Two acting greats from film and television respectively passed away over the weekend with three-time Oscar nominee Piper Laurie dying at the age of 91 on Oct. 14 after being unwell, and Suzanne Somers passing away at 76 early on Sunday after two decades fighting breast cancer.
Laurie might be best known for playing the mother of the title character in Brian De Palma‘s adaptation of Stephen King‘s Carrie, for which she received her second Oscar nomination in 1977. Before that, she received an Oscar for her lead in The Hustler in 1962, and she would receive a third Oscar nomination for her supporting role in Children of a Lesser God (1987).
Born in Detroit in 1932 as “Rosetta Jacobs,” Laurie jumped right into film by signing a contract with Universal Pictures. After The Hustler, she took a 15-year hiatus to focus her energies on the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, returning to star in Carrie. Laure was also a staple on television throughout her 60-year-career, being nominated for a Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy for the mini-series The Thorn Birds in 1983, and winning a Golden Globe and receiving two Primetime Emmys for her role on David Lynch‘s Twin Peaks in the early ’90s.
Somers’ first acting break was a small role in George Lucas‘ American Graffiti in 1973, before going on to star on the hit sitcom Three’s Company from 1977 through 1981, appearing in 100 episodes, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe and won a People’s Choice Award. She went on to becoming a proponent for health, promoting the ThighMaster, and regularly appearing as herself on shows like Full House and The Simpsons. Somers also wrote 27 books, many of them on health, before being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000.
Back in July, Somers stated on her Instagram, “Since I have been taking time off from work, many of you have asked for more details about my health. 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. I have used the best alternative and conventional treatments to combat it. This is not new territory for me. I know how to put on my battle gear and I’m a fighter. 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. My incredible family has been so supportive, and have helped so much by keeping the business running so you can still have access to all the wonderful products. Thank you for the continued love and support. It’s only about who you love and who loves you – and I love you! ✨💛✨”