Kirstie Alley, ‘Cheers’, ‘Veronica’s Closet’ actress, dies at 71

Kirstie Alley, the Emmy-winning actress who starred in the sitcoms “Cheers” and “Veronica’s Closet,” has died at 71, her daughters announced Monday.

Daughters True and Lillie Parker announced the instagram that their mother had died after a battle with an undisclosed form of cancer.

“To all our friends, all over the world… We are sad to inform you that our amazing, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a recently discovered battle with cancer,” they wrote.

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“She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her endless zest for life and whatever adventures were to come. As iconic as she was in the screen, she was an even more incredible mother and grandmother.

They thanked doctors and nurses at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, for their care.

“Our mother’s joy and passion for life, her children, her grandchildren and her many animals, not to mention her undying joy in creating, was unparalleled and leaves us inspired to live life to the full as she did. did,” they wrote. “We thank you for your love and prayers and ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time. With love always. True and Lillie Parker.

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John Travolta, who starred with Alley in the “Look Who’s Talking” films, was among the first to pay tribute to him. “Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie,“, he wrote on Instagram. “I know we will meet again.”

Kirstie Louise Alley was born on January 12, 1951 in Wichita, Kansas. She made her Hollywood debut in 1982’s “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” as the Vulcan officer Lieutenant Saavik, and later starred alongside Mark Harmon in the 1987 comedy “Summer School.”

But her breakout role was on television, playing Rebecca Howe from 1987 to 1993 on the NBC sitcom “Cheers.” As a raspy-voiced, no-nonsense waitress, Alley replaced Shelley Long’s Diane as Ted Danson’s Sam Malone love interest, and won an Emmy and Golden Globe in 1991.

“I’ve always believed that a public figure’s heartbreak is a private matter, but I’ll say I love it,” said Kelsey Grammar, who was still playing bar boss Frasier Crane on “Cheers” when Alley joined, in a statement to TheWrap.

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Alley won her second Emmy for her performance as the mother of an autistic boy (Michael A. Goorjian) in the 1994 TV movie “David’s Mother.” In 1997, she landed her own NBC sitcom, “Veronica’s Closet,” the series created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman in which she plays the role of the head of a lingerie company.

She turned her struggles with weight into something of a second career: In 2005, while also working as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig, she played a fictionalized version of herself on the Showtime series “Fat Actress “, and later starred in the A&E reality series “The High Life of Kirstie Alley.” She participated in the 12th season of “Dancing With the Stars”, in which she placed second.

In 2013, she headlined the TV Land sitcom “Kirstie,” in which she played a Tony-winning actress named Madison “Maddie” Banks. She went on to appear in the Fox comedy horror series “Scream Queens” in 2016 and finished second in “Celebrity Big Brother” in 2018.

In 2022, Alley participated in season 7 of “The Masked Singerlike Team Cuddly’s “Baby Mammoth.”

The actress was married to Bob Alley – who, coincidentally, was named after her father – from 1970 to 1977 and Parker Stevenson from 1983 to 1997.

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Alley was a longtime fixture in the Church of Scientology, the pursuit of which was one of the reasons she moved to Los Angeles in 1979 and credited the church with her escape from cocaine addiction. She would have reached level VII of operational thetan, just one level less than the highest status in the church.

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