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Last Updated: Friday, 23 July, 2004, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Alley to star in 'fat' comedy
Kirstie Alley in 2000
Pictured in 2000, Kirstie Alley, 49, is divorced with two children
Actress Kirstie Alley is to star in a US comedy about an overweight celebrity called Fat Actress.

Former Cheers star Alley, whose recent weight gain has been the subject of media speculation, will begin filming the series in the autumn.

Alley proposed the series as a "send-up of her own image as well as Hollywood's obsession with weight and beauty," said Robert Greenblatt of Showtime Networks.

The show, due to go on air next year, will be largely improvised.

Alley is well-known for her role in long-running sitcom Cheers and films including Look Who's Talking with John Travolta and John Carpenter's Village of the Damned.

Fat Actress is co-created by Alley and Brenda Hampton, who was also behind hit US TV show Mad About You.

She described the series as an "adult comedy" along the lines of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Praise

Alley is "so willing to be vulnerable and make fun of herself," Ms Hampton said.

"She just has such a great sense of humour, is a brilliant comedian and so smart."

Ms Hampton said women across the US would identify with Alley's role and the show's premise.

"It's difficult to lose weight and find a relationship no matter where you live. It makes it all the more painful when you're in the spotlight."

Alley was born in Kansas in 1955 and was an interior designer before she moved to California and became an actress.

She won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for her portrayal of the neurotic Rebecca Howe in Cheers in 1990.




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