American actress Kirstie Alley, best known for her Emmy-winning role as Rebecca Howe in Cheers, died unexpectedly of colon cancer on Dec. 5, 2022. She was 71 years old. According to an official statement released by her children, Kirstie's diagnosis had only recently been discovered.
The acclaimed actress remained booked and busy in the months leading up to her death, with her final TV appearance coming just seven months before she died. In April 2022, Kirstie was revealed as the Baby Mammoth in Season 7 of The Masked Singer.
Following her passing, the wildly popular Fox reality competition series quickly announced it would pay tribute to the late actress during its annual holiday-themed special, Masked Singer Seasonal Sing-A-Long Spectacular!
'The Masked Singer' will pay tribute to Kirstie Alley during its holiday special.
On Dec. 6, 2022, Deadline reported the singing competition show's upcoming holiday special, Masked Singer Seasonal Sing-A-Long Spectacular! would pay tribute to the late Kirstie Alley with a card that will appear on-screen during the episode.
For those unaware, Kirstie's time on The Masked Singer was short-lived; she arrived during Episode 8, performing Patsy Cline’s "Walkin’ After Midnight" as well as Betty Everett and Cher’s "The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)." She also competed in a "cuddle duel" with teammate Space Bunny (Shaggy), in which she sang Meghan Trainor’s "Me Too."
After host Nick Cannon revealed her identity, Kirstie Alley — who also competed on Dancing with the Stars and the U.K. version of Celebrity Big Brother — explained why The Masked Singer was the perfect way to bid farewell to her reality TV career.
"I’ve done a lot of things in my career, but I’ve never gotten to be in the circus," Kirstie said. "I have grandchildren, and they’re really young, so they are going to think this is good."
She later admitted during her exit interview that she joined the show "because about 10 years ago, I realized I always had to keep mixing my career, mixing my life up, or it was going to get really mundane, it was going to get really boring fast. So I finally got up the nerve to do it." Honestly, we're glad Kirstie and her booming raspy voice had the chance to shine on The Masked Singer.