R.I.P. Kirstie Alley, Rebecca Howe on legendary sitcom Cheers

Alley made a name for herself in the early Eighties, but her career took a turn for stardom after landing on Cheers.

The Everett Collection

After joining the cast of Cheers in 1987, it didn't take long for the career of Kirstie Alley to take off. The two-time Emmy winner died Monday, Dec. 5, 2022 according to People

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Alley passed away after a "recently discovered" battle with cancer. 

Her career took off during the sixth season of Cheers, playing the role she is arguably best known for, bar manager Rebecca Howe. Alley stepped in after Shelly Long, who played Diane Chambers, left the show. 

Alley's rise to fame was rather quick after joining the bar-based sitcom. She was nominated twice for Outstanding Actress In A Comedy Series in 1988 and 1990, before securing her first Emmy in 1991 for the same category. She earned two more nominations in 1992 and 1993 respectively.

Though Cheers ended in 1993, success continued for Alley, who won another Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special in the TV movie David's Mother. Alley portrays a single mother who is devoted and determined to take care of her child with autism on her own.

In 1997, she starred as Veronica Chase, the head of a New York City lingerie company, on NBC's Veronica's Closet for three seasons, up until the year 2000. 

Though her career took off after joining Ted Danson and the rest of Cheers cast, Alley had several appearances before her big break. 

In one of her first films, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn, Alley played Vulcan Starfleet officer Lt. Saavik. She appeared in an episode of The Love Boat in 1983 before playing Jackie Rogers in the 1984 film Runaway

She was a regular on the short-lived espionage series Masquerade as Casey Collins. Alley follwed that up with work on the TV miniseries North & South, Books 1 and 2 in 1985 according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

In 1989, she became accountant Mollie Jensen in the first of three Look Who's Talking films, the first opposite John Travolta. She returned for a pair of sequels in 1990 (Look Who's Talking Too) and in 1993 (Look Who's Talking Now). 

Alley's children, True and Lillie Parker took to Instagram on Monday to announce the passing of their mother. 

The post says in part, "As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother."

Alley was 71. 

 
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28 Comments

Rita6868 1 month ago
Ugh! Not Kirstie! I didn't expect this one.
Loved everything she was in.
She will always be my favorite on "Cheers" and loved her in "Veronica's Closet." Saw "Look Who's Talking" movies countless times.She had great facial expressions and spot on comedic timing.
What a down to earth person.Really miss you already Kirstie.Thank You for the laughs on and off screen.No diva just a nice person.Love You always!
Rest Easy.♥️
CortneyNicole 1 month ago
RIP Kirstie Alley. She did really good playing Rebecca Howe as a manager on Cheers. My deepest thoughts and condolences to her family.
Runeshaper 1 month ago
R.I.P. Kirstie Alley. Loved her in Cheers and the Look Who's Talking films!
sledd 1 month ago
Rip! She will always be one of my favorites!!
WilliamJorns 1 month ago
This is the first I heard of Kirstie's passing. It all happened so suddenly. She was a good actress, as her body of work on "Cheers," "Star Trek II," and "Masquerade" will attest. My condolences to her family. She will be missed.
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
I still remember her as Rebecca hiding a cigarette in her mouth. 🚬 I don’t know how she did it. 🤔
Rita6868 MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
Haaa!!!! Me too! I loved when she did that with the cigarette and as a smoker I wanted to try doing it but was too chicken to. Funny lady! She will be missed!😁
MrsPhilHarris Rita6868 1 month ago
I can’t even imagine how to do it.
Pacificsun 1 month ago
Perhaps not the Viewers of today, who've come to appreciate the body of work Kirstie Alley accomplished. But in the day, when she assumed the vacancy left by Shelly Long, it was a VERY challenging expectation. She was compared every which way, by those who missed Shelly Long. Although her character couldn't have been more irritating than she was. KA struggled to make her place among the ensemble, and to put her own memorable stamp on the part. Cleverly she (and the writers) reversed the dynamic between she and Sam, to melt those inevitable comparisons away. She also suffered personal tragedy (close to the time of playing Rebecca, I believe) as a story she occasionally related during interviews. Glad she received the recognition she was due for her talent and creativity. Another person who will be missed long after she made her marks in Classic TV favorites!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirstie_Alley
HopeElizabeth 1 month ago
I’m shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Kirstie Alley.
Love her on “Cheers” and in recent years her podcast. She was hilarious,beautiful, and talented. I hope 🤞 MeTV will consider a tribute. If not, I’ll have to buy DVDs of “Cheers”.
#flyhighangel
Decades is doing a weekend binge of cheers and they are playing certain episodes all week
LoveMETV22 Bricat2001 1 month ago
MeTV could easily pre-empt the Happy Days, L&S and the few others they have for this Sunday and do a Block of Cheers Episodes highlighting Kirstie.
BrittReid 1 month ago
R.I.P. Kirstie Alley. You made a great Vulcan.
KendallMarine 1 month ago
Kirstie was a very beautiful woman regardless of her much publicized battle with weight loss. One of my favorite movies is Look Who's Talking. Kirstie is so sexy when she is dancing to the Gene Pitney song Town Without Pity. Rest in peace Kirstie Alley.
Barry22 1 month ago
.....and Me TV did nothing for Christine McVie.
nd1irish Barry22 1 month ago
Love Fleetwood Mac but Ms. McVie was not a TV star. Rolling Stone.com wrote a nice story on her…I assume.
LoveMETV22 nd1irish 1 month ago
Same here ( Love Fleetwood Mac) and unfortunately MeTV is not going to do a tribute for every actor, singer or notable individual. They do a very good job on the ones they do however.
LoveMETV22 1 month ago
R.I.P. Kirstie Alley. Condolences to her family.
Peter_Falk_Fan 1 month ago
Kirstie Alley was great as Virgilia Hazard in the "North and South" miniseries.

R.I.P. Kirstie Alley
Michael 1 month ago
And she was married to Parker Stevenson, not to be confused with Jameson Parker. Though that ended.
15inchBlackandWhite 1 month ago
She also made a couple of early appearances as a game show contestant. RIP.
When Kirstie was on Match Game '(7#?), Gene Rayburn called her "Christie" by mistake. To which she said "Kirstie" which Gene goes "What?". A most polite correction I've heard. We will miss Kirstie.
cperrynaples profbalipp 1 month ago
It was '79, the last numbered year of MG! All subsequent versions were simply Match Game! And even Gene Rayburn HATED the Hollywood Squares mashup!
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