The passing of the actress was confirmed by her children True and Lillie Parker on Monday evening: “As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother,” they wrote in a statement.
Kirstie Alley, best known for her role in the sitcom “Cheers,” and the “Look Who’s Talking” films was 71.
Her children revealed that the cause of death was cancer which was recently discovered. In a statement to People, True and Lillie confirmed that Alley passed away on Monday surrounded by her closest family.
“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 read.
“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,” they continued. “As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”
The spoke of their mother with love and said they would always remember her “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 thanked the “incredible team of doctors and nurses” at the Moffitt Cancer Center.
Further, True and Lillie thanked Alley’s fans, sharing, “We thank you for your love and prayers and ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.”
Messages of condolences started pouring in.
John Travolta, Alley’s co-star and friend paid tribute to the actress on social media.
“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie,” he shared alongside a photo of the late star. “I know we will see each other again.”
Jamie Lee Curtis wrote, “She was a great comic foil in @tvscreamqueens and a beautiful mama bear in her very real life. She helped me buy onesies for my family that year for Christmas. We agreed to disagree about some things but had a mutual respect and connection. Sad news.”
“I was on a plane today and did something I rarely do. I watched an old episode of ‘Cheers,’” Alley’s “Cheers” co-star Ted Danson, who happened to watched an episode of the series before he learned of her dead, 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 truly brilliant in it. Her ability to play a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown was both moving and hysterically funny.”
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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 role of bar manager Rebecca Howe 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 are so very sorry for this devastating loss. May she rest in peace.
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Love and Peace