Only recently has Kirstie Alley’s dramatic weight shifts overshadowed her expert comedic timing and dramatic chops that garnered her two Emmys, a Golden Globe and many more nominations.
Alley was born in Wichita, Kansas on Jan. 12, 1951. Her first major success came in 1987 when she was cast as Rebecca Howe on the sitcom Cheers. She won both an Emmy and Golden Globe for the role in 1991. Alley had the unfortunate task of replacing the popular Shelly Long, but became a fan favorite over the course of six seasons on the show.
She starred opposite her close friend John Travolta in Look Who’s Talking, which spurred two additional sequels. From 1997 to 2000, she played the title character in the television series Veronica’s Closet. A more dramatic role in the television movie, David’s Mother, won Alley a second Emmy award in 1994.
The self-proclaimed “fat actress” has struggled with her weight over the years. After she lost 75 pounds, Jenny Craig made her a spokesperson, but three years later they released her when Alley gained it back. In 2010, she introduced her own weight loss program, Organic Liaison, and claimed she had already lost 50 pounds.
The actress has two adopted children with her ex-husband, actor Parker Stevenson. She’s also an active member in the Church of Scientology.
At age 60, Alley joined the cast of the 12th season of Dancing With the Stars partnering with professional Maksim Chmerkovisky.