WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Thursday would have marked the 72nd birthday of actress and Wichita native Kirstie Alley.

Alley was born on Jan. 12, 1951, to Robert and Lillian Alley. She would go on to graduate from Southeast High School and attend Kansas State University before dropping out in her sophomore year.

She moved to Los Angeles to get more involved in Scientology and to pursue a career in interior design. She got involved in Scientology after developing a brief addiction to cocaine, which she credited the Scientology program of Narconon with helping her overcome.

Alley’s first brushes with fame were on game shows. She was a contestant on “Match Game” in 1979, where she won a total of $6,000 and appeared on “Super Password” a year later.

Her first major role was in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” where she played Vulcan Starfleet officer Lieutenant Saavik. She would go on to appear in numerous movies, miniseries, and TV shows before she found major success on “Cheers,” winning both an Emmy and Golden Globe for her performance as Rebecca Howe.

Her career continued long after “Cheers” left the air, starring in multiple movie and television roles, including reality television. One of her final performances was in April, appearing as baby mammoth on the celebrity singing competition show “The Masked Singer.”

Alley frequently returned home to Wichita over the years and kept two homes in College Hill. After starring in the third installment of the “Look Who’s Talking…” film franchise with co-star John Travolta, Alley decided to keep the Christmas Village backdrop from the film and frequently displayed it outside of her Wichita home each Christmas.

Alley was married to her childhood sweetheart from 1970 to 1977. She married fellow actor Parker Stevenson in 1983, having two children.

They divorced in 1997 and became grandparents in 2016.

Alley died on Dec. 5 at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. In a post to her social media accounts, her children say she had only been recently diagnosed with cancer, and she died surrounded by her closest family.

“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.”