Cheers co-stars Kelsey Grammer and Rhea Perlman pay tribute to Kirstie Alley

Kirstie Alley Cheers co-stars Kelsey Grammer and Rhea Perlman have paid tribute to the late actress, following her death from cancer at the age of 71.

Alley debuted on the NBC sitcom in 1987 as Rebecca Howe, quickly becoming a fan favorite for her role opposite Ted Danson’s ladies’ bar owner Sam Malone.

Grammer, who played psychiatrist Frasier Crane alongside Alley in Cheers, admitted he liked the actress.

“I have always believed that the grief of a public figure is a private matter, but I will say I love it,” the 67-year-old said in a statement provided to the PA news agency.

In a separate statement provided to PA, Perlman said she had “never met someone remotely like ‘Alley’, adding that she would be missed “very, very much.”

“Kirstie was a unique and wonderful person and friend. Her joy of being was boundless,” said Perlman, who played head waitress Carla Tortelli on the show.

Rhea Perlman (left) befriended Alley (second right) while working on Cheers (Alamy/PA)

“We became friends almost instantly when she joined the cast of Cheers. She loved kids and my kids loved her too.

“We had slumber parties at her house, complete with scavenger hunts that she created. She threw huge Halloween and Easter parties and invited the entire show crew and their families. She wanted everyone the world feels included.She loved her children dearly.

“I have never met someone like her from a distance. I feel so grateful to have known her. I will miss her very, very much,” the 74-year-old added.

It came after the death was announced by Alley’s family, who described her as an “incredible mother and grandmother”.

“To all our friends, all over the world… We are sad to inform you that our amazing, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a recently discovered battle with cancer,” the family said.

John Travolta, who starred with Alley in the Look Who’s Talking film trilogy, said his time with the actress was “one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had”.

Sharing a photo of the couple together on Instagram, Travolta wrote, “Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had.

“I love you Kirstie. I know we will meet again.”

John Travolta and Kristie Alley in Look Who's Talking Now!

John Travolta and Kristie Alley starred together in the Look Who’s Talking films (Alamy/PA)

Jamie Lee Curtis said the couple had a “mutual respect and connection” when they worked together for the past few years on comedy horror series Scream Queens.

“Just heard the sad news that Kirstie Alley has passed away,” the actress wrote, sharing a photo of them together.

“She was a comedic big 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 on some things, but we had a mutual respect and connection. Bad news.”

Horror director John Carpenter described Alley as a “ravishing actress”.

“Kirstie Alley was a lovely actress who I had the pleasure of working with on VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED. She will be missed,” he wrote.

Alley starred in the 1995 American sci-fi horror film alongside Christopher Reeve, Linda Kozlowski, Michael Pare and Mark Hamill.

Living Color founder and guitarist Vernon Reid said Alley “defined the relationship” with his on-screen performances.

The British-American musician tweeted: “A lot of us are disappointed right now.

“I can feel it. Kirstie Alley defined ‘relatable’. Beautiful and funny isn’t easy to pull off.

“Kirstie Alley was part of a small pantheon of fearless and shameless. She has always spoken her truth on screen. In our TV rooms.

” We miss her. Real time.”

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