Alley — who died Monday at the age of 71, from what her children said was cancer she’d “only recently discovered” — expressed her feelings for Travolta numerous times throughout the years.
“It took me years to not look at John as a romantic interest,” Alley said while speaking to Howard Stern in 2013.
In 2012, she told ABC’s Barbara Walters that Travolta was “the greatest love of my life.”
The two met when they starred together in the first “Look Who’s Talking” film in 1989. At the time, Alley was married to actor Parker Stevenson, whom she would divorce in 1997.
“We were fun and funny together,” Alley said of Travolta during an appearance on the “Dan Wootton Interview” podcast in 2018. “It wasn’t a sexual relationship, because I’m not going to cheat on my husband.”
But she said in the same interview that not sleeping with Travolta was “the hardest decision I’ve ever made, because I was madly in love with him.”
That same year, while appearing on “Celebrity Big Brother,” Alley was asked by other cast members if she had ever fallen in love with any of her leading men. She said she’d kissed and had strong feelings for two of her co-stars: Travolta and Patrick Swayze.
“I almost ran off and married John. I did love him, I still love him,” Alley said on the reality show. “If I hadn’t been married, I would have gone and married him ― and I would’ve been in an airplane, because he has his own.”
During her 2013 conversation with Stern, Alley said that Travolta reciprocated her romantic feelings when they first met. But he married Kelly Preston in 1991, while Alley was still married to Stevenson.
Alley told Stern that Preston ― who died in 2020 ― was well aware of her feelings toward Travolta, and that she shut them down pretty quickly.
“In the beginning, she would bust me,” Alley said. “She would be like, ‘Are you flirting with my husband?’ And the answer was ‘Yes.’”
Although Travolta has never publicly expressed as much romantic ardor for Alley, he did seem to cherish their bond.
In the wake of Alley’s sudden death, Travolta led a wave of online celebrity remembrances by posting a photo of the two of them on Instagram.
“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had,” Travolta wrote alongside the photo. “I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”