Kirstie Alley, the two-time Emmy-winning actor whose work on Cheers, Look Who’s Talking, and Veronica’s Closet won her the hearts of audiences across the world, died following a short fight with cancer, her family said Monday. She was 71.
“We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered,” said her children, True and Lillie Parker. In a statement posted across Alley’s social media accounts, they recalled her “zest and passion for life” and “her eternal joy of creating.”
“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,” the statement continued. “As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”
Alley shot to stardom in 1987 after debuting as Rebecca Howe on the sixth season of Cheers. Though her character—the bar’s new manager and love interest to Ted Danson’s salt-of-the-earth barkeep—was intended to fill the hole left by the departure of Shelley Long, Alley was lauded for her performance, for which she won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy in 1991.
She would go on to appear in 147 episodes of Cheers until the show ended in 1993.
Along the way, Alley accrued a series of choice film credits as well, including opposite John Travolta in 1989’s Look Who’s Talking.
“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had,” Travolta wrote in an Instagram post shortly after the family’s statement was issued. “I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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