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Kirstie Alley’s family confirms cause of her death after shock announcement


Kristie Alley died aged 71 from a battle with colon cancer, her family has confirmed.

The Cheers star’s cancer was “only recently discovered”, her children True and Lillie Parker announced on her social media on Tuesday.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: John Travolta and Kirstie Alley in Look Who’s Talking Now.

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The colon cancer diagnosis, which was being treated at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, was shared with People.

After her death on Tuesday (AEDT), the social media statement from her children said they were “sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer”.

“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 family’s statement continued.

Kirstie Alley in Scream Queens. Credit: FOX/FOX Image Collection via Getty I

“As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”

“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,” the statement said.

Career beginnings

A two-time Primetime Emmy Award winner, Alley was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1951.

After a standout role in 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, she played roles in movies like 1984’s Blind Date and 1987’s Summer School opposite Mark Harmon.

American actress Kirstie Alley, circa 1986. She is soon to star in the NBC sitcom Cheers. Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

That same year, Alley would follow Shelley Long to play the lead opposite Ted Danson in the latter part of the run of TV classic sitcom Cheers, which premiered in 1982.

Alley first appeared in 1987, playing strong and independent bar manager Rebecca Howe, staying on the acclaimed show until it ended in 1993.

After winning the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series in 1991 for Cheers and another for lead actress in a miniseries or special for 1994’s David’s Mother, she again found TV success in the late ’90s with the series Veronica’s Closet, which scored her another Emmy nod.

Additionally, Alley starred in a number of memorable films, including the Look Who’s Talking movies, 1990’s Madhouse and 1999’s Drop Dead Gorgeous with Ellen Barkin.

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW: Kristie Alley’s final video before death.

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‘Her charisma was always iconic’

John Travolta, who costarred with Alley in 1989’s hit Look Who’s Talking as well as two sequels, wrote on Instagram on Monday, “Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”

Jamie Lee Curtis – who worked with Alley in 2016 on episodes of TV’s Scream Queens – shared a statement on Facebook to pay tribute to the late actress, writing, “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.”

Kirstie Alley and John Travolta in 1989. Credit: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Josh Gad tweeted, “My heart breaks for Kirstie and her family. Whether it was her brilliance in Cheers; or her magnetic performance in the ‘Look Who’s Talking’ franchise, her smile was always infectious, her laugh was always contagious and her charisma was always iconic. RIP.”

Alley’s Cheers co-star Ted Danson told Deadline he had just watched Alley in an episode of the show while on a plane before learning of her death.

“I was on a plane today and did something I rarely do. I watched an old episode of Cheers,” Danson told the outlet.

Actress Kirstie Alley. Credit: AP

“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.”

Another Cheers star, Rhea Perlman, told CNN in a statement that she and Alley became friends instantly on the set of Cheers.

– With CNN

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Source: 7News