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Suzanne Somers as Chrissy Snow
|First appearance||"A Man About the House"|
|Last appearance||"And Baby Makes Four"|
|Portrayed by||Suzanne Somers|
|Family||Luther Snow (father)
Mrs. Snow (mother)
Cindy Snow (cousin)
In the original unaired pilot to Three's Company, Samantha, the character that would become Chrissy, was portrayed by Susanne Zenor. Zenor was not picked for the second filming, so actress Susan Lanier took over the role of Chrissy. Somers ultimately won the role.
Concept and Creation
Chrissy's personality was an exaggerated characterization of the "dumb blonde" stereotype, as evidenced by her repeated confusion and misunderstandings, malapropisms and girlish behavior. Chrissy is depicted as being quick to laugh at her own jokes, and quick to cry in an exaggerated, loud fashion. Chrissy's behavior was reflected somewhat by her cousin, and eventual replacement, Cindy Snow, although Cindy was more klutzy and less dim.
Chrissy is modeled as an ingenue, a preacher's daughter who seeks her fortune in the big city. As the naif, she frequently and unknowingly makes suggestive double entendres and is often oblivious to the attention she receives from ill-intentioned men. 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 assumed she was a prostitute, despite her innocent and good intentions.
Chrissy was born in Fresno, the eldest child of Reverend Luther Snow (Peter Mark Richman) and his wife (Priscilla Morrill). 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 family would go to church to hear her father preach. She always loved her family and friends, and upon moving to Santa Monica, she assured them that she would return to Fresno.
Arrival in Los Angeles
In her early twenties, Chrissy moved 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, 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 crashers. 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".
Somers had emerged as a breakout character in the show. In 1978, she appeared on 50 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 Bernstein, who also managed Fawcett and other actresses like Cheryl Ladd. After marrying 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. On the series, 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. From what it is implied Chrissy simply moved back home to Fresno and never kept in contact with her old roommates again.