The 'Iconic' Kirstie Alley Is Dead at 71

Children, costars pay tribute to actress
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 5, 2022 8:25 PM CST
Kirstie Alley Starred in Cheers , Films, and Reality Shows
Kirstie Alley attends an event in New York in 2015.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Kirstie Alley, who achieved stardom and won an Emmy for her role on Cheers and starred in films including Look Who's Talking, died Monday. She died of cancer that was only recently discovered, her children True and Lillie Parker said in a post on Twitter, per the AP. She was 71. "As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother," her children's statement said. The actor starred as Rebecca Howe on Cheers from 1987 to 1993 opposite Ted Danson, after Shelley Long left the NBC sitcom. Alley won a Golden Globe for best actress and an Emmy for outstanding lead actress for her work on Cheers. She later had her own sitcom on the network, Veronica's Closet, from 1997 to 2000.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, Alley moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and worked as an interior designer. Her first TV appearances were as a contestant on Password and the Match Game. She already was involved in the Church of Scientology, and Alley sought treatment for a cocaine addiction through its Narconon program, which she said was responsible for her newfound sobriety, Variety reports. Her film career began just two years after she arrived in Los Angeles with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. In 1985, Alley appeared in the miniseries North and South. She received her second Emmy for her portrayal of Sally Goodson in David's Mother in 1994. Other films included Summer School, It Takes Two, and Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Alley also appeared in reality TV shows, one in 2010 called Kirstie Alley's Big Life. She later played a fictionalized version of herself in the Showtime series Fat Actress. And Alley competed on Dancing with the Stars and the Masked Singer. John Travolta, a friend and costar, posted a tribute Monday, per People. "Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I've ever had," he wrote. Actress Ever Carradine thanked Alley "for launching my career," per the Hollywood Reporter. "She told me I was funny every single day on Veronica's Closet, and I believed her." (Read more obituary stories.)

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