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Kirsten Louise "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 1987–1993, winning an Emmy as the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for 1991.

Alley is a long standing member of the Church of Scientology and spokesperson for its anti-psychiatry group, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.

Early life

Kirstie Alley was born in Wichita, Kansasmarker, 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, which left her father seriously injured. Alley attended Wichita Southeast High School and became a cheerleader. She attended college at Kansas State Universitymarker and the University of Kansasmarker, 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.


Alley received a supporting role in the 1982 movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, playing Romulan-Vulcan officer Lieutenant Saavik. She was chosen because of her resemblance to a real Vulcan as imagined by Gene Roddenberry. Alley 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. Alley also co-starred in a short-lived secret agent television series, Masquerade, and in the acclaimed miniseries North and South.

In 1984, Alley starred in the low budget theatrical film Blind Date. She rose to prominence in her 1987–1993 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, Alley 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, Veronica's Closet, ran for three seasons in the late 1990s. Alley reportedly received $2 million in up-front fees for her work on that series and $150,000 per episode.

Alley 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. Alley 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 industry, Kirstie Alley was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker at 7000 Hollywood Boulevardmarker.

In 2005, after her weight increased to over ., she headlined a "mockumentary" style comedy series for Showtime called Fat Actress. Alley played herself in the show, which details the (fictitious) daily life of an overweight actress trying to make it in Hollywood. Alley 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 ., according to Alley 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 Alley 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.

Personal life

Alley 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). Alley 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, Alley and Stevenson were joint owners of a mansion in Encino, Californiamarker, complete with exotic animals, plus vacation homes in Islesboro, Mainemarker, and in Kansasmarker. She also has a ranch in the Applegate Valley of Jackson County, Oregonmarker. The couple owned two yachts and several high-performance cars. Today, they share custody of their children.


Alley was raised Methodist but is now a member of the Church of Scientology. At the time she became a Scientologist, Alley admitted to having had a cocaine addiction, from which she credits the Scientology program, Narconon, in helping her recover. She has since 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).

Alley is the only cast member of the hit TV show Cheers not to guest-star on its offshoot Frasier because of its positive portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane, played by her former cast mate Kelsey Grammer.

In May 2000, she purchased for $1.5 million the former home of fellow Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley, a . waterfront mansion in Clearwater, Floridamarker, the spiritual headquarters of the Church of Scientology. In 2007 Alley gave $5,000,000 to the Church of Scientology.


Year Film Role Notes
1982 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Lt. Saavik Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1983 One More Chance Sheila
1984 Champions Barbara
Blind Date
Runaway Jackie Rogers Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1987 Summer School Ms. Robin Bishop
1988 Shoot to Kill Sarah Renell
1989 Look Who's Talking Mollie
Loverboy Dr. Joyce Palmer
1990 Madhouse Jessie Bannister
Look Who's Talking Too Mollie
Sibling Rivalry Marjorie Turner
1993 Look Who's Talking Now Mollie Ubriacco
1994 David's Mother Sally Goodson
1995 Village of the Damned Dr. Susan Verner
It Takes Two Diane Barrows
1997 Deconstructing Harry Joan
For Richer or Poorer Caroline Sexton
Toothless Dr. Katherine Lewis
1999 Drop Dead Gorgeous Gladys Leeman
2002 Back by Midnight Gloria Beaumont
2009 Nailed Aunt Rita

Television work

Year Title Role Notes
1983 Masquerade Casey Collins (2 episodes)
1984 Sins of the Past Patrice Cantwell
1985 A Bunny's Tale Gloria Steinem
The Hitchhiker Angelica Episode "Out of the Night"
Nominated — CableACE Award for Actress in a Dramatic Series
North and South Virgilia Hazard (miniseries)
1986 North and South II Virgilia Hazard (miniseries)
Stark: Mirror Image Maggie Carter
1987 The Hitchhiker Jane L. Episode "The Legendary Billy B."
Infidelity Ellie Denato
1987-1993 Cheers Rebecca Howe Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Comedy Series (1991)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1991)
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Comedy Series (1988, 1990, 1992, 1993)
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1990, 1992, 1993)

1994 David's Mother Sally Goodson Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
1996 Peter and the Wolf Annie / Bird / Duck / Cat
Radiant City Gloria Goodman
1997 The Last Don Rose Marie Clericuzio (miniseries)
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Toothless Dr. Katherine Lewis (TV movie)
1997 - 2000 Veronica's Closet Veronica Chase (also producer)
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Comedy Series (1997)
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1998)
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

1998 The Last Don II Rose Marie Clericuzio (miniseries)
2001 Blonde Elsie (miniseries)
2002 Salem Witch Trials Ann Putnam (miniseries)
2003 Profoundly Normal Donna Lee Shelby Thornton (also executive producer)
2004 Family Sins Brenda Geck
While I Was Gone Jo Beckett
Without A Trace Noreen Raab Episode "Risen"
2005 Fat Actress Kirstie Alley (7 episodes)
2007 Write & Wrong Byrdie Langdon
The Minister Of Divine Sydney Hudson


  1. Kirstie Alley Biography (1955-)
  2. TIME, December 9, 1996
  3. Alley to star in US Dibley remake at BBC News Online
  4. Associated Press. "Scientologists' big donations", ABC Action News, Scripps TV Station Group, January 30, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.

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