Alley, who rose to stardom on the ’80s and ’90s sitcom Cheers, died of “recently discovered” cancer, her family announced on Monday.
Alley’s children, True and Lillie Parker, announced her death in a social media post.
“She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength,” the statement reads.
“As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”
The family also extended their thanks and gratitude to the team at the Moffitt Cancer Center for their care.
“Out 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.”
Alley won an Emmy Award in 1991 and a Golden Globe for her role of Rebecca Howe on Cheers.
Her second Emmy win came in 1994 for her portrayal of Sally Goodson in David’s Mother.
Her other major TV credits include Veronica’s Closet, which ran from 1997-2000, 2005’s Fat Actress, which she co-wrote and starred in, and Scream Queens.
Alley also starred on her own show, Kirstie, which aired on TVLand in 2013 and 2014.
The actress grew up in Wichita, Kansas and attended Kansas State University before she dropped out and moved to Los Angeles.
Her film debut came in 1982 in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, where she played the Vulcan officer Lieutenant Saavik.
She went on to appear in more than a dozen other films, including the 1999 hit Drop Dead Gorgeous, Deconstructing Harry, and Look Who’s Talking.
In recent years, Alley competed on Dancing with the Stars and The Masked Singer.
‘YOU ALWAYS BROUGHT CHEERS TO ME’
Devastated fans and colleagues have begun sharing tributes to the late actress on social media.
“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie,” John Travolta wrote on Instagram.
“I know we will see each other again.”
“This is such sad news. A beautiful, brave, funny and beloved woman. Rest in Peace, Kirstie Alley,” tweeted Megyn Kelly.
“I am heartbroken to learn that we lost Kirstie Alley today. She was an amazing actress, and she will always live in our hearts as the half-Romulan Mr. Saavik in Star Trek II. She was also outstanding as Rebecca in Cheers, and we will never forget her. RIP Kirstie. God bless you,” one fan tweeted.
“So sad to hear about the passing of Kirstie Alley. “Look Who’s Talking” was my favorite movie she was in,” another fan tweeted.
“RIP Kirstie Alley. You always brought cheers to me. You fought a good fight. Prayers with you and yours,” tweeted someone else.
“Because I was a fan of hers on screen & off, I am shockingly heartbroken over this news. Kirstie Alley was funny, smart, vivacious, talented & beautiful–no matter her dress size. Many prayers to those who knew her,” another fan wrote.
“Sad to hear about Kirstie Alley. Although I didn’t agree with many things she did and said in recent years, she is and was a pillar of my childhood that I will always think of fondly. May she find peace,” another chimed in.
Alley had become more outspoken in recent years.
In 2020, she received backlash from many of her fellow actors after publicly endorsing Donald Trump for president.
She tweeted at the time: “I’m voting for @realDonaldTrump because he’s NOT a politician. 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.”
Earlier this year, Alley came under fire for her comments on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“I don’t know what’s real or what is fake in this war,” she tweeted in February.
“So I won’t be commenting. I’ll pray instead.”
Her former Dancing With the Stars partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, shared a lengthy response on his Instagram stories.
“No one needs your prayer if you don’t know what’s real or fake,” he said in part.
Years earlier, the dance partners had a public falling out.
In 2014, Chmerkovskiy confirmed that the two had “stopped getting along,” and implied that Alley’s Scientology beliefs played a role.
Chmerkovskiy said that he and Alley “had a great relationship” at first, but that she then cut him out after he was “associating with other people that she can’t be associated with,” People reported.
Alley was also outspoken about the Academy Awards changing their inclusion standards following the 2020 announcement of nominees.
“I am 100% behind diversity inclusion & tolerance. I’m opposed to MANDATED ARBITRARY percentages relating to hiring human beings in any business,” she tweeted at the time.
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