Kirstie Alley, who propelled herself to stardom in the 1980s and 1990s with her role as Rebecca Howe on the US sitcom Cheers, has died of cancer at the age of 71.
In a statement from her family on social media via their official accounts, she described her as “a wonderful mother and grandmother”.
“To all our friends around the world…We are saddened to announce that our incredible, fierce and loving mother passed away after battling her newly discovered cancer,” the statement said.
“He was surrounded by his closest family and fought with great strength, making us sure of his never-ending joie de vivre and the adventures that awaited him.”
Alley debuted on the NBC sitcom in 1987 and quickly became a fan-favourite, starring opposite Ted Danson’s flirtatious bar-goer Sam Malone.
He played bar manager Howe until the show ended in 1993 and won both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe for his role in 1991.
Beyond Cheers Alley has appeared in several films over the course of two decades, including Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Summer School (1987), Sibling Rivalry (1990), It Takes Two (1995), For Richer or Poorer (1997) . ) and Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999).
Alley was also known for starring in the TV series Look Who’s Talking alongside Church of Scientology member John Travolta.
She won her second Emmy Award in 1994 for the television movie David’s Mother and received another Emmy nomination in 1997 for her work on the crime drama series The Last Don.
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995 for his contributions to motion pictures.
Alley returned to NBC in 1997 to play the title character on the sitcom Veronica’s Closet, which ran until 2000.
He has also made several reality television appearances, firstly on season 12 of Dancing with the Stars, where he finished second as a contestant.
British viewers saw Alley in reality TV mode on the 22nd series of UK Celebrity Big Brother in 2018, with the Kansas-born actor finishing second.
During his tenure with Big Brother, he shared the house with other famous faces like Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas and Dan Osbourne of The Only Way Is Essex, who finished first and third respectively.
Alley was brought up as a Methodist, but after moving to Los Angeles in 1979 he became a Scientologist, using the church-affiliated drug treatment program Narconon in response to his self-admitted cocaine addiction.
She has been married twice—to her high school boyfriend from 1970 to 1977 and to Baywatch actor Parker Stevenson from 1983—and after a miscarriage they adopted son William True in 1992 and Stevenson’s daughter Lillie Price in 1995. acquired.
The marriage to Stevenson ended in 1997, and Alley became a grandmother in 2016 following the birth of William’s son.
His celluloid career began in 1979 as a contestant on the game show The Match Game and ended earlier this year with his appearance in the competition series The Masked Singer, where he donned a baby mammoth costume.