THE ROBINSON LIBRARY
|The Robinson Library >> Linguistics, Languages, and Literatures >> Dramatic Arts >> Biography: United States|
television and movie actress
Kirstie Louise Deal was born in Wichita, Kansas, on January 12, 1951. After graduating from Southeast High School, where she had been a cheerleader, she entered Kansas State University and then the University of Kansas, but dropped out in her sophomore year to pursue an acting career in California.
Alley first appeared on television as a contestant on Match Game in 1979, and on Password Plus in 1980. In both cases she introduced herself as an interior designer.
In 1982, Alley won a supporting role in the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, that of Vulcan officer Lieutenant Saavik. In 1983, she co-starred in the short-lived secret agent television series Masquerade, and in 1985 she appeared in the acclaimed mini-series North & South.
Alley's career really took off when she won the role of corporate executive Rebecca Howe in the television comedy series Cheers, on which she appeared from 1987 to 1993. She won a People's Choice Award for the role in 1991, and the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1994. In 1997, Alley deviated from her normal comedic roles to play an obsessive and jealous neurotic woman in Woody Allen's dramatic movie Deconstructing Harry. She returned to her television roots in 1997, when she premiered in Veronica's Closet, in which she played the lead character until its cancellation in 2000.
In 2005, after her weight had increased to over 200 pounds, Alley headlined the sitcom Fat Actress, on Showtime. The show detailed the life of an overweight actress trying to make it in Hollywood. The American viewing public was not prepared to poke fan at obesity, however, even if that fun was being directed by someone who was herself obese, and Fat Actress did not enjoy a very long run.
Since cancellation of Fat Actress Alley has become an advocate against obesity and is currently a celebrity spokesman for the Jenny Craig weight-loss program. By hiring an overweight actress to document her weight loss in its commercials, Jenny Craig broke a number of precedents -- previous weight-loss programs had relied on using people who had already lost weight to give testimonials.
Kirstie's autobiographical book How to Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life: Reluctant Confessions of a Big-Butted Star was published in 2005.
Kirstie married Bob Alley in 1974; the couple divorced in 1977. She married film director Parker Stevenson in 1983, with whom she adopted two children; they divorced in 1997 and currently share joint custody of both children.
Library >> Linguistics,
Languages, and Literatures
Arts >> Biography: United States
This page was last updated on 09/23/2017.