Actress Kirstie Alley has died at the age of 71 following a short cancer battle.
The children of the actress, True, 30, and Lily, 28, – who was known for her roles on Cheers and in the Look Who’s Talking films – issued a statement on social media on Monday evening confirming the sad news.
Alley’s family said that 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 continued: ‘As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.
‘We are grateful to the incredible team of doctors and nurses at the Moffitt Cancer Center for their care.’
Alley had not been seen in public for some time with her last-known picture seen during a video in early September as she touted for work on Cameo. There did not appear to be any visible signs that she was ill and appeared with her signature mane of thick blonde hair.
In April of year she had performed on the television show The Masked Singer.
Actress Kirstie Alley has died at the age of 71 following a short cancer battle. She was last pictured during an Instagram video on September 8 as she touted for work on Cameo
The star’s family issued a statement on Instagram Monday in the wake of the passing
The Cheers star’s heartbroken children announce the ‘fierce and loving’ actress has passed away after short battle with cancer. She is pictured here in 2016
Alley (front row, second from left) shot to fame in the sitcom Cheers which she joined in 1987. She was a Hollywood stalwart for decades, but had not been seen on the big screen since 2015
In recent years she had been shunned by Hollywood after she endorsed Donald Trump in 2015 – the last year she was seen on screen in a movie
Alley’s relatives said that ‘the 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.
They ended the statement in saying, ‘We thank you for your love and prayers and ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.’
Alley’s friend and confidante John Travolta took to Instagram Monday to pay memorial to the actress, who he worked with on the Look Who’s Talking films.
‘Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie,’ said Travolta, 68. ‘I know we will see each other again.’
Alley was seen on the red carpet of the premiere of The Fanatic in 2019
Alley played the role of Rebecca Howe on the NBC hit Cheers from 1987-1993
In 2018 Alley was runner-up in the 22nd series of UK Celebrity Big Brother
The actress continued to work regularly on both the small and big screen, guest-starring in a 1983 episode of The Love Boat alongside her husband Parker Stevenson, and a slew of movies in 1984 including Runaway with Tom Selleck and Blind Date
A native of Wichita, Kansas, Alley attended Kansas State University before dropping out and moving to Los Angeles.
Alley was married to her high school sweetheart from 1970 to 1977, and to actor Parker Stevenson from 1983 until 1997.
She said in 2010 if she married again, ‘Id leave the guy within 24 hours because I’m sure he’d tell me not to do something.’
Her very first television appearances were as a game show contestant, on The Match Game in 1979 and Password in 1980.
Alley’s big breakout role came in 1987 when she was cast as Rebecca Howe on the NBC hit Cheers, replacing the outgoing Shelley Long.
She joined the show at the height of its popularity after the departure of Long.
Alley would win an Emmy for best lead actress in a comedy series for the role in 1991.
‘I only thank God I didn´t have to wait as long as Ted,’ Alley said in her acceptance, gently ribbing her ‘Cheers’ co-star Ted Danson, who had finally won an Emmy for his role as Sam Malone in his eighth nomination the previous year.
She would take a second Emmy for best lead actress in a miniseries or television movie in 1993 for playing the title role in the CBS TV movie David’s Mother.
) Kirstie Alley Star Trek II – The Wrath Of Khan – her 1982 film debut
She was offered to return for the next two sequels, though she reportedly turned them down, claiming Paramount offered her less for the sequels than she was paid for Wrath of Khan
Alley landed her first major movie role in 1982, playing Vulcan Starfleet officer Saavik in Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, which was the eighth-highest-grossing movie that year
Patrick Dempsey, left, and Kirstie Alley are seen in the 1989 comedy Loverboy
Kirstie Alley, pictured in a headshot for TV sitcom Cheers, seen in 1987
Kirstie Alley is seen in the 1991 film Sibling Rivalry
Kirstie Alley pictured at the New York Premiere of HBO’s 4th Season of Girls in 2015
Alley starred in the hit 1987 movie Look Who’s Talking alongside John Travolta, which was the 5th highest grossing movie of the year
She starred alongside Steve Guttenberg and Full House stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson in the 1995 family rom-com It Takes Two
Alley appeared in various films throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
These included the Look Who’s Talking film series, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) which was her film debut, Summer School (1987) Sibling Rivalry (1990),It Takes Two (1995), For Richer or Poorer (1997), and Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999).
She won her second Emmy Award in 1994 for the television film David’s Mother and received a further Emmy nomination in 1997 for her work in the crime drama series The Last Don.
She also had her own sitcom, Veronica’s Closet, from 1997 to 2000.
It was the 1989 comedy Look Who’s Talking, which gave her a major career boost, as she played the mother of a baby who’s inner thoughts were voiced by Bruce Willis. She would also appear in the 1990 sequel Look Who’s Talking Too.
Trvaolta said: ‘Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie’
Alley and Travolta played the respective roles of James and Mollie in 1989’s Look Who’s Talking and its two sequels
The longtime friends posed with one another at a celebrity softball game in LA in 1992
Kirstie Alley’s friend and confidante John Travolta paid tribute to the actress in the wake of her passing at 71 on Monday. They were snapped at an LA screening of his film The Fanatic in 2019
She would play a fictionalized version of herself in the 2005 Showtime series Fat Actress, a show that drew comedy from her public and media treatment over her weight gain and loss.
The Hollywood community was in mourning on Monday night, with news that beloved actress Kirstie Alley had passed away. She is pictured in Scream Queens (2015)
She dealt with the same subject matter in the 2010 A&E reality series Kirstie Alley’s Big Life, which chronicled her attempt to lose weight and launch a weight-loss program while working as a single mother in an unconventional household that included pet lemurs.
Alley said she agreed to do the show in part because of the misinformation about her that had become a tabloid staple.
‘Anything bad you can say about me, they say I’ve never collapsed, fainted, passed out. Basically, anything they’ve said, I never. The only true thing is I got fat.’
Alley co-created the series and played a version of herself – an actress who struggles to lose weight so she can revive her career, although the show only lasted one seven-episode season.
The actress was also a spokesperson for weight-loss company Jenny Craig between 2004 and 2007, losing 75 pounds during her time there
Two years later, in 2009, Alley revealed that she gained 83 pounds after leaving Jenny Craig and weighed as much as 228 pounds.
She founded the weight loss company Organic Liaison in 2010, though she faced a class-action lawsuit alleging false advertising that was ultimately settled in 2013.
The company was acquired by Jenny Craig in 2014 and she returned once again as a spokesperson, revealing in 2015 that she had lost 50 pounds on the program.
After Veronica’s Closet went off the air, she appeared in a few guest-starring roles in the early 2000s before returning in the 2005 Showtime series Fat Actress
Alley also made several appearances on reality television, first as a contestant on the 12th season of Dancing with the Stars, where she finished in second place.
She appeared on the competition series The Masked Singer in April this year wearing a baby mammoth costume.
During her stint on Big Brother she shared the house with other famous faces including Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas and Dan Osbourne from The Only Way Is Essex, who finished in first and third place respectively.
Alley appeared in the Ryan Murphy black comedy series Scream Queens on Fox in 2015 and 2016.
One of her co-stars on the show, Jamie Lee Curtis, said on Instagram Monday that Alley was ‘a great comic foil’ on the show and ‘a beautiful mama bear in her very real life.’
Lee Curtis said the pair had a ‘mutual respect and connection’.
‘We agreed to disagree about some things but had a mutual respect and connection. Sad news,’ she added.
Alley’s Cheers co-star Kelsey Grammar said in a statement that ‘I always believed grief for a public figure is a private matter, but I will say I loved her.’
Alley, who became a member of the Church of Scientology in 1979, had been living semi-permanently in Clearwater, Florida after purchasing a waterfront property just a stone’s throw from the church’s global headquarters in 2000.
In 2018 she participated in the 22nd series of UK Celebrity Big Brother, in which she finished as runner-up.
In recent years her conservative political views put her at odds with most stars in woke Hollywood.
Alley told Tucker Carlson that she was first warned to keep quiet about her interest in Donald Trump back in 2015, with a producer telling her that she would stop getting roles if she came out as a conservative.
In 2021 Kirstie Alley spoke out about the backlash she faced for supporting Donald Trump, saying it felt like she has been living ‘in The Twilight Zone’
Kirstie Alley is at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 1994
The Cheers star claimed the unidentified producer was also a Trump fan, but chose to keep quiet for fear they’d ‘never work again’.
Alley, however, chose to speak up.
‘People go, ‘You’re so brave.’ I go, ‘No, I think I’m stupid’. Because honestly… it is a real blackballing situation,’ she stated.
‘It’s so strange to me because artists are free-thinkers for the most part.’
Alley – who had not starred in a movie since 2015 – claimed that her Hollywood peers can behave in illegal or unethical ways and still not receive the same type of ostracization that she had to deal with.
Alley – who had not starred in a movie since 2015 – told Tucker Carlson that her Hollywood peers could behave in illegal or unethical ways and still not receive the type of ostracization that she had received
Last year, Alley – who had not starred in a movie since 2015 – questioned why her Hollywood peers can behave in illegal or unethical ways and not receive the same type of ostracization that she has
Kirstie Alley in the 1995 John Carpenter thriller Village of the Damned
‘You can be cooking meth and sleeping with hookers but as long as you didn’t vote for Trump [you’re fine],’ she told Carlson.
‘I feel like I’m in the ‘Twilight Zone’ a bit with the whole concept of it.’
‘I’m voting for Donald Trump because he’s NOT a politician,’ she wrote on Twitter.
‘I voted for him 4 years ago for this reason and shall vote for him again for this reason.
‘He gets things done quickly and he will turn the economy around quickly. There you have it folks there you have it’.
Alley, who was a high profile follower of the Church of Scientology, quickly faced high profile backlash for her tweet in October 2020
She revealed that she voted for Obama in both 2008 and 2012 but threw her support in 2016 after criticizing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Despite previously being a moderate liberal, Alley has also hit headlines for her other controversial opinions in recent years.
In 2020 she claimed claiming CNN was ‘terrorizing viewers’ with its constant coronavirus coverage.
She also blasted the Academy Awards after organizers announced that they would update diversity rules in order for films to be eligible for best picture nominations.
‘Can you imagine telling Picasso what had to be in his … paintings,’ Alley wrote on Twitter.
‘You people have lost your minds. Control artists, control individual thought .. OSCAR ORWELL’ she tweeted.
The 71-year-old devout Scientologist ditched the makeup and was seen dressed comfortably in a green checkered shirt, leggings and orange flats in Florida in 2021