Childhood & Early Life
Kirstie Louise Alley was born on January 12, 1951, in Wichita, Kansas, US to Robert Deal Alley and Lillian Mickie (née Heaton). Her father was a lumber company owner and her mother was a housewife. Her two siblings are Craig and Colette.
She grew up as a Methodist and studied at the Wichita Southeast High School and graduated from there in 1969. Thereafter, she enrolled at the Kansas State University in the same year.
She moved to Los Angeles to take up Scientology and pursue a career in interior designing, and became a member of the Church of Scientology in 1979. By that time, Alley also got drawn towards party lifestyle in California and eventually became a drug addict.
She underwent a Scientology-affiliated drug treatment program to combat drug abuse while continuing her training in Scientology. As of 2007, she has obtained the level of Operating Thetan Level 7. In 2007, she also donated $5 million to the Church.
She lost her mother in a car accident due to a drunk driver in 1981. The incident left her father severely injured, but he recovered eventually.
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In 1979, she participated in the NBC aired popular American television panel game show ‘Match Game’, though not in the ‘Match Game '79’ season. The then interior designer Alley emerged winner of both the first and second rounds of the show winning $500 and $5500 respectively.
The following year she appeared as a contestant of yet another NBC aired American TV game show ‘Password Plus ‘ that furthered her exposure in the showbiz.
Her big-screen debut happened with the 1982 science fiction blockbuster ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’ that grossed $97 million at box office. She essayed Vulcan Starfleet officer Lieutenant Saavik in the movie, but refrained from reprising the role in the film’s next two sequels.
The ensuing years saw her featuring in other big-screen productions including films like ‘One More Chance’ (1983), ‘Blind Date’ (1984), ‘Runaway’ (1984) and ‘Summer School’ (1987); in TV movies like ‘A Bunny's Tale’ (1985), and ‘Prince of Bel Air’ (1986); and in TV miniseries like ‘North and South’ (1985) and ‘North and South II’ (1986).
In 1987, she replaced Shelley Long to play Rebecca Howe in the NBC aired American sitcom ‘Cheers’ that eventually became one of the most remarkable performances of her career. She featured in a total of 148 episodes in the series starting from 1987 till the show’s end on May 20, 1993.
‘Cheers’ not only shot her to fame garnering widespread recognition but also fetched her several Emmy and Golden Globe Awards nominations during its run. Among these she won Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Comedy Series and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 1991.
Meanwhile, she furthered her fame with the super hit romantic comedy film ‘Look Who's Talking’ starring opposite John Travolta. This 1989 film grossed a whooping $297 million at box office. She played Mollie in the film and reprised the role in its sequels ‘Look Who's Talking Too’ (1990) and ‘Look Who's Talking Now’ (1993).
She hosted two episodes of ‘Saturday Night Live’ during 1991–1993.
Her next notable performance was as Sally Goodson in the American television film ‘David's Mother’ that aired on CBS on April 10, 1994. The film that was also aired internationally and released in home entertainment formats in the UK, the US and Australia among other nations won her Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie apart from a Golden Globe Awards nomination.
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In 1995, she was bestowed with a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard.
She remained an executive producer of the NBC sitcom ‘Veronica's Closet’ that saw her essaying the titular character of Veronica Chase. The series that aired for three seasons from September 25, 1997 to December 7, 2000 earned her nominations from Emmy, Golden Globe Awards and Screen Actors Guild Award.
Alley has also endeavoured as a spokesperson for Pier One from 2000 to 2004 and Jenny Craig from 2005 to 2008.
She took part in the American dance competition TV series ‘Dancing with the Stars’ twice, each time partnered with dancer-choreographer and instructor Maksim Chmerkovskiy. The first time she ended up as runner-up in 2011 in its 12th season while the second time she was eliminated in 2012 during its 15th season.
Other notable works of Alley includes films like ‘Sibling Rivalry’ (1990), ‘It Takes Two’ (1995), ‘Deconstructing Harry’ (1997), and ‘Drop-Dead Gorgeous’ (1999); TV movies like ‘Suddenly’ (1996) and ‘Write & Wrong’ (2007); and TV series like ‘Hot in Cleveland’ (2013–2014), ‘Kirstie’ (2013–2014) and ‘Scream Queen’ (2016).
Weight Loss Issues
She garnered much attention on her efforts towards losing weight which according to her started increasing in late 2003. She also appeared in the American reality television series ‘Kirstie Alley's Big Life’ (2010) that chronicled her life focussing on her weight losing efforts and also as a single mother.
In 2010, she established ‘Organic Liaison’ and announced in September 2011 that she used the weight loss products of the company and lost 100 pounds (45 kg). She was slapped with a class-action lawsuit with charge of false advertising in 2012.
The suit was finally settled in 2013 after she agreed to delete the term "Proven Products" from the product’s package and add a disclaimer that it is "calorie-based weight-loss product" in the website of the brand, apart from paying a settlement amount of $130,000. The Organic Liaison product line was later integrated into product line of Jenny Craig.
Personal Life & Legacy
She married her distant cousin, Bob Alley, in 1970 but the marriage lasted only seven years.
From December 1983 to sometime in 1997 she was married to American television and film actor Parker Stevenson. They together have two children, William True and Lillie Price.
She welcomed her grandson Waylon Tripp Parker, born through William True, and announced the news on June 21, 2016.