Kirstie Alley died of cancer on Monday. She was an actor who won two Emmys and became famous for her role as Rebecca Howe on the NBC comedy show “Cheers.” She turned 71.
Alley’s death was confirmed by her official social media accounts, which posted a statement from her children.
“To all of our friends all over the world… “We’re sorry to tell you that our amazing, fierce and loving mother has died after a battle with cancer that we just found out about,” the statement says. “She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength leaving us sure of her never-ending joy of life and whatever adventures lie ahead. She was a famous actress, but she was an even better mother and grandmother.
“We appreciate the care from the amazing team of doctors and nurses at the Moffitt Cancer Center,” the statement says. “Our mother’s enthusiasm and love for life, her children, grandchildren and many animals, as well as her never-ending joy in making things were unmatched. They make us want to live life to the fullest just as she did. We appreciate your love and prayers and ask that you give us space during this hard time.”
— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) December 6, 2022
Kirstie Louise Alley was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1951. In 1980, she moved to Los Angeles, where she worked as an interior designer. Alley was already involved with the Church of Scientology, and she got help for her cocaine addiction through its affiliated Narconon program, which she says helped her stay clean.
In 1982, she made her first movie, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” “Blind Date” and the 1985 miniseries “North and South” were her next two movies. Carl Reiner’s hit comedy “Summer School,” in which she starred with Mark Harmon, came out two years later.
In that year, Alley took Shelley Long’s place on NBC’s “Cheers,” which was one of the best TV comedies. In 1991, when she won the lead actress Emmy for the role, she gave a famously bawdy speech in which she thanked her husband the actor Parker Stevenson. She said, “I’d like to thank my husband, Parker, for the man who has given me the big one for the last eight years.” In the 1994 TV movie “David’s Mother,” in which she played the mother of an autistic teen, she won her second Emmy.
Alley’s career high points also include NBC’s “Veronica’s Closet” (1997–2000), the meta-comedy “Fat Actress” (2005) on Showtime, and costarring with John Travolta in the three hugely successful “Look Who’s Talking” movies, which began in 1989.
Alley was a spokesperson for Jenny Craig’s weight loss program for a while, but then she left and started her own business, Organic Liaisons. Later, she went back to Jenny Craig, which had bought her business. Over the past few years, Alley has become more active on social media, sometimes even getting into fights.
She tweeted that she liked Donald Trump’s campaign for president, then took back her support and said she had voted for him. Even though she often argued with people about politics, she also made some non-partisan, deadpan jokes that became social media classics, such as her response to the death of physicist Stephen Hawking. “You had a good go at it… thanks for what you’ve said.”
Alley came in second place on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2011. In 2013, she had a sitcom called “Kirstie” on TV Land, but it was canceled after one season. In 2016, she was on Season 2 of “Scream Queens,” and earlier this year, she was on Season 7 of “The Masked Singer” as Baby Mammoth.
She is remembered by her son, William True Stevenson, her daughter, Lillie Price Stevenson, and a grandson.
Related Stories Recommended By Writer: