Kirstie Alley (born January 12, 1951) is an American actress known for
her role in the TV show Cheers, in which she played Rebecca Howe from 19871993,
winning an Emmy as the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for 1991.
Kirstie is a long standing member of the Church of Scientology and spokesperson for its anti-psychiatry front group the CCHR.
Kirstie Alley was born in Wichita, Kansas, where she was raised, the daughter of Lillian Mickie (née Heaton), a homemaker, and Robert Deal Alley, who owned a lumber company. She has two siblings, Colette and Craig. Her mother died in a car accident caused by a drunk driver in 1981. Kirstie attended Wichita Southeast High School and became a cheerleader. She attended college at Kansas State University and the University of Kansas, but dropped out in her sophomore year to pursue acting. She was first seen as a contestant on the game shows Match Game in 1979 (winning $6,000) and Password Plus in 1980. On both shows she stated her occupation as an interior designer.
Kirstie won a supporting role in the 1982 movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, playing Romulan-Vulcan officer Lieutenant Saavik. Kirstie turned down the role of Saavik in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock because the producers would not meet her salary demands and because she didn't want to be typecast as a science fiction actress. Therefore, Robin Curtis assumed the role. Kirstie also co-starred in a short-lived secret agent television series, Masquerade, and in the acclaimed miniseries North and South.
In 1984, Kirstie starred in the low budget theatrical film Blind Date. Although the movie was a critical and commercial failure at the time, it has become a minor cult classic due primarily to the only on-screen nude scene of Alley's career.
Kirstie Alley rose to prominence in her 19871993 role as the neurotic corporate executive Rebecca Howe on the long-running hit TV sitcom Cheers. While Cheers was the launching pad for the successful spin-off Frasier, Kirstie was the only living regular cast member from that show who did not appear on Frasier. She later starred in the movie Look Who's Talking (1989) with John Travolta, which earned more than $100 million at the box office. This film was followed by two sequels 1990s Look Who's Talking Too and 1993's Look Who's Talking Now. In 1992, she played a TV news reporter in Prince's video for "My Name Is Prince." Her second NBC sitcom, the critically panned Veronica's Closet, ran for three seasons in the late 1990s. Kirstie reportedly received $2 million in up-front fees for her work on that series and $150,000 per episode.
Kirstie has won two Emmy Awards during her career. Her first two nominations for her work on Cheers did not earn her the award, but her third, in 1991, garnered her the statuette for that series. In her speech, she thanked then-husband Parker Stevenson "for giving me the big one for the last eight years". Talk show hosts, as well as the creators of Cheers, poked fun at the quip for weeks afterward. Kirstie won her second Emmy for her portrayal of the title role in the made-for-TV movie drama David's Mother (1994). In 1997, Alley's career took a different turn when she appeared in Woody Allen's movie Deconstructing Harry. In this movie, Alley, who was then primarily known as a comedic actress, displayed a strong talent for being a serious dramatic actress by playing a psychiatrist who is married to Woody Allen's character. She is angered upon learning that he has had an affair with one of her patients. For contributions to the motion picture industries, Kirstie Alley was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard.
In 2005, after Kirstie Alley's weight ballooned to over 400 lb (91 kg)., she headlined a "mockumentary" style comedy series for Showtime called Fat Actress. Kirstie played herself in the show, which details the (fictitious) daily life of an overweight actress trying to make it in Hollywood. Kirstie has become an advocate against obesity and was/is a spokeswoman for the Jenny Craig weight-loss program; TV ads document her weight loss. She had lost a total of 75 lb (34 kg)., according to Kirstie on a November 6, 2006 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She appeared clad in a semi-bikini outfit, with a fabric midriff and several yards of translucent chiffon to hide her back-view. It was announced in early February 2007 that Kirstie would play the lead in a new Fox network sitcom entitled The Minister of Divine, based upon the British show The Vicar of Dibley, which starred Dawn French and was first broadcast by the BBC in 1994. However, the show was not picked up for the fall lineup.
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Kirstie was married to actor Parker Stevenson (Richard Stevenson Parker, Jr.) from December 22, 1983, until 1997. During their marriage, the couple adopted two children William True (born September 28, 1992) and Lillie Price (born June 15, 1994). Kirstie also experienced a miscarriage as well as a stillbirth. According to media reports at the time of the couple's divorce, Stevenson walked away from the marriage with a $6,000,000 (USD) settlement, after asking for $75,000 per month in alimony from Alley. At the time of their split, Kirstie and Stevenson were joint owners of a mansion in Encino, California, complete with exotic animals, plus vacation homes in Islesboro, Maine, and in Kansas. She also has a ranch in the Applegate VKirstie of Jackson County, Oregon. The couple owned two yachts and several high-performance cars. Today, they share joint custody of their children.
She is dedicated to supporting V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women.
Kirstie was raised Methodist but is now a member of the Church of Scientology, like her good friends John Travolta and Kelly Preston. At the time she became a Scientologist, Kirstie admitted to having had a cocaine addiction from 1976 until 1979 during which time she was a regular user. She has served as the national spokesperson for Narconon (a Scientology-affiliated drug treatment program). She has continued her Scientology training and, as of 2007, had attained the level of OT VII (Operating Thetan level 7). In May 2000, she purchased the former home of fellow Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley, a 5,200 sq ft (480 m2). waterfront mansion in Clearwater, Florida, for $1.5 million. Clearwater is the spiritual headquarters of the Church of Scientology. Seven years later, Kirstie gave an amount of $5,000,000 to the Church of Scientology.
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