“Dear Kirstie, I am so grateful for our years together, and for the two incredibly beautiful children and now grandchildren that we have,” the Baywatch alum, 70, wrote via Instagram on Monday, December 5, alongside a throwback photo of the former couple. “You will be missed. With love, Parker.”
Earlier on Monday, Alley and Stevenson’s children — William True Stevenson, 30, and Lillie Stevenson, 28 — confirmed that the Cheers star died at age 71 after a short battle with cancer. Her rep confirmed on Tuesday, December 6, that the late star was diagnosed with colon cancer before her passing.
“We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered,” they wrote in a letter shared via Alley’s Instagram account. “She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead. As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”
The duo also thanked their mother’s caregivers at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, adding: “Our mother’s zest and passion for life, her children, grandchildren and her many animals, not to mention her eternal joy of creating, were unparalleled and leave us inspired to live life to the fullest just as she did.”
The Toothless actress and Parker tied the knot in December 1983, six years after Kirstie split from her first husband, Bob Alley. After welcoming William and Lillie, the pair divorced in 1997.
In 1990, Kirstie revealed that she suffered a miscarriage when she was three months pregnant with her and Parker’s first child. “When the baby was gone, I just didn’t really get over it,” she wrote in her 2005 memoir, How to Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life. “Neither did my body. I so thoroughly convinced my body that it was still pregnant after nine months that I had milk coming from my breasts.”
The Kansas native became a mom in 1992 when she adopted William. Two years later, Kirstie and her then-husband adopted Lillie. Both kids appeared on their mom’s reality show, Kirstie Alley’s Big Life, which ran for one season in 2010.
“It’s 100 percent my responsibility to [release] them into the world with as much knowledge and survival tactics as I possibly can,” the actress told Yahoo of her children in 2010. “Love is also key. No matter what they do, love them but don’t spoil them and make them into brats — that does them a great disservice. [My kids] aren’t going to be entitled or get anything they want in life; they’re going to earn it.”