Kirstie Alley is dead after battling cancer. She was 71.
The Cheers actress‘ death was confirmed on Monday, December 5, by her two children, William True Stevenson, 30, and Lillie Stevenson, 28.
“We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered,” they shared in a letter via Alley’s Instagram on Monday evening. “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.”
The went on to thank her medical caregivers. “We are grateful to the incredible team of doctors and nurses at the Moffitt Cancer Center for their care,” they said.
The siblings continued: “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.”
They concluded by asking that fans “respect our privacy at this difficult time.”
Alley is survived by her three grandchildren, including 6-year-old Waylon, as well as her two children, who she shared with ex-husband Parker Stevenson. The two were married from 1983 to 1997. Alley had one prior marriage to high school sweetheart Bob Alley, which lasted from 1970 to 1977.
The Kansas native made her film debut in 1982, starring in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as Vulcan Starfleet officer Lieutenant Saavik. She worked on a slew of other projects, including ABC’s hit Civil War miniseries North and South (1985), opposite Patrick Swayze, and the comedy film Summer School (1987), alongside Mark Harmon.
She became a household name later that year when she joined NBC sitcom Cheers as Rebecca Howe. She was nominated for two Emmys while starring on the comedy. She stuck around the bar until the series finale in 1993.
Alley continued to make films while dominating the sitcom scene. She starred in 1989’s Look Who’s Talking as well as two sequels opposite pal John Travolta, who is mourning Alley’s death.
“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had,” Travolta, 68, shared via Instagram on Monday following the news of her passing. “I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”
Alley’s final film was 2015’s Accidental Love, directed by David O. Russell.
While she continued to work in scripted projects, Alley also made her mark on reality TV. She starred in the docuseries Kirstie Alley’s Big Life in 2010 and finished in second place on Dancing With the Stars the following year. She competed on Celebrity Big Brother in 2018 and appeared as the Baby Mammouth on The Masked Singer earlier this year.