Kirstie Alley, the two-time Emmy-winning actor who rose to fame in her role on the hit TV series Cheers, died on Monday at the age of 71 shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.
Alley's death was confirmed to Reuters by her representative and through a statement from her children posted on her official Twitter account saying that the actress had died at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida.
"To all our friends, far and wide around the world ... we are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered," 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. As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother."
Alley’s breakout role came as Rebecca Howe in the NBC sitcom Cheers. She debuted on the NBC sitcom in 1987, quickly becoming a fan favourite for her bar manager role opposite Ted Danson’s womanising bar tender Sam Malone.
She played Howe until the show ended in 1993, winning both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe for the role in 1991.
She won her second Emmy in 1994 for the television film David’s Mother.
Alley also starred alongside John Travolta in the 1989 film comedy Look Who’s Talking and its two sequels.
"Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had," Travolta said on Instagram alongside a photo of the actress in a white dress. "I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again."
Alley starred as the title character in the sitcom Veronica’s Closet from 1997 to 2000, earning Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.
She later competed on Dancing with the Stars and The Masked Singer.
Alley was brought up as a Methodist but became a Scientologist in 1979 after moving to Los Angeles, where she used the church’s affiliated drug treatment programme Narconon in response to her self-admitted cocaine addiction.
She was married twice – to her high-school boyfriend from 1970 to 1977 and to Baywatch actor Parker Stevenson from 1983 – and after suffering a miscarriage she adopted son William True in 1992 and daughter Lillie Price in 1995 with Stevenson.
The marriage to Stevenson ended in 1997, and Alley became a grandmother in 2016 following the birth of William’s son.– Agencies