Emmy-winning 'Cheers' star Kirstie Alley dies at 71
Kirstie Alley, the two-time Emmy-winning actor who starred in the hit television sitcom "Cheers", died Monday after a battle with cancer, her family said. Alley rose to prominence for her role as Rebecca Howe in the NBC sitcom "Cheers" about a Boston bar, for which she received an Emmy for best lead actress in a comedy series in 1991. She received a second Emmy for her role in the television film "David's Mother."Alley also starred in the 1989 romantic comedy film "Look Who's Talking" -- as well as its two sequels -- alongside John Travolta.Travolta paid tribute to the actor Monday night, posting a photograph of a young Alley on Instagram.
Today is a very complicated day for a generation of comedy fans. Kirstie Alley, of "Cheers," the "Look Who's Talking" trilogy, and "Veronica's Closet" fame, has died of cancer at the age of 71. With a career spanning over four decades, Alley was a seminal comedic figure and trailblazer for women in comedy. She was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995 for her contributions to film and television, and her willingness to discuss the systemic mistreatment of fat actresses made her an inspiration to countless women ... until she became a spokesperson for quack weight loss regimes. Unfortunately, she also became one of the most problematic figures in Hollywood due to her conspiracy-theory-motivated presence on social media and absolutely abhorrent treatment of those who didn't share her alt-right political beliefs. The passing of the two-time Emmy-winning actor and "Dancing with the Stars" runner-up was announced by her children on Twitter.
John Travolta, Tim Allen, More Stars React to Kirstie Alley's Death at 71
"Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I've ever had," Travolta wrote in a heartfelt tribute following news of his co-star's death.On Monday, the Cheers star's children, True and Lillie Parker, shared a statement on their mother's Twitter and Instagram accounts announcing that she had died following treatment in Tampa, Florida.
© New Line Cinema Kirstie Alley in Drop Dead Gorgeous
"We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce, and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered," the statement says. "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."
As Complicated As She Was Comedic © Warner Bros. Kirstie Alley in It Takes Two
Kirstie Alley's memory is two-fold: as both a celebrated figure in comedy and a peddler of dangerous political conspiracies. She is the ultimate personification of needing to hold multiple truths at the same time, understanding her brilliant contributions to women characters in sitcoms while simultaneously not allowing her groundbreaking efforts to excuse her unacceptable treatment of others. Her performances in films like "Drop Dead Gorgeous" and "It Takes Two" are seminal for a generation of millennials, with many still using her character Diane Barrows' analogy of "can't-eat, can't-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, World Series kind of stuff," to describe the sensation of falling in love.
Kirstie Alley's Death Sparks Debate About Scientology's Views on Cancer
Following Alley's death from cancer at 71, a discussion was sparked about how the screen star's Scientology status may have affected her condition.Cheers star Alley's children, True and Lillie Parker, revealed in a statement shared on their mother's Twitter and Instagram accounts that the actress had passed away after receiving treatment for the disease in Tampa, Florida.
It was her turn as Rebecca Howe in "Cheers," however, that completely changed the game. Introduced after Shelley Long left the series to focus on films, Alley played Rebecca as the "lovable loser" with a hard exterior, putting on a façade of being tough-as-nails while in reality, being totally neurotic and ridiculously clumsy. She portrayed the character with a relatable authenticity that she'd repeat as Mollie Ubriacco in the "Look Who's Talking" trilogy, with an absolutely electric on-screen chemistry with John Travolta. And for an entire generation of science fiction fans, she will be remembered for her memorable role as a Vulcan Starfleet officer in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."
But this does not erase her history of treating people terribly on Twitter, hurling insults, and giving a platform to hateful ideologies. It's very clear that Kirstie Alley was someone looking for answers on a perpetual path of soul-searching, and I can only hope that before she left this mortal plane, she managed to find some semblance of tranquility. May her lemurs also find good, loving homes in the wake of her passing.
You had a good go at it, Kirstie. Thanks for your input.
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