Kirstie Alley, the two-time Emmy-winning actor whose work on cheers, Look who’s talkingand Veronica’s closet She won the hearts of audiences around the world, passed away after a short battle with cancer, her family said Monday. She turned 71.
“We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother passed away after a battle with cancer, which was only recently discovered,” said her children, True and Lillie Parker. In a statement posted to Alley’s social media accounts, they recalled her “lust for life and passion for life” and “her eternal joy in creating.”
“She was surrounded by her immediate family and fought with great strength, making us sure of her unending joy in life and whatever adventures lie ahead,” the statement continued. “As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”
Alley rose to fame in 1987 after her debut as Rebecca Howe on the sixth season of Cheers. She was praised for her performance as Rebecca, the bar’s new manager and love interest of Ted Danson’s salt-of-the-earth barkeep, earning both a Golden Globe and an Emmy in 1991.
In her Emmy acceptance speech, Alley got a huge, scandalized laugh from the audience after thanking her then-husband, Parker Stevenson, as “the guy who gave me the big one these past eight years.” Stevenson and Alley were married from 1983 until their divorce in 1997. They adopted two children—William True Stevenson and Lillie Price Stevenson—and raised a menagerie of “about 40 animals, including dogs, cats, birds, and ring-tailed lemurs,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Described at the time by Danson as “a motor chick crossed with an earth mother,” according to the TimeAlley proved extremely popular and would go on to appear in 147 episodes of cheers until the show ended in 1993.
After cheersAlley maintained her affiliation with NBC and returned in 1997 to star as the titular protagonist of Veronica’s closeta sitcom from the creators of Friends about an owner of a lingerie company in New York, over three seasons.
Along the way, Alley also amassed a string of choice film credits, having begun her career as a Starfleet commander-in-training under the tutelage of Leonard Nimoy’s Spock in 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Just before landing cheersAlley played in Summer schoola 1987 comedy film in which she played the neighbor of Mark Harmon’s smooth gym coach.
However, one of her most beloved film projects remains that of 1989 Look who’s talking, in which she starred opposite John Travolta. The two, both members of the Church of Scientology, remained extremely close over the following years, with Travolta even calling Alley his “soul mate” in 2019.
“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had,” Travolta wrote in an Instagram post Monday night. “I love you Kristy. I know we will see each other again.”
Born in Wichita, Kansas in 1951, Alley was a high school dropout who moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an interior designer and to deepen an already burgeoning connection with Scientology. Struggling with substance abuse issues, she joined the organization in 1979 and credited the group’s drug treatment program, Narconon, for freeing her from a cocaine addiction.
Later in her career, Alley branched out and played a fictionalized version of herself in the 2005 meta-comedy. fat actress; acting as a spokesperson for the weight loss and nutrition brand Jenny Craig; appear twice Dancing with the stars (and second on the show in 2011); and performing as the “Baby Mammoth”. The masked singer earlier this year.
Her later acting projects include excitement The middle, The Goldbergsand the second season of Scream queen.
Jamie Lee Curtis, a Scream queen co-star, called Alley “a great comedic foil” on the show “and a lovely mama bear in her real life.”
“She helped me buy rompers for my family for Christmas that year,” Curtis recalled in a tribute to Instagram. “We agreed that we disagreed on some things, but we had mutual respect and a connection. Sad news.”
In addition to her ties to Scientology, Alley sparked controversy with her vocal support for former President Donald Trump, saying a month before the 2020 presidential election that she planned to vote for him, just as she did in 2016. Last May, she took the Tucker Carlson today to lament the industry backlash she had faced for espousing her political beliefs.
“You can cook meth and sleep with hookers, but as long as you apparently haven’t voted for Trump,” she told Carlson. “I feel like I’m there The twilight zonea little bit, with the whole concept of it.”
Alley also tweeted in support of the protesters rioting at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, advise them, “Patriots: do your best not to become Antifa.. we are better than that.. we come in peace.” She joined later that day a separate tweet: “WAR SUCKS!!!! Sometimes it’s necessary, but IT SUCKS!!”
She clarified her “position on January 6” a few days later, tweet that the Capitol breakthrough was “an insidious criminal terrifying act and those people should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
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