As you’ve probably already heard, Kirstie Alley passed away on Monday at the age of 71.
The seasoned actress “fought with great strength, leaving us with a surety of her never-ending love of living and whatever adventures lie ahead,” wrote her two children in a statement last night to People Magazine. She was “surrounded by her closest family and fought with incredible courage.”
They went on to say that Alley was “an incredible mother and grandmother” and that she was most recognized for her parts in Cheers and the Look Who’s Talking series, among many other small-screen endeavors.
At the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, the late celebrity was having treatment for a cancer type that had “just [been] found.”
Currently, we are aware of the specific form of cancer that claimed Alley’s life.
According to a rep for Alley, the actress passed away from colon cancer.
In their moving message, Alley’s son and daughter noted how their 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 rose to fame in 1987 when she starred as Rebecca Howe on NBC’s iconic sitcom Cheers.
She earned a Golden Globe for best actress and an Emmy for outstanding lead actress for her part in the Boston-based series in 1991.
Alley went on to receive her second Emmy win for her portrayal of Sally Goodson in David’s Mother in 1994.
Among those who paid tribute to Alley in the wake of her death was long-time Cheers colleague Ted Danson, who wrote the following:
“I was on a plane today and did something I rarely do. I watched an old episode of Cheers. It was the episode where Tom Berenger proposes to Kirstie, who keeps saying no, even though she desperately wants to say yes.
“Kirstie was truly brilliant in it.
“Her ability to play a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown was both moving and hysterically funny. She made me laugh 30 years ago when she shot that scene, and she made me laugh today just as hard.
“As I got off the plane, I heard that Kirstie had died.
“I am so sad and so grateful for all the times she made me laugh. I send my love to her children. As they well know, their mother had a heart of gold. I will miss her.”
Added Rhea Perlman, who also helped anchor Cheers:
“Kirstie was a unique and wonderful person and friend. Her joy of being was boundless. We became friends almost instantly when she joined the cast of Cheers.
“She loved kids and my kids loved her too. We had sleepovers at her house, with treasure hunts that she created.
“She had massive Halloween and Easter parties and invited the entire crew of the show and their families. She wanted everyone to feel included.
“She loved her children deeply. I’ve never met anyone remotely like her. I feel so thankful to have known her. I’m going to miss her very, very much.”
The wildly successful actress also appeared on television shows including:
Veronica’s Closet (1997-2000), Fat Actress (2005), Kirstie (2013-2014), and Scream Queens (2015-2016)… as well as films like Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Summer School (1987), Look Who’s Talking (1989), It Takes Two (1995) and Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999).
In 2010, her life was chronicled on the A&E reality TV series Kirstie Alley’s Big Life.
She also competed on season 12 of Dancing with the Stars in 2011, and season 7 of The Masked Singer in 2022.
May Kirstie Alley rest in peace.
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