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Emmy Award Winning Actress ‘Kirstie Alley’ Dies Of Cancer At 71

American Actress and also Emmy Award winner Kirstie Alley dies at 71.

According to a family statement, Actress Kirstie Alley, best known for her role in the comedy series Cheers in the 1980s and 90s, has died of cancer at 71.

“We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away,” her children wrote.

Alley won an Emmy award and a Golden Globe for her role as a pub manager and waitress on the popular TV series.

The Kansas-born star also appeared in the Look Who’s Talking film series and the TV sitcom Veronica’s Closet.

Though the family statement did not specify what cancer she had, but it was said 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,” it continued.

“As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.”

They also praised her “enthusiazm and passion for life, her children, grandchildren and her many animals, not to mention her eternal joy of creating”. On Cheers, the beloved NBC sitcom about a bar in Boston, Alley played bar manager and cocktail waitress Rebecca Howe, soon becoming a fan favourite, fending off advances from Ted Danson’s womanising bar owner Sam Malone.

Her first appearance as a strong independent woman, her character repeatedly had failed romances, often with rich men, becoming more insecure and frustrated as a result.

Kirstie Alley appeared in 147 episodes after joining the show at the height of its popularity in 1987 and continued to appear until its end in 1993.

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