Pictured: (top) Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane, Ted Danson as Sam Malone, Woody Harrelson as Woody Boyd, (bottom) John Ratzenberger as Cliff Clavin, Rhea Perlman as Carla Lozupone Tortelli LeBec, Kirstie Alley as Rebecca Howe, George Wendt as Norm Peterson in Cheers
Kirstie Alley’s Cheers co-stars Kelsey Grammer and Rhea Perlman have led tributes to the late actor, following her death from cancer at the age of 71.
Her family announced in a statement on Monday that the star – who was best known for playing Rebecca Howe in the US sitcom Cheers from 1987 to 1993 – had died shortly after being diagnosed with the disease.
Following the news, tributes poured in from across the entertainment world, with her fellow Cheers stars among the first to share their sadness at her death.
In a statement provided to the PA news agency, Kelsey – who played psychiatrist Frasier Crane – said: “I always believed grief for a public figure is a private matter, but I will say I loved her.”
Kelsey Grammer and Kirstie Alley in Cheers
In a separate statement provided to PA, Carla Tortelli actor Perlman said she had “never met anyone remotely like” Kirstie, adding that she would miss her “very, very much”.
“Kirstie was a unique and wonderful person and friend. Her joy of being was boundless,” she said.
“We became friends almost instantly when she joined the cast of Cheers. She loved kids and my kids loved her too.
“We had sleepovers at her house, with treasure hunts that she created. She had massive Halloween and Easter parties, and invited the entire crew of the show, and their families. She wanted everyone to feel included. She loved her children deeply.
“I’ve never met anyone remotely like her. I feel so thankful to have known her. I’m going to miss her very, very much.”
John Travolta, who appeared alongside Kirstie in the 1989 romantic comedy film Look Who’s Talking and its two subsequent sequels, also shared a tribute to Kirstie on Instagram.
John Travolta and Kirstie Alley in a scene from the film Look Who's Talking in 1989
Posting a photo of her, he wrote: “Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had.
“I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”
Jamie Lee Curtis said the pair had a “mutual respect and connection” when they worked together in more recent years on the comedy horror series Scream Queens.
“I’ve just heard the sad news that Kirstie Alley has died,” she wrote, sharing a picture of them together.
“She was a great comic foil in Scream Queens and a beautiful mama bear in her very real life. She helped me buy onesies for my family that year for Christmas.
“We agreed to disagree about some things but had a mutual respect and connection. Sad news.”
Kirstie’s children Lillie and True posted a statement announcing their mother’s death on her social media pages on Monday.
“Our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered,” they said.
“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.
“As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”