Kirstie Alley, an outstanding actress best known for the role of Rebecca Howe in the NBC sitcom Cheers, loses a battle to cancer at the age of 71.

This Monday her family reported the heartbreaking news: "We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away."

The family said nothing about the type of cancer Alley had except for noting that it was "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," the family's statement said.

Source: Getty

The statement continued by pointing out what iconic actress Alley was on screen and what amazing mother and grandmother with great energy and zest for life she was to her family.

John Travolta, who co-starred with her in the comedy Look Who's Talking, wrote on Instagram: "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 added.

Kirstie Louise Alley was an American actress, best known for her role as Rebecca Howe in the sitcom Cheers (1987–1993), for which she won an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe.

The cast of NBC's Cheers. Source: Getty

Alley was born on January 12, 1951 in Wichita, Kansas. She made her screen debut in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). After that, she appeared in such movies as Summer School (1987), Shoot to Kill (1988), Look Who's Talking (1989) and its two sequels (1990–1993).

Alley at the 46th Primetime Emmy Awards in 1994. Source:

Besides the Golden Globe and Emmy awards for the role in Cheers, in 1994 Alley won another Emmy for her lead role in the CBS TV movie David's Mother. She also played the lead role in the sitcom Veronica's Closet (1997–2000), for which she earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

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