SEATTLE'S MORNING NEWS

Mayfield: Remembering Kirstie Alley’s legacy, both good and bad

Dec 6, 2022, 7:45 AM | Updated: 1:57 pm
Kirstie Alley...
American actress Kirstie Alley attends Narconon's 1991 Celebrity Softball Game, held at the Tom Bradley Stadium, in the grounds of Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California, 28th September 1991. (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
(Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Kirstie Alley is dead at the age of 71. Her children said on Twitter cancer was the killer, and it had only been recently discovered.

What a tragic and early end to an absolutely epic life. From Cheers to Veronica’s Closet on the small screen, to the Look Who’s Talking trilogy on the big. When Kirstie Alley committed to something, it was big, bold, and brash.

More from Travis Mayfield: AI might not destroy humanity, but let us love it more

As her fame grew she faced grueling and endless tabloid attacks over her weight gain and loss. And what did she do? She fought back with her own Showtime series “Fat Actress.”

Kirstie Alley also starred in one of my all-time favorite movies, the late 90s beauty pageant mockumentary Drop Dead Gorgeous. It had a standout cast, including Kirsten Dunst, Allison Janney, the late Brittany Murphy, and Denise Richards, among many others, and in true form, Kirstie Alley was the standout among those standouts.

At this point, I need to acknowledge the unacknowledged. Later in life, Kirstie Alley’s outspoken views began to conflict with my own. She did and said things that I and many others found to be troubling. Her politics, her religion, and her willingness to go too far, finally went too far.

Yet, does that negate everything else she did in her life and her career? Can’t we still look back on the art she made and the life she lives and mourn?

At the end of the day, and if we are truly honest, we are all problematic. Some of us in big ways, some of us in small ways. We are complicated and multifaceted in good and bad ways.

I won’t minimize anything Kirstie Alley did or said. She did and said it.

However, I also won’t apologize for appreciating so much more of what she did and said so often in so many beautiful, hilarious, and brave ways.

Kirstie Alley, you made life for me a little better through your art, and for that, I can say thank you and rest in peace.

Seattle's Morning News

downtown...
L.B. Gilbert

Mayor Harrell: Downtown has made ‘incredible progress,’ still further to go

A new year means a renewed effort to revitalize downtown Seattle, and Harrell is optimistic the city can reorient itself.
12 days ago
housing market...
Frank Sumrall

Washington housing market freezes ahead of potential recession

In King County, the housing market for sold homes crashed by 43% year-over-year in December, and 39% in Snohomish County.
29 days ago
GA Voter Georgia Senate...
Bill Kaczaraba

NYT reporter on Georgia Senate runoff: ‘It’s a big deal’

After all the hype, Georgia is finally getting to vote on the U.S. Senate race between Senator Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R).
2 months ago
AI...
Travis Mayfield

Mayfield: AI might not destroy humanity, but let us love it more

Robots are taking over the world! Not the beep-boop kind but the "open your social media and see AI-created portraits" kind.
2 months ago
worry...
Travis Mayfield

Mayfield: How I learned to fall asleep by embracing the worry

I schedule my worries. Literally, there is an entry each day in my phone's calendar that simply commands me to "worry."
2 months ago
baguette...
Travis Mayfield

Mayfield: What deserves praise in food culture, the baguette or cruelty?

The baguette is worth preserving! So says the UNESCO which recognized the "artisanal know-how and culture of the baguette"
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Mayfield: Remembering Kirstie Alley’s legacy, both good and bad