindy moved into the apartment with Jack and Janet for the remainder of the season. Upon the arrival of Terri Alden in season six, references to Chrissy vanished, only referred to once later on, when the roommates were being interviewed, as "the other girl" Janet was living with when she met Jack. It is implied Chrissy simply moved back home to Fresno and never kept in contact with her old roommates again.
|John Ritter | Joyce DeWitt | Suzanne Somers | Jenilee Harrison | Priscilla Barnes | Norman Fell | Don Knotts | Richard Kline | Ann Wedgeworth|
|List of episodes | Behind the Camera|
|British TV/Spinoff shows:|
|Man About The House | George and Mildred | Robin's Nest | The Ropers | Three's A Crowd|