Kirstie Alley's death shocked fans of the actress back in December 2022. Fans had no clue how this sudden passing occurred, but it was soon revealed that the actress had privately been dealing with a colon cancer diagnosis, per her representatives (via PEOPLE). When Alley's children, True and Lillie, announced her passing, they revealed that she had "only recently discovered" the cancer.
True and Lillie Parker shared a statement about the Cheers star's passing on Alley's social media. In their message, they stated that Alley had recently been diagnosed with cancer and subsequently passed away from the illness. They did not provide any further details into what exactly she ailed from, but her representative later confirmed it to be colon cancer. Their statement began, "We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered."
"She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead," they continued. "As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother." Alley's children went on to thank the medical team at Moffitt Cancer Center for treating their mother before her passing.
"We are grateful to the incredible team of doctors and nurses at the Moffitt Cancer Center for their care," their statement read. "Our mother's zest and passion for life, her children, her grandchildren and her many animals, not to mention her eternal joy of creating, were unparalleled and leave us inspired to live life to the fullest just as she did. We thank you for your love and prayers and ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time."
Alley was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1951. After moving to Los Angeles in 1979 to pursue an acting career, she enjoyed numerous roles in both film and television. One of her most well-known roles was on Cheers in which she played Rebecca Howe. The role garnered Alley her first Emmy, which she won in 1991. She won another Emmy in 1994 for her role in the TV movie David's Mother, and later had subsequent nominations for The Last Don and Veronica's Closet.
Following the news of Alley's passing, many of her famous friends have paid tribute to her on social media, including her good friends Tim Allen and John Travolta. The Grease star celebrated the "special relationship" that he had with Alley and wrote, "I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again."