“Cheers” star Kirstie Alley has died after a battle with cancer, her family announced Monday night on social media. She was 71.
In a statement posted on her official Twitter account, her children posted a statement that “our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered.”
“As iconic as she as on the screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother,” the statement read.
True and Lillie Parker asked in their statement that “you respect our privacy at this difficult time.”
John Travolta, who co-starred with Ms. Alley in her biggest movie hit — “Look Who’s Talking” and its sequels — posted on Instagram that “Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had.”
“I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again,” he wrote.
Ms. Alley became one of America’s biggest TV stars when she replaced Shelley Long as the female protagonist in the wildly popular sitcom “Cheers.”
She won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for playing the role from 1987 to 1993 of Rebecca — the romantic semi-interest and sparring partner for male lead Sam Malone, a former Boston Red Sox pitcher played by Ted Danson.
She earned more Emmy and Golden Globe nods later in the 90s as lead actress in the comedy show “Veronica’s Closet.”
The actress also appeared in numerous movies in the 1980s and 90s, most prominently in the “Look Who’s Talking” films, “Summer School” and Woody Allen’s “Deconstructing Harry.”
In the 2010s she became both a reality-TV star in such programs as “Kirstie Alley’s Big Life,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Celebrity Big Brother,” the first of which detailed her struggles with weight. Those issues involved her in an on-again, off-again, relationship as a spokeswoman for weight-loss firm Jenny Craig.
In her last years, Ms. Alley became one of the few out-of-the-closet Republicans in Hollywood, saying during spring 2016 that she would support Donald Trump for president.
Nick Adams, one of Mr. Trump’s stated favorite authors and a conservative commentator wrote on Twitter that “Hollywood lost one of their brightest shining stars today with the tragic passing of Kirstie Alley.
“Kirstie loved her country and President Trump, and she will always be remembered for her award-winning role in Cheers. Rest in Peace. America will never be the same,” he wrote.
Former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren posted that “also … no one loved animals like Kirstie Alley.”
The children’s statement alluded to that, noting that her “zest and joy for life” extended to “her many animals.”