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Kirstie Alley, ‘Cheers’ star, Emmy winner, dies at age 71

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Emmy-winning actress Kirstie Alley, known for her role in the sitcom “Cheers”, the movies “Look Who’s Talking” and other roles, has passed away from cancer, her family said in a statement Monday. She turned 71.

The disease was only recently discovered, her family said.

“She was surrounded by her immediate family and fought with great strength, giving us the assurance of her never-ending joy in life and whatever adventures lie ahead,” the statement read. pronunciation said. “As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”

Alley joined the cast of “Cheers” in 1987 as bar manager Rebecca Howe and left in 1993. She also played Veronica Chase on the television series “Veronica’s Closet”, which ran from 1997 to 2000.

In the movie, Alley had a memorable role as Lieutenant Saavik in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”, and she co-starred with John Travolta in the films “Look Who’s Talking”.

She was Mrs. Robin Elizabeth Bishop in the 1987 movie ‘Summer School’ and played Gladys Leeman in ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ which came out in 1999. Over a career spanning more than 40 years, she made dozens of TV and film appearances. .

Kirsty Alley in 1988.NBCU photo bank via Getty Images file

Her family thanked “the incredible team of doctors and nurses at Moffitt Cancer Center for their care.”

Details about her illness have not been disclosed. The family asked for privacy on Monday.

“The joy and passion of our mother, her children, grandchildren and her many animals, not to mention her undying joy in creating, were unparalleled and inspired us to live life to the fullest, just as she did” they said in the statement.

She won two Emmys – for Outstanding Lead Role in a Comedy Series in “Cheers” in 1991, and for Outstanding Lead Role in a Miniseries or a Special for her role as Sally Goodson in “David’s Mother” in 1994.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, Alley married an actor Parker Stevenson in 1983, and they adopted children William True and Lilly Price. The couple separated in 1997.

Alley was a member of the Church of Scientology, which she often defended in interviews. She has credited Scientology’s Narconon program with helping her overcome a cocaine addiction. Last year, she told Fox host Tucker Carlson that she was often attacked for her beliefs.

The Church of Scientology called her “a beloved member” and said she will be missed. “Kirstie was known around the world for her generosity, charisma and irresistible sense of humor,” the statement read.

Alley was also a spokesperson for Jenny Craig and spoke about her struggles with her weight. She wrote two books, The Art of Men, published in 2012, and How To Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life, published in 2005.

Travolta was one of the first to share his thoughts after Alley’s death was announced.

“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kristie. I know we’ll see each other again,” Travolta said posted on Instagram.

Kirstie Alley and John Travolta at the premiere of "The fanatic" in 2019.
Kirstie Alley and John Travolta at the 2019 premiere of “The Fanatic”.Chelsea Lauren / Variety via Getty Images

Tim Allen, who starred alongside Alley in the 1997 movie ‘For Richer or Poorer’ tweeted that Alley was a “sweet soul.”

“Sad, sad news. Prayers for her entire family,” Allen wrote.

Jamie Lee Curtis, who appeared with Alley on the television series “Scream Queens”, shared on Instagram that Alley “was a beautiful mama bear in her real life” and that “that year she helped me buy rompers for my family for Christmas.”

“Cheers” cast members reacted to the news with sadness. Rhea Perlman said she and Alley became friends instantly. “Her zest for life was boundless,” Perlman said in a statement.

Ted Danson, whose character in “Cheers,” Sam Malone, pursues Howe as a love interest but is often rejected, recalled watching an old episode on a plane Monday where Alley was “really brilliant.”

“She made me laugh 30 years ago when she shot that scene, and she made me laugh just as hard today. When I got off the plane, I learned that Kirstie had passed away,” Danson said in a statement.

“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,” he said. “I will miss her.”

CORRECTION (December 6, 5:45 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified a “Star Trek” movie. It’s ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’, not ‘Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan’.


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