Hollywood actress Kirstie Alley has died at the age of 71 after a battle with cancer, according to family members, who noted the illness was only discovered recently.
Alley’s two children marked her passing in a statement posted to her official social media accounts on Monday, hailing her “iconic” film and television appearances and her “zest and passion for life.”
“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 statement said, adding that Alley “was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength” before her death.
Though the actress landed her breakout role on the TV show ‘Cheers’ – for which she won at least three major awards and was nominated for countless others – Alley would later move up to the big screen, starring or co-starring in films such as ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’ (1982), ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’ (1999), and the ‘Look Who’s Talking’ series (1989-1993).
Actor John Travolta, who starred alongside Alley in all three ‘Look Who’s Talking’ films, paid tribute to his late friend on social media.
“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 said in an Instagram post.
Alley courted controversy later in her career, receiving criticism over her conservative political views, namely her support for former US President Donald Trump, as well as her membership in the Church of Scientology. Though detractors have labeled the organization a cult, Alley credited its drug rehabilitation program for her own sobriety after an earlier bout with addiction.
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