Kirstie Alley has passed away at the age of 71 following a battle with cancer.
Kirstie Alley, best known for her Emmy-winning role on the popular television series Cheers has died after a short battle with cancer. According to her family, the star, who also had a prominent role in the second Star Trek film, passed away with her closest relatives nearby. She was 71 years old at the time of her death.
True and Lillie Parker, the children of Kirstie Alley, issued a statement on Twitter Monday, informing her followers of her tragic passing. They announced that their mother had succumbed to her battle with cancer, which was “only recently discovered.” They went on to say, “As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”
Born in Wichita Kansas in 1951, Kirstie Alley relocated to Los Angeles in 1980, where she worked as an interior designer and pursued Scientology. Before her career as an actress took off, she was a contestant on the game show Match Game, where she won both rounds. She also participated on the game show Password Plus.
In 1982, Kirstie Alley made her motion picture debut in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, where she portrayed the Vulcan Starfleet officer Lieutenant Saavik. The sequel was a huge hit both critically and financially, earning nearly $80 million off a budget of $11.2 million. Although she had the opportunity to reprise the role in the next two sequels, she opted to pass after being offered less money.
Kirstie Alley went on to land roles in several smaller films like One More Chance, Blind Date, and Runaway. In 1985, she appeared in the ABC miniseries North and South as Virgilia Hazard. Her next major role came in 1987 when she starred alongside Mark Harmon in the comedy Summer School.
Later that year, the actress replaced Shelly Long as Rebecca Howe in NBC’s wildly popular sitcom Cheers. The show ran for 11 seasons over the course of 12 years, and Kirstie Alley remained with the series until it concluded on May 20, 1993. Her performance on the show earned her two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
In 1989, Kirstie Alley starred opposite of John Travolta in the box office hit Looks Who’s Talking, which earned over $295 million globally. She reprised her role as Mollie in two sequels, Look Who’s Talking Too and Look Who’s Talking Now. Neither of the follow-ups came close to matching the financial success of the first movie.
After earning an Emmy for her role in the 1994 television film David’s Mother, Kirstie Alley received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame the following year for her contributions to the film industry. By that point, she was already a household name. Further cementing her status as one of the top actors of the ‘90s was her starring role on the comedy series Veronica’s Closet. The show, which was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, ran for three seasons between 1997 and 2000.
The turn of the millennium saw Kirstie Alley appearing in less high-profile roles, but she remained active in Hollywood. She landed parts in several made-for-TV movies including Family Sins, Write and Wrong, and Baby Sellers. In 2011, she took second place on the reality competition show Dancing with the Stars.
Even though she was occasionally the subject of controversy in the past few years due to her contentious opinions on everything from religion to politics, there’s no denying that Kirstie Alley left a lasting impression on the film and television industries. She is survived by a son, William True Stevenson, a daughter, Lillie Price Stevenson, and a grandson. Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this difficult time.