LOS ANGELES — Her work on the television smash hit “Cheers” and in the “Look Who’s Talking” films established her one of the biggest stars in American comedy in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Kirstie Alley passed away on Monday. She was a two-time winner of the Emmy Award. Her age was 71.
In a statement on Twitter, Alley’s children True and Lillie Parker revealed that their mother passed away from a cancer that was only recently diagnosed. In an email to The Associated Press, Alley’s manager Donovan Daughtry confirmed that the musician had passed away.
According to a statement released by her off-screen children, “she was an even more remarkable mother and grandmother than she was an icon on TV.”
She played the role of Rebecca Howe on the long-running NBC sitcom “Cheers,” which was about a Boston bar, from 1987 through 1993. The show featured Ted Danson. After the departure of the show’s initial star, Shelley Long, she came on when the program was at the height of its popularity.
For her performance in the character, Alley was awarded the Emmy in 1991 for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series.
Alley made a light-hearted dig at Danson during her acceptance speech by saying, “I only thank God I didn’t have to wait as long as Ted.” Danson had finally won an Emmy for his role on “Cheers” as Sam Malone in his eighth nomination the previous year. Alley’s remarks were in response to Danson’s win.
She would go on to win a second Emmy in 1993 for portraying the title role in the CBS TV movie “David’s Mother,” which was nominated for the award for best lead actress in a miniseries or television movie.
Between the years 1997 to 2000, she starred in her own sitcom on the network called “Veronica’s Closet.”
Her role as the mother of a baby whose inner thoughts were expressed by Bruce Willis in the comedy film “Look Who’s Talking,” which was released in 1989 and was a crucial turning point in her career, was played by her. She would also make an appearance in the sequel “Look Who’s Talking Too,” which was released in 1990, as well as another sequel, “Look Who’s Talking Now,” which was released in 1993.
In a message on his Instagram account, her co-star in the film trilogy, John Travolta, paid tribute to her.
Along with a picture of Alley, Travolta stated, “My connection with Kirstie was truly one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life.” “I love you Kirstie. I have no doubt that our paths will cross once more.
She would go on to play a fictitious version of herself in the 2005 Showtime series “Fat Actress,” a show that drew humour from her public and media treatment over her weight gain and loss. The show was called “Fat Actress.”
In the reality series “Kirstie Alley’s Big Life,” which aired on A&E in 2010, she addressed the same topic. The show tracked her efforts to lose weight and create a weight-loss program while working as a single mother in an unorthodox household that featured pet lemurs.
Alley stated that one of the reasons she accepted to participate in the show was to clear her name from the widespread rumors that had been spread about her in the tabloids.
Alley stated to the Associated Press at the time that “everything terrible you can say about me, they say.” “I’ve never passed out, fainted, or collapsed in my life. In a nutshell, I don’t believe a word that they’ve stated. The only thing that can be verified is that I gained weight.
In recent years, she has made appearances on a number of other reality shows, including “Dancing With the Stars,” where she competed in 2011 and finished in second place. In the beginning of this year, she made a performance on the singing competition series “The Masked Singer” while dressed as a newborn mammoth.
She made an appearance in the dark comedy series “Scream Queens” created by Ryan Murphy and broadcast on Fox in 2015 and 2016.
Alley was described as “a terrific comedy foil” on the program by Jamie Lee Curtis, one of her co-stars on the show, who also referred to Alley as “a gorgeous mama bear in her very real life” on Instagram on Monday.
Kelsey Grammer, Alley’s co-star on “Cheers,” released a statement in which he said, “I always believed sorrow for a public person is a private affair, but I will say I loved her.” Alley passed away on April 15, 2015.
Rhea Pearlman, who also appeared on “Cheers,” has told the story of how she and Alley became friends almost immediately after Rhea joined the cast of the program. She stated that Alley hosted enormous parties for both Easter and Halloween and invited everyone she knew. “She wanted everyone to feel like they were a part of the group. She had a profound love for her children. I’ve never met someone remotely like her. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know her.
Alley is a native of Wichita, Kansas, and she went to Kansas State University for a while before transferring to the University of California, Los Angeles.
She, too, would eventually become a devout follower of Scientology, just like John Travolta had done.
Her earliest appearances on television were as a participant on game shows, specifically “The Match Game” in 1979 and “Password” in 1980. Both of these shows aired in the United States.
Her first appearance in a film was in the 1982 picture “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.”
Among her other cinematic roles, she appeared in the movies “Summer School” (1987), “Village of the Damned” (1995), and “Drop Dead Gorgeous” (1999).
Between the years 1970 and 1977, Alley was married to her high school sweetheart, and between 1983 and 1997, she was married to actor Parker Stevenson.
In an interview with the Associated Press in 2010, she stated that should she ever marry again, “I would leave the guy within twenty-four hours because I’m sure he’d tell me not to do something.”