‘Cheers’ Star Kirstie Alley Dead at 71 After ‘Recently Discovered’ Cancer Battle

kristie alley on abcs to tell the truth season three
Kirstie Alley Dead at 71 After Cancer BattleEric McCandless - Getty Images
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  • Kirstie Alley’s children revealed on Monday evening that the Cheers actress has died at 71.

  • A rep of hers later confirmed that she battled colon cancer that was only recently discovered.

  • Fans, friends, and Alley’s Cheers co-stars are grappling with the tragic loss by remembering her great talent and iconic career.

Cheers star Kirstie Alley has died at 71. The star’s children, True and Lillie Parker, announced their mother’s death in an Instagram post Monday evening.

In a statement posted to Alley’s Instagram, the pair revealed she passed away after a brief battle with cancer. Alley’s rep later told People that the actress was diagnosed with colon 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,” the siblings’ statement read. “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.”

The statement went on to thank Moffitt Cancer Center for their care.

“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,” the statement concluded. “We thank you for your love and prayers and ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.”

Alley was known for her hilarious and layered role as Rebecca Howe in Cheers, for which she won a Golden Globe for best actress and an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in 1991. She went on to develop an esteemed catalog of work with roles in Veronica’s Closet, Scream Queens, and Star Trek, and in 2010, she led her own A&E reality show called Kirstie’s Big Life. Most recently, she appeared on season 7 of The Masked Singer.

cheers cast group shot season 1 portrait session 1983
Aaron Rapoport - Getty Images

Fans, followers, and friends have flooded Alley’s Instagram with comments mourning her loss. And her Cheers co-stars, including Ted Danson, shared their own deeply moving tributes with People.

“I was on a plane today and did something I rarely do. I watched an old episode of Cheers,” Danson said. “It was the episode where Tom Berenger proposes to Kirstie, who keeps saying no, even though she desperately wants to say yes. 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.”

Danson continued: “She made me laugh 30 years ago when she shot that scene, and she made me laugh today just as hard. As I got off the plane, I heard that Kirstie had died. I am so sad and so grateful for all the times she made me laugh. I send my love to her children. As they well know, their mother had a heart of gold. I will miss her.”

And so will everyone else who loved her.

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