Kirstie Alley, Emmy-winning Cheers and Look Who's Talking star, dies at 71 after brief cancer battle
Kirstie Alley, the Emmy-winning star of Cheers, Veronica's Closet, and Look Who's Talking, has died at 71.
Her children, True and Lillie Parker, shared the news of her death on the actress' social media accounts on Monday. "We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered," they wrote. EW has confirmed news of her death.
The statement continued, "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."
True and Lillie ended the announcement thanking the doctors and nurses at Moffitt Cancer Center and asking for privacy during this time.
Though she had a number of notable roles in the '80s, including a part in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and a 13-episode stint on Masquerade, Alley was perhaps best known for her breakout role on Cheers as Rebecca Howe. She played the role opposite Ted Danson from 1987 until the show's end in 1993, having stepped in when Shelley Long famously left the NBC sitcom.
For the part, Alley received five Emmy nominations, winning once in 1991. After wrapping on Cheers, Alley played the title role in the TV film David's Mother, playing a woman estranged from her husband and family who cares for her autistic son on her own. In 1994, she won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special for the part.
NBC/Everett Ted Danson and Kirstie Alley on 'Cheers'
David's Mother was one of several TV movies Alley starred in in the '90s and 2000s — she also had roles in Peter and the Wolf, Toothless, Radiant City, and Suddenly, the latter of which she also wrote.
Alley was also well known for playing the leading role on Veronica's Closet, from Friends creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman. In it, the actress played the head of a NYC lingerie company who was really great at helping others with their love lives, even as she struggled mightily with her own. She was also Emmy-nominated for the series, which ultimately aired for three seasons, from September 1997 to December 2000. Her other Emmy nod came from playing Rose Marie Clericuzio in an CBS miniseries adaptation of Mario Puzo's The Last Don.
In later years, she starred in, wrote, and executive produced Fat Actress, which was built around a heightened perception of Alley's own experiences in Hollywood. She also appeared on The Hills, King of Queens, Kirstie, Hot in Cleveland, Dancing With the Stars, Scream Queens, Celebrity Big Brother, The Goldbergs, and more.
In addition to her lengthy television career, Alley starred in many films as well, including Look Who's Talking with John Travolta and its two sequels Look Who's Talking Too and Look Who's Talking Now, as well as Runaway, Summer School, the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen vehicle It Takes Two, Deconstructing Harry, For Richer or Poorer with Tim Allen, and more.
Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Kirstie Alley
More recently, she starred in the 2013 film Syrup and the 2015 David O. Russell film Accidental Love. Her final TV appearance came earlier this year, when she donned the bright pink Baby Mammoth costume and brought the laughs on The Masked Singer stage in the show's seventh season.
Alley was born January 12, 1951 in Wichita, Kansas. She leaves behind her children True and Lillie, and grandson Waylon.