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 / Updated  / Source: TODAY
By Erin Clements

Suzanne Somers reprised her "Three's Company" character, Chrissy Snow, on "Dancing with the Stars" earlier this month, dedicating the performance to someone special: her late co-star, John Ritter.

When the actress visited HuffPost Live Wednesday, she explained why she was moved to pay tribute to the beloved actor, who died of an undetected aortic dissection in 2003.

"I never got to say goodbye to him," she said. "And we were estranged for 30 years. I never talked to him until one month before he died."

Somers added, "He called me out of the blue and said, 'Hey babe, why don't we do something together?' So we were looking for a project, and then I get a call that he died. So I danced that dance because I didn't get to say goodbye. It made me very emotional. I loved him."

Somers, who was famously fired from the long-running sitcom in 1981, also opened up about the contract dispute that led to her dismissal, saying she was simply "asking to be paid equal to the men."

"All the men in television at that time were making a minimum of ten times more than I was," she said. "And my show was No. 1 and my demographics were the highest of any woman in television at that time. So that's how the ThighMaster happened...I couldn't get a job in television."

The night of her "Three's Company"-themed "DWTS" performance, Somers also posted a black-and-white photo of herself and Ritter, with the caption, "A legendary comedian and even dearer friend. I love you, John."

The actress reunited with her other co-star, Joyce DeWitt, in 2012, and the two became emotional discussing the missing member of their trio, whom Somers called the "greatest physical comic" of their era.