Kirstie Alley, 'Cheers' star, dies at 71

Actor Kirstie Alley, known for her role in the sitcom “Cheers,” has died after a recent diagnosis of cancer, her family said in a statement Monday. She was 71.

The cancer was only recently discovered, her family said.

“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,” the statement said. “As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”

Alley played bar manager Rebecca Howe in “Cheers” from 1987 to 1993.

She also played a memorable role as Saavik in “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan,” and she starred alongside John Travolta in “Look Who’s Talking,” and “Look Who’s Talking Now.” She also starred in “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” which came out in 1999.

Her family thanked “the incredible team of doctors and nurses at the Moffitt Cancer Center for their care.”

The type of cancer was not disclosed. The family asked for privacy Monday.

“Our 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 said in the statement.

She won two Emmy awards — for outstanding lead in a comedy series in “Cheers” in 1991, andfor outstanding lead in a miniseries or special for her role as Sally Goodson in “David’s Mother” in 1994.

Alley, a native of Wichita, Kansas, married actor Parker Stevenson in 1983, and they adopted children William True and Lilly Price. The couple split in 1997.

Alley was also a spokesperson for Jenny Craig and was vocal about her struggles with her weight. She wrote two books, “The Art of Men,” published in 2012, and “How To Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life,” published in 2005.

Travolta was among the first to share his thoughts after Alley’s death was announced.

“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again,” Travolta posted to Instagram.

Tim Allen, who co-starred with Alley in the 1997 film “For Richer or Poorer,” tweeted that Alley was a “sweet soul.”

“Sad, sad news. Prayers for all her family,” Allen wrote.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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