In a social media post, Kirstie Alley’s children True and Lillie Parker announced that she died after a brief battle with cancer. Alley was known for her Emmy-winning role on “Cheers” and films such as “Look Who’s Talking.”
She was 71 years old.
“We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce, and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered,” the statement said.
“She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead,” they added. “As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”
“Our mother’s zest and passion for life, her children, grandchildren, and her many animals, not to mention her eternal joy of creating, were unparalleled and leave us inspired to live life to the fullest just as she did,” the statement added.
In an e-mail, Donovan Daughtry, a representative for Alley, confirmed the actress’ passing.
Alley was born in 1951 in Wichita, Kansas, and has won two Primetime Emmy Awards.
In 1982, she played a standout role in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” followed by 1984’s “Blind Date” and 1987’s “Summer School.”
Later that year, Alley starred alongside Ted Danson in the final seasons of the classic sitcom “Cheers,” which premiered in 1982. Her first appearance on the acclaimed show appeared in 1987 when she played strong and independent bar manager Rebecca Howe. She stayed on the show until its final episode in 1993.
Having won an Emmy in 1991 for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for “Cheers” and another in 1994 for lead actress in a miniseries or special for “David’s Mother,” she returned to TV success with the late ’90s series “Veronica’s Closet,” which earned her a second Emmy nomination.
Additionally, Alley appeared in a number of memorable films, such as “Look Who’s Talking” movies, “Madhouse” in 1990, and “Drop Dead Gorgeous” with Ellen Barkin in 1999.
Alley co-wrote and starred in the Showtime comedy “Fat Actress” in 2005 before pursuing a reality show career.
She appeared in “Kirstie Alley’s Big Life” in 2010, was a contestant on Season 12 of “Dancing with the Stars” the next year, and placed second in Season 22 of “Celebrity Big Brother” in 2018. In 2022, she participated in Season 7 of Fox’s “The Masked Singer.”
The later part of Alley’s career was marked by her penchant for stirring controversy, especially through social media.
Alley said she was proud of her no-holds-barred style in a 2007 interview.
“I’ve always felt like if someone asks me something, they want the real answer,” Alley said in an interview with Good Housekeeping. “I think there’s also something about being from Kansas. Usually, people think I’m from New York. The only similarity between New Yorkers and Midwesterners is that what you see is what you get.”
In an Instagram post on Monday, Travolta, who starred with Alley in 1989’s “Look Who’s Talking” and its sequels, said, “Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”
A statement from Jamie Lee Curtis, who worked with Alley on TV’s “Scream Queens” in 2016, was posted to Facebook to remember the late actress, writing, “She was a great comic foil in @tvscreamqueens and a beautiful mama bear in her very real life. She helped me buy onesies for my family that year for Christmas. We agreed to disagree about some things but had a mutual respect and connection. Sad news.”
In a tweet, Josh Gad wrote, “My heart breaks for Kirstie and her family. Whether it was her brilliance in ‘Cheers; or her magnetic performance in the ‘Look Who’s Talking’ franchise, her smile was always infectious, her laugh was always contagious and her charisma was always iconic. RIP.”
Parker Stevenson, who is the father of Alley’s two children and was married to her from 1983 to 1997, also paid tribute to her on social media. Using an Instagram account verified as Stevenson’s by a representative, he wrote: “Kirstie, I am so grateful for our years together, and for the two incredibly beautiful children and now grandchildren that we have. You will be missed.”