Kirstie Alley, the Emmy Award-winning actress best known for her role as Rebecca Howe in Cheers, has died at age 71. Her family announced the news on social media, revealing she had passed after a short battle with 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,” Alley’s 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. As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.” Read the full statement below.
People reports that Alley died from colon cancer.
Alley starred in a number of films in the 1980s, including Summer School, Shoot to Kill, and Look Who’s Talking. Her breakout role came with NBC’s comedy Cheers, where she played Rebecca Howe from 1987 to 1993. She won a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for her work on the show.
In the ‘90s, Alley starred in films like Madhouse, Sibling Rivalry, Village of the Damned, It Takes Two, Deconstructing Harry, For Richer or Poorer, and Drop Dead Gorgeous. She won her second Emmy Award in 1994 for her role in the TV movie David’s Mother.
Returning to television, Alley starred in the NBC sitcom Veronica’s Closet from 1997 to 2000 before creating her own series, Fat Actress, for Showtime. The unscripted series ran for one season in 2005 and depicted Alley’s attempts to maintain a successful Hollywood career as a plus-sized actress — a theme that dominated her career for much of her life. Kirstie Alley’s Big Life, an A&E series, followed in 2010.
Alley starred in the short-lived sitcom Kirstie in 2013 before turning to reality television shows Dancing With the Stars, Celebrity Big Brother, and The Masked Singer. She was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995.