It was reported on Monday that actress Kirstie Alley passed away at the age of 71 after a private battle with cancer. She is survived by her two children.
“We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered. She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead. As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.We are grateful to the incredible team of doctors and nurses at the Moffitt Cancer Center for their care. Our mother’s zest and passion for life, her children, her 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. We thank you for your love and prayers and ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.”
It was reported early Tuesday morning that she had been battling colon cancer.
She got her big break and became a household name with the role of Rebecca Howe in Cheers (1987 to 1993) – a role in which she won an Emmy and Golden Globe award in 1991. She would later go on to receive her second Emmy for her role as Sally Goodson in David’s Mother.
Fans will also know her from her roles in Look Who’s Talking (1989), Look Who’s Talking Too (1990), Look Who’s Talking Now (1993), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), It Takes Two (1995), For Richer or Poorer (1997), Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999 ), Veronica’s Closet (1997-2000), and Fat Actress (2005), among others roles.
Ted Danson paid tribute to his former Cheers leading lady:
“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.”
Kelsey Grammer shared a statement:
“I always believed grief for a public figure is a private matter, but I will say I loved her.”
Rhea Perlman also paid tribute:
“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.”
John Travolta took to social media and wrote:
Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.
Tim Allen, who starred alongside Alley in For Richer or Poorer, tweeted:
“A sweet soul pass on in Kirstie Alley. Sad, sad news. Prayers for all her family.”
Jamie Lee Curtis shared on her Instagram:
I’ve just heard the sad news that Kirstie Alley has died. She was a great comic foil in @tvscreamqueens and a beautiful mama bear in her very real life. She helped me buy onesies for my family that year for Christmas. We agreed to disagree about some things but had a mutual respect and connection. Sad news.
Steve Guttenberg shared on Instagram:
Kirstie met me at her house with a tuna sandwich on my favorite bread . ‘Steve, I know all about you and your love of rye bread., eat some tuna.” We were rehearsing ‘It Takes Two’, and every day she amazed me with her generosity of the tangible and with her soulfulness. The world is a bit empty without Kirstie.
All of us at Fandom Spotlite send our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Kirstie Alley.
What are some of your favorite Kirstie Alley memories? Here is one of ours.