Kirstie Alley, a beloved actress, has died at the age of 71. Her family posted the heartbreaking news that Alley had lost her battle with cancer on her Instagram page.
Following her appearance on the sitcom Cheers, Alley shot to fame. Over the course of her career, the two-time Emmy Award-winning actress starred in a number of big-budget movies and won over viewers on Dancing With The Stars.
On Monday, her family issued a lengthy statement in which they provided additional information regarding her final moments.
The early years of Kirstie Alley’s life were turbulent. She was born in Wichita, Kansas, on January 12, 1951.
After completing her high school education at Wichita Southeast, she studied theater at Kansas State and Kansas Universities. Her early years, however, were ruined by narcotics.
The fact is that I was high when I left Kansas. I was rendered insane by drugs. She told Parade, “I hopped in the car and drove out to California.
I wouldn’t have been able to achieve my dream if I hadn’t been drugged out. It may sound silly, but it required some effort for me to get out of Wichita, Kansas.
“With reality shows and things like that on TV now, people probably feel a little more hopeful that they could make something of themselves. But at that time, 30 years ago, it was just like, ‘How could I possibly dare to think that I could go be a star? How could I possibly think that?’ That’s more of a Midwest thing, you’re sort of humbled, and if you’re not humbled people will humble you, like, “Well, who the hell do you think you are to move to California and be a star? I mean, come on, Kirstie,” she added.
Alley moved from Wichita to California to pursue a profession as an actor. She began her career as an interior designer, but the party scene was too much for her.
She started a turbulent phase during which she tried with numerous drugs and hung out with the wrong crowd of individuals. Then, in 1981, her family experienced tragedy.
Alley’s mother was killed and her father suffered major injuries when a drunk driver struck their car. Of certainly, the young woman experienced trauma at that particular time. Years later, the intoxicated driver who caused the collision spoke about it and expressed interest in meeting Kirstie. The actress, though, showed no interest at all.
The inebriated driver said, “I can see why Kirstie doesn’t want to talk to me. But if she changed her mind, I would express my sincere regret to Kirstie and her father for what happened that evening and the suffering I gave them.
Everything for Kirstie altered after the death of her mother. She underwent therapy, altered her way of life, and stopped using narcotics. She also became a member of the Scientology church.
She obtained her first roles in 1982. Her breakthrough performance came in the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, where she played the half-Vulcan officer Saavik.
A Bunny’s Tale, a TV movie, cast Alley as Gloria Steinem a few years later. She co-starred with Hollywood icon Patrick Swayze in the 1985 miniseries North and South in a supporting role.
Although they weren’t the most important parts, they gave Kirstie the chance to become a star in Hollywood. Then, in 1987, she landed the role that would forever alter her life as Rebecca Howe in the comedy Cheers.
Cheers elevated Alley to a whole new level of fame and gained her praise from both fans and critics. She won a Golden Globe for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Series in 1991.
After leaving Cheers in 1993, Alley appeared in a number of notable films, earning a second Emmy for her performance in the television film David’s Mother. In 1997, she also acted in the drama miniseries The Last Don and the sitcom Veronica’s Closet.
The actress will also be known for her work with Ellen Barkin in movies like Drop Dead Gorgeous and the Look Who’s Talking series.
Over the last ten years of her life, Alley made numerous stage appearances. When she participated in the television dance program Dancing with the Stars in 2012, the American public got to see a new side of her. She finished second on the show with her dance partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and later that year she was asked back to compete in the All-Star competition.
Kirstie was given a Lyme disease diagnosis in 2017. Speaking candidly about it, the actress disclosed how her borrelia-related illness had caused her to gain a lot of weight.
“I wouldn’t eat two cookies if I cooked them. I’d consume 12 cookies! And I seriously lost my way. I began consuming 12 grape drinks every day. I was eating an awful lot of sweets!” she exclaimed.
But Alley’s issues with her weight have a longer history. In 2004, she disclosed how she had “gained maybe 40 or 50 pounds” during one summer.
Sincerely, she admitted, she was unaware of her weight. The tabloids are to blame for my comment that “Damn, girl, you’re fat!”
She may have drawn inspiration from that encounter for her upcoming comedy series. Fat Actress debuted a year after the Oprah interview.
The sitcom, in which Kirstie played the major part and which was loosely based on her own life, follows a Hollywood actress whose weight loss is the focus of every conceivable tabloid.
Brenda Hampton, the co-creator, told TODAY in 2004 that she believed “people all around the country would relate with her.”
No matter where you live, losing weight and finding a relationship are challenging. If you’re in the spotlight, it makes it even worse.
However, things progressed quickly after receiving assistance from the Jenny Craig weight-loss program. Kirstie struck a balance and gradually shed weight over the course of three years. After losing 75 pounds as a result of the program, she worked as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig until 2007.
When Kirstie was chosen to go on Dancing With The Stars in 2011, she had put on weight once more. She weighed 230 pounds when the show premiered.
However, she had lost almost 100 pounds by the time the competition was done. By all accounts, Kirstie put in a lot of effort to succeed on the dance floor.
Unfortunately, TV viewers were not shy in criticizing. Some people believed Kirstie had starved herself or undergone surgery to get in shape for the program. On Twitter, Kirstie replied to the haters:
No barfing, no starvation, no surgery, no flippin’ lasers, etc. A few months after the show ended, she wrote, “Jeez… my products, organic food, dance.
In 2020, Alley had her final stage appearance as the lead in the television film You Can’t Take My Daughter.
Kirstie Alley, 71, passed suddenly from cancer, according to a statement released by her family on Monday, December 5.
Her cancer was reportedly only “recently” found, according to the family.
To all of our friends, near and far, wherever in the world…
We regret to notify you that our extraordinary, tenacious, and beloved mother went away after a short-time cancer struggle. She fought valiantly while surrounded by her closest family members, giving us reason to believe that she would continue to enjoy life and whatever adventures lay ahead.
“As well-known off the screen as she was on it, she was an even better mother and grandmother. We appreciate the excellent medical staff at the Moffitt Cancer Center for their treatment. We are inspired to live life to the fullest just as our mother did by her unmatched zest and passion for life, her children, grandchildren, and many animals, in addition to her eternal joy of creating. In this trying time, we appreciate your love and prayers and ask that you respect our privacy. always lovingly, The Parkers, True and Lillie.
Her ex-husband Parker Stevenson posted a heartfelt tribute to her on Instagram.
“Hello, Kirstie He added under a picture of Alley, “I am very appreciative for our years together and the two extremely lovely children and now grandchildren that we have. “We will miss you. Sincerely, Parker
Scientologist Alley spent her latter years staying at home in Clearwater, Florida.
OK Magazine was told by a source that “She’s done with LA.” She has contentedly vanished into a peaceful existence in Clearwater, where she is also able to be more outspoken about her convictions.
Another insider continued, saying: “Kirstie hasn’t worked in over a year, and she’s comfortable with that.” She doesn’t intend to go back to Hollywood, either.
Many people used social media to pay tribute to Alley after hearing of her departure. John Travolta, who co-starred with Alley in the 1989 picture Look Who’s Talking and its two sequels, was one of those who did.
The Grease actor lost girlfriend Kelly Preston to cancer in 2020. In July 2020, Kelly Preston, Travolta’s wife, passed away from cancer at age 57.
Kirstie, I love you,” Travolta posted on Instagram. “I’m confident that we’ll cross paths again.”
Through the years, they had a remarkable relationship. Alley said on Celebrity Big Brother that she had once fallen in love with John Travolta.
“He may make a good husband. I nearly left and married John,” she admitted. She mused, “I did love him and still do. And I would have gone and married him if I wasn’t already married. I would have been traveling by air as well.
2018 saw Kirstie give their connection additional context.
In 2018, Alley described their connection, saying that “John would agree it was mutual that we sort of fell in love with each other.” She also added that rejecting the affair was “one of the toughest things she’s ever had to do.”
Because I was deeply in love with him, we were hilarious together, she said. I wouldn’t cheat on my husband, therefore it wasn’t a sexual relationship.
She co-starred in the 2016 horror series Scream Queens with another old coworker, Jamie Lee Curtis, who also paid tribute to Alley on social media.
She was a fantastic comic foil in Scream Queens and was a stunning mother bear in real life. She assisted me in purchasing onesies for my family for Christmas that year, Curtis recounted.
“We respected and connected with one other even when we agreed to disagree on several issues. A bad news”