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Entertainment: Kirstie Alley, Emmy-winning ‘Cheers’ star, dies at 71

Kirstie Alley Dies From Cancer, John Travolta Pens Tribute: ‘We’ll See Each Other Again’

  Kirstie Alley Dies From Cancer, John Travolta Pens Tribute: ‘We’ll See Each Other Again’ Actress Kirstie Alley, 71, died battling cancer, a TMZ report stated. Alley, who debuted in 192 film “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”, was surrounded by her family when she passed away. The family shared a statement with TMZ, which read, “We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered.” “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.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kirstie Alley, a two-time Emmy winner whose roles on the TV megahit “Cheers” and in the “Look Who's Talking” films made her one of the biggest stars in American comedy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, died Monday. She was 71.

  Kirstie Alley, Emmy-winning ‘Cheers’ star, dies at 71 © Provided by The Canadian Press

Alley died of cancer that was only recently discovered, her children True and Lillie Parker said in a post on Twitter. Alley's manager Donovan Daughtry confirmed the death in an email to The Associated Press.

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

She starred opposite Ted Danson as Rebecca Howe on “Cheers,” the beloved NBC sitcom about a Boston bar, from 1987 to 1993. She joined the show at the height of its popularity after the departure of original star Shelley Long.

Steffi Graf involved in scandal

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Alley would win an Emmy for best lead actress in a comedy series for the role in 1991.

“I only thank God I didn’t have to wait as long as Ted,” Alley said in her acceptance, gently ribbing Danson, who had finally won an Emmy for his “Cheers” role as Sam Malone in his eighth nomination the previous year.

She would take a second Emmy for best lead actress in a miniseries or television movie in 1993 for playing the title role in the CBS TV movie “David's Mother."

She had her own sitcom on the network, “Veronica's Closet,” from 1997 to 2000.

In the 1989 comedy “Look Who's Talking,” which gave her a major career boost, she played the mother of a baby who's inner thoughts were voiced by Bruce Willis. She would also appear in a 1990 sequel “Look Who's Talking Too," and another in 1993, “Look Who's Talking Now.”

Ted Danson and Cheers Cast Mourn Kirstie Alley: 'So Grateful for All the Times She Made Me Laugh'

  Ted Danson and Cheers Cast Mourn Kirstie Alley: 'So Grateful for All the Times She Made Me Laugh' Kirstie Alley died from cancer on Monday at age 71, her children confirmed to PEOPLE . "I was on a plane today and did something I rarely do," Danson said in a statement to PEOPLE. "I watched an old episode of Cheers." "It was the episode where Tom Berenger proposes to Kirstie, who keeps saying no, even though she desperately wants to say yes," the actor continued. "Kirstie was truly brilliant in it. Her ability to play a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown was both moving and hysterically funny.

John Travolta, her co-star in the trilogy, paid her tribute in an Instagram post.

"Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had,” Travolta said, along with a photo of Alley. “I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”

She would play a fictionalized version of herself in the 2005 Showtime series “Fat Actress,” a show that drew comedy from her public and media treatment over her weight gain and loss.

She dealt with the same subject matter in the 2010 A&E reality series "Kirstie Alley's Big Life," which chronicled her attempt to lose weight and launch a weight-loss program while working as a single mother in an unconventional household that included pet lemurs.

Alley said she agreed to do the show in part because of the misinformation about her that had become a tabloid staple.

“Anything bad you can say about me, they say," Alley told the AP at the time. “I’ve never collapsed, fainted, passed out. Basically, anything they’ve said, I never. The only true thing is I got fat.”

Kirstie Alley’s Ex-Husband Parker Stevenson Shares Moving Tribute Following Her Death

  Kirstie Alley’s Ex-Husband Parker Stevenson Shares Moving Tribute Following Her Death Parker Stevenson is remembering his late ex-wife. On Monday, following the sad news that “Cheers” actress Kirstie Alley had died, her ex-husband shared a moving tribute on Instagram. “Dear Kirstie, I am so grateful for our years together, and for the two incredibly beautiful children and now grandchildren that we have,” he wrote, alongside an oldOn Monday, following the sad news that "Cheers" actress Kirstie Alley had died, her ex-husband shared a moving tribute on Instagram.

In recent years she appeared on several other reality shows, including a second-place finish on “Dancing With the Stars” in 2011. She appeared on the competition series “The Masked Singer” wearing a baby mammoth costume earlier this year.

She appeared in the Ryan Murphy black comedy series “Scream Queens” on Fox in 2015 and 2016.

One of her co-stars on the show, Jamie Lee Curtis, said on Instagram Monday that Alley was “a great comic foil” on the show and “a beautiful mama bear in her very real life.”

Alley's “Cheers” co-star Kelsey Grammer said in a statement that “I always believed grief for a public figure is a private matter, but I will say I loved her.”

Another “Cheers” co-star, Rhea Pearlman, recounted how she and Alley became friends almost instantly after she joined the show. She said Alley organized large Easter and Halloween parties and invited everyone. “She wanted everyone to feel included. She loved her children deeply. I’ve never met anyone remotely like her. I feel so thankful to have known her.”

A native of Wichita, Kansas, Alley attended Kansas State University before dropping out and moving to Los Angeles.

Like Travolta, she would become a longtime member of the Church of Scientology.

Her first television appearances were as a game show contestant, on “The Match Game” in 1979 and "Password" in 1980.

She made her film debut in 1982's “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan."

Other film roles included 1987's “Summer School,” 1995's “Village of the Damned” and 1999's “Drop Dead Gorgeous.”

Alley was married to her high school sweetheart from 1970 to 1977, and to actor Parker Stevenson from 1983 until 1997.

She told the AP in 2010 if she married again, “I’d leave the guy within 24 hours because I’m sure he’d tell me not to do something.”

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Rancilio reported from Detroit. Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton

Andrew Dalton And Alicia Rancilio, The Associated Press

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