Jonathan Knight of HGTV‘s “Farmhouse Fixer” and New Kids on the Block is mourning the death of his friend Kirstie Alley, saying that his heart “has been ripped into a million pieces.” The TV and movie actress, who first found fame in her role as Rebecca Howe on “Cheers,” died on December 5, 2022, at age 71. Her two adult children, True and Lillie Stevenson, announced that Alley had been recently diagnosed with cancer.
Jonathan Knight Pays Tribute to Longtime Friend Kirstie Alley
Though it’s not clear when the two met, photos dating back to 2011 appear to show Knight and Alley in a close friendship. She had jokingly called him her husband, and the two shared many photos and videos on social media of special times they shared together. On the day of her death, Knight shared a heartbreaking post about losing her.
He wrote, “My heart is ripped into a million pieces, and half my soul has been taken away… we met and connected in a way one rarely gets to experience with others.”
Knight continued, “Through my tears I go through our photos together. I read and reread our texts back and forth. I listen to your voicemails. How did I get to be so lucky to have you in my life?”
“The time I spent with you is like no other,” Knight revealed. “Your heart was bigger than the Moon. You lived life with so much passion. I’m still processing the fact that you are gone, but find comfort knowing you will always be here in my heart. This picture is one of my favorites with you. I will always remember this exact moment and all the others I shared with you. Thank you for loving me as much I loved you.
Knight signed his Instagram note, shared alongside a throwback photo of him and Alley on a boat, “Forever yours, Jonny Boy” — in honor of the nickname Alley always called him.
Fans and famous friends flooded Knight’s post with condolences, from fellow HGTV host Page Turner to fellow NKOTB member Donnie Wahlberg and his wife, Jenny McCarthy, with whom Alley appeared on “The Masked Singer” in early 2022.
In reaction to Alley’s death, Knight changed his profile photo on Instagram to a blank black circle.
Jonathan Knight & Kirstie Alley Shared Many Good Times Together Via Social Media
Knight has a treasure trove of old online photos and videos to tap into as little reminders of his unique connection with Alley. For instance, they posed for a photo while having “tea and pastries” during a getaway in January 2020.
In early 2012, the twosome posted several videos of themselves dancing as part of Alley’s 100 Days of Dance project to promote a healthy lifestyle.
In another video, she’s seen sweetly kissing Knight goodbye after attending an after-party for “Dancing With the Stars.”
On her birthday on January 12, 2022, Knight posted a tribute to his friend on Twitter.
“Dear @kirstiealley,” he wrote, “today I celebrate you on your birthday. Thank you for being you! You are the most loving, giving, caring, and compassionate person I know! So glad our paths crossed so many years ago. Happy Birthday! I love you so much!”
On December 6, Knight shared another Instagram post featuring a video of snapshots and them dancing the waltz in a dimly lit living room. He titled the video “The Jonny Boy Waltz” and over the video, he wrote the words, “Can’t wait to dance with you again in our after life! Rest in peace my love!”
Another good friend of Knight’s, HGTV host Jenny Marrs, replied along with a broken heart emoji, “Oh Jon. I’m so very sorry. No words are sufficient. Sending love.”