RIP: Kirstie Alley

Kirstie Alley, the actress best known for her award-winning role as Rebecca Howe on Cheers, died yesterday at the age of 71.  The cause of death was cancer.

Ms. Alley was born in Wichita, Kansas.  She attended Kansas State University, before dropping out in her sophomore year.  Kirstie Alley then moved to Los Angeles to further her studies in Scientology.  At that time she planned on a career as an interior designer.  After appearing as a contestant on two game shows (Match Game, Password Plus) she considered a career change.

Kirstie Alley’s first two roles were small.  She appeared uncredited as a handmaiden on the short-lived television series Quark.  This was followed by a co-starring role in One More Chance, a student film that was expanded into a feature length film.  Ms. Alley’s big break came when she was cast in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  Although Kirstie Alley declined to return for Star Trek sequels, she continued acting on television and feature films for the rest of her career.

Some of Kirstie Alley’s television appearances include: The Love Boat; Masquerade (13 episodes); A Bunny’s Tale; North and South: Book 1 (6 spisodes); North and South: Book 2 (6 episodes); The Hitchhiker (2 episodes); Cheers (148 episodes); Wings; The Last Don (3 episodes); The Last Don II (2 episodes); Veronica’s Closet (67 episodes); Fat Actress (7 episodes); The King of Queens; Dancing with the Stars (34 episodes) and Kirstie (12 episodes).

Some of Kirstie Alley’s feature film appearances include: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Runaway; Shoot to Kill; Look Who’s Talking; Look Who’s Talking Too; Look Who’s Talking Now and Village of the Damned; 

Awards won: 1991 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical; 1991 People’s Choice for Favorite Female Television Performer; 1998 People’s Choice for Favorite Female Performer in a New Television Series; 1991 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series; 1994 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special.

When I think of Kirstie Alley, I always first remember her role on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  She came out of nowhere (or so it seemed) to land a co-starring role in a huge feature film.  Of course most know her from her long award-winning run on Cheers.  Look at her resume and you’ll see she did so much more.  What an amazing career she had.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kirstie Alley’s family, friends and fans.