Kirstie Alley dead at 71 after brief battle with cancer

Longtime actress Kirstie Alley, best known for playing Rebecca Howe on Cheers in the 1980s, has died at age 71 after a brief battle with cancer, her family announced in a statement.

“We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered,” her children posted on her official Twitter account Monday night.

“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,” the statement continued.

Her children’s tribute

Alley won an Emmy and a Golden Globe award for her performance in Cheers, but her kids said she was even better as a mother and grandmother.

“As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother,” Ture and Lillie Parker said. “We are grateful to the incredible team of doctors and nurses at the Moffitt Cancer Center for their care.”

Besides Cheers, Alley also starred in a number of movies, including Look Who’s Talking, It Takes Two, and For Richer or Poorer.

Tributes from others

Her Look Who’s Talking costar John Travolta said upon hearing of her passing, “Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”

Tim Allen tweeted, “A sweet soul pass on in Kristie Alley. Sad, sad news. Prayers for all her family.”

Valerie Bertinelli wrote on Twitter, “Oh Kirstie, Rest in Peace.”

Controversial views

In recent years, Alley was slammed for expressing some controversial views on issues of the day. During the 2020 Oscars, she said that she didn’t think there should be hiring quotas for LGTBQ+ people or other groups, which the Academy had decided to implement as requirements to win an Oscar.

She also unapologetically supported Donald Trump in 2020, saying that she had voted for him in 2016 and would again in 2020.

When there was a huge backlash against her from liberals in Hollywood, she posted online, “You can be cooking meth and sleeping with hookers, but as long as, apparently, you didn’t vote for Trump… I feel like I’m in The Twilight Zone a bit, with the whole concept of it.”

Alley was also a Scientologist for most of her adult life, joining the church in 1979 and defending it against Leah Remini and other critics who came out against it.