True and Lillie Parker, the actress’s children: “As legendary as she was on television, she was an even better mother and grandmother,” they said in a statement.
Kirstie Alley, well known for her appearances in “Cheers” and “Look Who’s Talking,” passed away at 71.
Her children reported that she died due to cancer that was only recently discovered. According to True and Lillie, Alley passed away surrounded by her closest family.
“We are devastated to inform you that our beautiful, feisty, and cherished mother passed away after a brief battle with cancer,” said the statement.
“She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with incredible strength, leaving us with the confidence of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lay ahead,” they said. “As memorable on television as she was, she was an even better mother and grandmother.”
They spoke fondly about their mother, stating that her “zeal and love for life, her children, grandchildren, and innumerable animals, not to mention her continuous joy of creating, were unrivaled and inspired us to live life to the fullest just as she did.”
They thanked the “wonderful team of doctors and nurses” at Moffitt Cancer Center.
“We thank you for your love and prayers and ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time,” True and Lillie said of Alley’s admirers.
Messages of condolence began to arrive.
John Travolta, Alley’s co-star, and a friend, paid tribute to the actress on social media.
“Kirstie was one of the most special connections I’ve ever had. “I love you, Kirstie,” he wrote with a photo of the late actress. “I’m confident we’ll cross paths again.”
“She was a brilliant comedy foil in @tvscreamqueens and a beautiful mama bear in her real life,” Jamie Lee Curtis commented. She helped me buy onesies for my family for Christmas that year. We decided to disagree on some matters while maintaining mutual respect and connection.
“I was on a plane today and did something out of the ordinary for me. I watched an old episode of ‘Cheers,’” Alley’s “Cheers” co-star Ted Danson, who happened to watch an episode of the series before he learned of her death, told Deadline. “It was the episode where Tom Berenger proposes to Kirstie, who keeps saying no, even though she desperately wants to say yes. Kirstie was excellent at it. Her portrayal of a woman on the point of a nervous breakdown was both touching and hilarious.”
The Emmy-winning actress’ last Instagram video was one announcing she would be joining Cameo and telling fans they could request “funny or sincere” messages from her using the platform.
Alley won her first Emmy for best lead actress in a comedy series for the bar manager Rebecca Howe role in 1991. She would take a second Emmy for best lead actress in a miniseries or television movie in 1993 for playing the title role in the CBS TV movie “David’s Mother.”
We’ll never forget you, Kirstie Alley.