1981 was an important year for Kirstie Alley. The year she turned 30, she also became an actress. Although she had shown an interest in movies and a passion for performing as a child, nothing about Alley’s suburban upbringing in Wichita, Kansas could have pointed her in that direction, according to the sitcom Preservation Society’s book Cheers TV Show: A Comprehensive Reference.” So it was some time before she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
But once she did, Alley had the opportunity to cast Lt. Reading Saavik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, she told StarTrek.Com in 2016. After several auditions, the newcomer landed the role. While it was her role as Rebecca Howe in Cheers that made her a household name in 1987, it was Star Trek that launched Alley’s career when the film came out in 1982. It was a risky move considering Alley was as green as they come. But she left her mark. “I don’t remember seeing another actor do this role that was as compelling,” director Nicholas Meyer said of Forgotten Trek on Star Trek: The Magazine.
However, her last audition almost didn’t happen. Almost without notice, Alley called the producers to tell them she couldn’t go, according to CNN. That could have been it. But they allowed Alley to do her last reading after returning to Los Angeles. Eventually, Alley had to fly home to attend a funeral.
Kirstie Alley’s mother was killed by a drunk driver
Kirstie Alley was getting ready for her final audition when she got a call from Kansas. “My sister told me succinctly that my parents were in a car accident,” she wrote in her 2005 memoir How to Lose Your A** and Regain Your Life: Reluctant Confessions of a Big-butted Star. . “‘Mom is dead and Dad is dying,’ were her exact words. ‘You have to come home.'” Robert and Lillian “Mickie” Alley were on their way to a Halloween party in 1981 when they were struck by another driver were approached.
Lillian died after being thrown from the car, Radar Online reported. Robert was injured but survived. The driver, Cherrie White, pleaded guilty to vehicle murder, a misdemeanor, and received a one-year prison sentence plus rehabilitation. In 2021 Kirsti written down that White was released after three months. White admitted to being under the influence and expressed regret. “That night is always on my mind … I wish I could go back and change everything, but I can’t,” she said.
White also tried to set up a meeting with Alley to apologize in person, but the actor was not interested. “If she changed her mind, I would tell Kirstie and her father how sorry I am for what happened that night and the pain I caused them,” White told Radar Online. Alley has remained steadfast in her belief. “My mother was killed by a drunk driver. No sympathy,” she said tweeted in 2017.
Kirstie Alley had a complicated relationship with her mother
Kirstie Alley was the middle child between her older sister, Colette, and younger brother, Craig Alley, according to Cheers TV Show: A Comprehensive Reference. Colette was a model student who later became a biology teacher. Craig followed in her father’s footsteps in the lumber business. Kirstie didn’t do anything Robert and Lillian Alley wanted her to do. Rebellious by nature, Kirstie spent her school years looking for ways to dissipate her endless energy, much to her mother’s chagrin. “I don’t think my upbringing was good. My mom and I had a difficult relationship,” Alley told Emmy Magazine in 2013.
But in many ways, Alley also admired her mother. “One thing my mother didn’t lack for was humor and wit,” she wrote in How to Lose Your A** and Regain Your Life: Reluctant Confessions of a Big-butted Star. Alley found solace in knowing that Lillian died in disguise on Halloween. “I sometimes wish the woman who killed my mother that night… knew about my mother’s costume because she might also know that my mother was a pretty funny person,” she wrote.
In 2018, Alley further exemplified Lillian’s vibrant personality Twitter. She shared a photo showing her mom rocking tiny shorts while striking a sexy pose. Kirstie sat in the background, laughing. “I remember my mother… wish I had inherited her chamois,” Alley wrote. They might have clashed, but Kirstie and Lillian clearly had a thing or two in common.