Kirstie Alley Remembered for ‘Undeniable Talent’ After Her Death at 71

LOS ANGELES - MAY 07: Kirstie Alley arrives to the "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" World Premiere on May 7, 2011 in Anaheim, CA. (Shutterstock)

Kirstie Alley, an Emmy Award-winning actress who gained legions of fans with her roles on the sitcoms Cheers and Veronica’s Closet, has died after battling cancer. She was 71.

Alley’s children, True and Lillie Parker, confirmed her death with a statement on the actress’ official Twitter account Monday evening.

“To all our friends, far and wide around the world… 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 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.”

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Her children went on to say the Look Who’s Talking star inspired her loved ones.

“As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother. We are grateful to the incredible team of doctors and nurses at the Moffitt Cancer Center for their care,” the statement continued. “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. We thank you for your love and prayers and ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.”

As news of Alley’s death spread, her friend and Look Who’s Talking co-star, John Travolta, paid tribute to her on Instagram.

“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie,” Travolta captioned a photo of the actress. “I know we will see each other again.”

Her friend Jackée Harry added on Twitter, “Kirstie Alley was an undeniable talent who brought joy to many – through the screen and with her warm, hilarious spirit. RIP, luv. You were one of a kind.”

Alley was born in Wichita, Kansas on Jan. 12, 1951. After high school she moved to Los Angeles and worked as an interior designer and was a devout Scientologist.

After appearing on a string of game shows and winning money, Alley decided to embark on a career in show business. She landed a role in the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Her breakout role came in 1987, when she replaced Shelley Long on NBC’s Cheers. Alley won an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for her role as Rebecca Howe.

In the late ’90s to early 2000s, her role on the NBC sitcom Veronica’s Closet, earned her additional Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

She received her second Emmy, taking home an award in the category of outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or a apecial for her portrayal of Sally Goodson in the 1994 TV movie David’s Mother.

Years later, Alley portrayed a version of herself in the Showtime sitcom Fat Actress, which she created, about an actress struggling to lose weight and revive her Hollywood career.