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How Kirstie Alley rose to stardom as the unlucky-in-love Rebecca on Cheers.

Kirstie Alley was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1951, but it wasn’t long until she left home and started her trip from the tiny screen to the silver screen, and into the hearts of Americans.

Alley, the daughter of a lumberjack and the youngest of three children, went to Los Angeles after dropping out of college in her sophomore year. She participated on a number of game programs while working as an interior designer and was aired into living rooms across the country for the first time. It was only the start.

Alley, then 30, scored a job in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in 1982, followed by Blind Date in 1984, and then the television series North and South a year later.

She had a smash with Mark Hamon in the 1987 comedy Summer School and was on her way to celebrity the following year after getting the role of Rebecca Howe in the classic television sitcom Cheers.

Alley starred as Rebecca, the dry and witty manager of the Cheers bar, and won the Emmy for actress in a main role in 1991. When receiving the prize, Alley’s bold personality and biting sense of humour shone through as she praised her spouse, Parker Stevenson, for giving her the big one for the previous eight years.

Her cinematic career took off in 1989, when she co-starred with John Travolta in the original Look Who’s Talking picture, which made approximately $300 million and was followed by two sequels.

In 1994, she received her second Emmy for David’s Mom, a made-for-television film in which she played a mom caring for an autistic son.

By 1995, she acquired a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as her film and television credits piled up, including a memorable role as the proprietor of a New York City lingerie store in Veronica’s Closet from 1997 to 2000.

In 2005, she featured in Fat Actress, a completely unscripted comedy about how her body image became a focal point of her profession and the tabloids of the time.

Alley’s weight became prominent in her public image about 2004, when tabloids persistently chronicled her weight increase.

She became the official spokesperson for Jenny Craig shortly after, and notably shed 75 pounds while pushing the weight-loss regimen.

She marketed the brand until 2007, when her weight started to vary. She said in 2009 that she weighed about 230 pounds. However, by the time she competed on Dancing with the Stars in 2011, she had lost approximately 100 pounds.

Alley has always maintained that she lost all of her weight via hard effort and without the assistance of surgery or therapies. She rejoined Jenny Craig in 2014, arguing that women should lose weight for their own interests, not for the sake of others’ expectations of how they should appear.

Alley later expressed herself on social media and maintained herself in the face of controversy that damaged her job.

In 2015, she announced on Twitter that she would not be backing Hillary Clinton.

The next year, she declared her backing for Donald Trump, only to withdraw it months later.

But in 2020, she admitted that she did vote for Trump and that she planned to do it again ‘because he’s NOT a politician.’

The reaction was venomous, with many criticizing not only her politics but also her profession. Alley, on the other hand, remained solid in her attitude and exhorted her supporters to ‘stick to your guns.’

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