Kirstie Alley, Ralph Macchio among "Dancing" stars

Tue Mar 1, 2011 7:47am EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A champion boxer, pro wrestler, actress Kirstie Alley and "The Karate Kid" Ralph Macchio were among the celebrities named on Monday to compete in the new season of television contest "Dancing With the Stars."

Twelve celebrities will face off in the ballroom dance competition that in recent years has been the second-most watched TV show in the United States behind "American Idol."

Alley, who starred on TV sitcom "Cheers" and has publicly battled her weight in a TV show called "Fat Actress," will compete against other women including supermodel Petra Nemcova, talk show host Wendy Williams, actress Chelsea Kane and Kendra Wilkinson, the ex-girlfriend of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.

Among men dancing on the show that airs on ABC starting on March 21 will be former championship boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, one-time professional wrestler Chris Jericho and Ralph Macchio, who gained fame as a child actor in the original "The Karate Kid" movie.

They are joined by football player Hines Ward, singer Romeo and Los Angeles radio personality "Psycho" Mike Catherwood.

The stars will be paired with professional dancers in a series of weekly contests into the month of May, after which the winner is given a mirror ball trophy.

(Editing by Elaine Lies)

<p>Actress Kirstie Alley poses for photographers as she arrives at the premiere of "The Runaways" in New York City, March 17, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi</p>