tributes

Kirstie Alley Remembered by Cheers Cast and More Celebrities

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Former co-stars and friends of Kirstie Alley are mourning the actor after her death was announced December 5. Known for starring in TV shows and movies such as Cheers, Fat Actress, and Drop Dead Gorgeous, Alley died of cancer at the age of 71. Although she later became infamous for her controversial opinions on Me Too, the war in Ukraine, and her involvement in Scientology, Alley’s colleagues — including Cheers cast members Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, and Kelsey Grammer — remembered her for her work. “I was on a plane today and did something I rarely do,” Danson told EW. “I watched an old episode of Cheers. It was the episode where Tom Berenger proposes to Kirstie, who keeps saying no, even though she desperately wants to say yes.” He continued in a statement:

Her ability to play a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown was both moving and hysterically funny. She made me laugh 30 years ago when she shot that scene, and she made me laugh today just as hard. As I got off the plane, I heard that Kirstie had died. I am so sad and so grateful for all the times she made me laugh. I send my love to her children. As they well know, their mother had a heart of gold. I will miss her.

Alley appeared on the series from 1987 to 1993 as Rebecca Howe.

“Kirstie was a unique and wonderful person and friend,” Perlman told People. “Her joy of being was boundless. We became friends almost instantly when she joined the cast of Cheers. She loved kids and my kids loved her too. We had sleepovers at her house, with treasure hunts that she created.” She continued in a statement:

She had massive Halloween and Easter parties, and invited the entire crew of the show, and their families. She wanted everyone to feel included. She loved her children deeply. I’ve never met anyone remotely like her. I feel so thankful to have known her. I’m going to miss her very, very much.”

Grammer told People, “I always believed grief for a public figure is a private matter, but I will say I loved her.”

Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who had a complicated relationship with her as her former dancing partner on Dancing With the Stars in 2011, posted to Instagram after her death, “We haven’t spoken lately and I’ll tell you everything when I finally see you, but for now I want to say that I love you very much and I wish you the most peaceful rest.”

Below, Chmerkovksiy, John Travolta, and others react to Alley’s death.

Kirstie Alley Remembered by Cheers Cast and More