A former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant has died after a short battle with cancer.
On December 5, 2022, Kirstie Alley’s two kids released a statement on Instagram announcing that their mother had died.
“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. As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother,” the statement reads, in part.
Alley was on season 12 of “Dancing With the Stars” in 2011 alongside Maks Chmerkovskiy. She finished in second place, losing the Mirrorball Trophy to Hines Ward. She returned to the competition for the show’s all-star season in 2012 and was eliminated in week 8.
The actress is survived by her son William “True” Stevenson and daughter Lillie Stevenson. Alley was 71 years old.
Here’s what you need to know:
Alley Was Getting Treatment in Tampa, Florida
According to the statement shared on Instagram, Alley was getting treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.
Moffitt offers “multi-specialty medical professionals are dedicated to the treatment and research of cancer, and cancer only,” according to the hospital’s website.
Alley’s kids thanked the team of “incredible doctors and nurses” in their joint statement.
“Our mother’s zest and passion for life, her children, 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,” the statement continued.
Alley did not previously share her cancer diagnosis. News of her death came as a shock to her many fans.
Alley Joined Cameo in September 2022
In one of her last Instagram posts before her death, Alley shared that she joined Cameo, a platform on which fans can pay for customized greetings from celebrities and other well-known people, such as athletes or social media personalities.
“Hi, it’s me Kirstie,” Alley said in a video she shared on September 8, 2022. “A bunch of you have been asking me to do these greetings and I always do what you ask me to,” she said into the camera.
A dog could be heard whining in the background as Alley said that she had gotten a “new baby.”
“If you want something funny or you want something sincere, I’ll really try to be sincere,” she said.
Comments on the Instagram statement about Alley’s death were turned off, but several people offered their condolences on Alley’s other Instagram posts.
“Rest In Peace you amazing woman! Thank you for the laughs,” someone commented on a post that was uploaded on September 21, 2022.
“What am I reading? Fake news? I had no idea about the health issues,” read another comment from a surprised fan.
“RIP Kirstie,” a third Instagram user added.
Her “Look Who’s Talking” co-star and longtime friend John Travolta shared a tribute to Alley on social media.
“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again,” he wrote.