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A Entries
  Forrest J Ackerman
  Nick Adams
  John Agar
  Philson Ahn
  William Alland
  Irwin Allen
  Woody Allen
  Kirstie Alley
  Gerry Anderson
  Michael Anderson
  Sylvia Anderson
  Jack Arnold
  Isaac Asimov
 
ALLEY, KIRSTIE
(1951– ). American actress.

IMDB credits For most people, Kirstie Alley is only that actress from Cheers (1987-1993) who later gained and lost a lot of weight and made a public spectacle of herself in a brief reality series unflatteringly entitled Fat Actress (2005). Long before all of that, though, Alley was well positioned to become the only Star Trek performer introduced in the films to be welcomed in as a regular member of the original cast. For, portraying Mr. Spock's Vulcan protégé Lieutenant Saavik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), she proved surprisingly engaging, and as a result she was invited to play the character again in the planned sequel Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) and probably would have continued appearing in subsequent installments. However, displaying an assertive offscreen attitude that she would later bring onscreen to her role in Cheers, she presented this argument to the producers: hey, if I'm going to be in the film just as much as series stalwarts like William SHATNER, Leonard NIMOY, and DeForest KELLEY, shouldn't I get the same amount of money? In response, she was immediately dropped from the film, as producers concluded that it would be just as effective, and more economical, to cast somebody's girlfriend in the part. (The fact that said girlfriend—one Robin Curtis—proved to be vastly inferior to Alley, effectively killing off an intriguing character, was of little importance, since a very important principle had been established: no actor in a Star Trek film should ever ask for anything approaching Shatner's or Nimoy's salary.)

Undiscouraged by this rebuff, Alley—who had moved to Hollywood from Kansas in 1975 and spent years working her way into the business—then provided solid performances in two films of genre interest, Blind Date (1984) and Runaway (1985), before becoming a regular on Cheers, again showing that she could effortlessly join an established cast of characters and immediately have an impact. A year after she first appeared on the show, she and other Cheers regulars briefly entered the realm of fantasy by participating in the television special Mickey's 60th Birthday (1988). But she still saw herself primarily as a film actress and accordingly signed up to star in Look Who's Talking (1989), a film about a baby magically dispensing cynical wisecracks with Bruce WILLIS's voice that was far better than it should have been, primarily due to the herculean efforts of Alley and co-star John TRAVOLTA to make their characters seem grounded and appealing. Their rewards for their good work, if one can call them that, were lucrative assignments to reprise their roles in two inferior sequels, Look Who's Talking Too (1990) and Look Who's Talking Now (1993), that no herculean efforts could uplift.

After Cheers ended its run, it undoubtedly seemed like a good idea to appear in John CARPENTER's remake of Village of the Damned (1995), but it wasn't: working with the likes of Christopher REEVE was nothing like working with Travolta, and the entire, wretched film seemingly damned all of its principals, as Reeve was paralyzed in a horse-riding accident, Carpenter lost his status as a star player in Hollywood, and Alley drifted toward oblivion, and obesity, in a series of unheralded television movies, which remain her major avocation to this day.

Still, Kirstie Alley has never been one to let a few setbacks get her down, and she has continued to make appearances on television, most recently in the horror series Scream Queens (2015– ). And, while a return to science fiction films appears unlikely at this point, there is still the possibility that some enlightened soul, pondering novelties to include in the next Star Trek film, might resolve to let bygones be bygones and ask Alley back to portray an older Saavik, coming full circle to capably command a starship just as she did in the very first scene of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

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