Emmy-winning actress, Kirstie Alley, best known for her role in the comedy series Cheers in the 1980s and 90s, has died of cancer at the age of 71
Alley’s family shared a statement on Twitter on Monday night, December 5, stating that the actress died after a “recently discovered” battle with cancer.
“We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered,” Alley’s children, True and Lillie Parker said in a statement.
“She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead,” they continued. “As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”
The siblings added how their mother’s “zest and passion for life, her children, grandchildren and her many animals, not to mention her eternal joy of creating, were unparalleled and leave us inspired to live life to the fullest just as she did.”
They also thanked the “incredible team of doctors and nurses” at the Moffitt Cancer Center.
The statement concludes with True and Lillie thanking Alley’s fans, sharing, “We thank you for your love and prayers and ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.”
Following the news, Alley’s friend and former costar John Travolta paid tribute to the actress on social media.
“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie,” he shared alongside a snap of the late star. “I know we will see each other again.”
Valerie Bertinelli also shared her condolences on Twitter, writing, “Oh Kirstie, Rest in Peace”
Alley rose to fame in 1987 when she starred as Rebecca Howe on NBC’s Cheers. She earned a Golden Globe for best actress and an Emmy for outstanding lead actress for her part in the Boston-based series in 1991.
She went on to receive her second Emmy win for her portrayal of Sally Goodson in David’s Mother in 1994.
Alley also appeared on television shows including Veronica’s Closet (1997-2000), Fat Actress (2005), Kirstie (2013-2014), and Scream Queens (2015-2016), as well as films like Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Summer School (1987), Look Who’s Talking (1989), It Takes Two (1995) and Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999).