An icon lost. Kirstie Alley was diagnosed with colon cancer before her death at age 71, her rep told People on Tuesday, December 6.
The Cheers actress’ children, William “True” Stevenson and Lillie Stevenson, revealed her cancer was only “recently discovered” in a statement announcing her death one day prior.
“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 siblings wrote in a statement to People, noting that she was cared for at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. “As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”
True, 30, and Lillie, 28, went on to honor their “incredible, fierce and loving mother” while remembering 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.”
Many celebrities showed an outpouring of support following the tragic news.
“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had,” John Travolta captioned a photo of the actress on Instagram. “I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”
Valerie Bertinelli gave her condolences via Twitter, writing, “Oh Kirstie, rest in peace.”
Kirstie became a television icon for her role as Rebecca Howe on Cheers, where she appeared on from 1987 to 1993. The role even scored her an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in 1991. The Kansas native won a second Emmy for her role of Sally Goodson in David’s Mother in 1994.
Over the decades, she appeared in a plethora of shows, including Scream Queens, Kirstie, Veronica’s Closet and Fat Actress, as well as films Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Look Who’s Talking, It Takes Two and Drop Dead Gorgeous.
In addition to acting, Kirstie delighted fans on multiple reality shows. She finished in second place during season 12 of Dancing With the Stars with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy in 2011. She returned for season 15, and she and Maksim were the seventh couple eliminated. She also competed during season 7 of The Masked Singer in 2022.