Emmy-winning ‘Cheers’ star Kirstie Alley dies at 71

The versatile actress made her film debut in 1982's 'Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan'

Photo: AP
Photo: AP


Published: Tue 6 Dec 2022, 7:05 AM

Last updated: Tue 6 Dec 2022, 11:31 AM

Kirstie Alley — who won an Emmy for her role on Cheers — and starred in films including Look Who's Talking, died on Monday. She was 71.

Alley died of cancer that was only recently discovered, her children True and Lillie Parker said in a post on Twitter. Alley's manager Donovan Daughtry confirmed the death in an email to The Associated Press.

“As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother,” her children's statement said.

Photo: @kirstiealley/Twitter
Photo: @kirstiealley/Twitter

She starred opposite Ted Danson as Rebecca Howe on Cheers, the beloved NBC sitcom about a Boston bar, from 1987 to 1993. She joined the show at the height of its popularity after the departure of the original star, Shelley Long.

Photo: AP
Photo: AP


Alley would win an Emmy for best lead actress in a comedy series for the role in 1991. She would go on to take a second Emmy for best lead actress in a miniseries or television movie in 1993, for playing the titular role in the CBS TV movie David's Mother.

She had her own sitcom on the network — titled Veronica's Closet, from 1997 to 2000.

In the 1989 comedy Look Who's Talking — which gave her a major career boost — she played the mother of a baby who's inner thoughts were voiced by Bruce Willis. She would also appear in the 1990 sequel Look Who's Talking Too.

John Travolta, her co-star in both films, paid her tribute in an Instagram post.

"Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had,” Travolta said, along with a photo of Alley. “I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”

Photo: @johntravolta/Instagram
Photo: @johntravolta/Instagram

She would play a fictionalised version of herself in the 2005 Showtime series Fat Actress, a show that drew comedy from her public and media treatment over her weight gain and loss.

In recent years she appeared on several reality shows, including Dancing With the Stars.

A native of Wichita, Kansas, Alley attended Kansas State University before dropping out, and moving to Los Angeles.

Her first television appearances were as a game show contestant, on The Match Game in 1979, and Password in 1980.

She made her film debut in 1982's Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.

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