Yesterday came the news that two-time Emmy Award-winning actress Kirstie Alley (Cheers, Veronica's Closet, "Look Who's Talking" films) had passed away after a battle with cancer at the age of 71. Though boasting a career in film and television that lasted nearly four decades, Alley was best known for her role as Rebecca Howe in the classic NBC sitcom Cheers, earning both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe in 1991. Now, a number of Alley's castmates have shared their thoughts on their co-star's passing, including Ted Danson, Kelsey Grammer, Rhea Perlman, and John Ratzenberger.
Kelsey Grammer: "I always believed grief for a public figure is a private matter, but I will say I loved her."
Ted Danson: "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. 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."
Rhea Perlman: "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."
"To all our friends, far and wide around the world… 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," True Parker & Lillie Parker wrote in a statement posted on the late actor's Twitter account on Monday. "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, 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." Now here's a look at the statement that was released:
In her follow-up NBC sitcom, Veronica's Closet, Alley would go on to earn additional Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Alley's filmography consists of a wide range of work across both mediums, including Summer School (1987), Shoot to Kill (1988), Look Who's Talking & its sequels (1989–1993), Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), David's Mother (1994), The Last Don (1997), Fat Actress (2005), and many more. Alley would also venture into reality competition series, including Dancing with the Stars Season 12 (2011–2012) and the UK's Celebrity Big Brother (2018). Outside of her acting career, Alley's involvement with the Church of Scientology, as well as her opinions on a number of political & social issues and apparent support of the domestic terrorists who stormed Washington, D.C., back on January 6, 2021, had earned her criticism and pushback from fans and peers throughout Alley's final years.