‘Cheers’ co-stars toast Kirstie Alley: ‘Grateful for all the times she made me laugh’

A woman and man standing behind a bar
Kirstie Alley and Ted Danson in a scene from “Cheers.”
(Paramount Pictures)

Kirstie Alley’s TV family from “Cheers” and her real-life family are raising their glasses to the late actor.

Alley, who died of cancer at age 71, co-starred alongside Ted Danson, Kelsey Grammer and Rhea Perlman, who each fondly remembered her and her breakout role as bar manager Rebecca Howe in NBC’s 1980s and ’90s sitcom. She won Emmy and Golden Globe awards for the part, which came along in 1987 during the series’ sixth season after Shelley Long left the long-running sitcom. Alley’s ex-husband, “The Hardy Boys” and “Melrose Place” actor Parker Stevenson, also saluted her.

“I was on a plane today and did something I rarely do,” Danson, 74, said Tuesday in a statement provided to The Times. “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. 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.”


Actor Kirstie Alley, of ‘Cheers’ fame, died of cancer that was recently diagnosed, according to a statement issued Monday evening by her family.

Dec. 6, 2022

The “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Good Place” actor famously played bartender Sam Malone at the Boston bar where everybody knows your name and he comprised one half of the classic TV couple Sam and Diane (Long).

Danson added that Alley “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.”

Grammer, 67, who played Frasier Crane in the comedy before starring in its spinoff “Frasier,” told Deadline: “I always believed grief for a public figure is a private matter, but I will say I loved her.”

John Travolta, Jamie Lee Curtis and Megyn Kelly are among celebs paying tribute to Kirstie Alley, the “Cheers” and “Look Who’s Talking” actor who died Monday.

Dec. 5, 2022

Perlman, 74, who memorably embodied sharp-tongued waitress Carla Tortelli, remembered Alley as “a unique and wonderful person and friend.”

“Her joy of being was boundless,” Perlman said in a statement provided to The Times on Tuesday. “We became friends almost instantly when she joined the cast of Cheers.”


Perlman, a four-time Emmy Award winner who shares three children with husband Danny DeVito, added: “She loved kids and my kids loved her too. We had sleepovers at her house, with treasure hunts that she created. 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.”

‘Cheers’ star Kirstie Alley has died at 71 after a battle with cancer. Here’s a look at her career in photos.

Dec. 6, 2022

Alley was married to Stevenson from 1983 to 1997. During their marriage, the couple adopted two children, True and Lillie Parker, who announced their mother’s death Monday on Alley’s Twitter account. They said that she died from cancer that was “only recently discovered.”

Shortly after their children posted their statement, Stevenson shared his tribute on Instagram.

“Dear Kirstie,” the TV director wrote, sharing an old photo of them, “I am so grateful for our years together, and for the two incredibly beautiful children and now grandchildren that we have. You will be missed. With love, Parker.”

Before “Cheers,” Alley acted in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” then later starred alongside John Travolta in the hit “Look Who’s Talking” film franchise. Travolta paid tribute to his late co-star, saying, “Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie.”

Later in life, Alley became an outspoken conservative. Earlier this year, the “Fat Actress” and “Veronica’s Closet” star was “unmasked” as Baby Mammoth on Fox’s hit singing competition series “The Masked Singer.”