Kirstie Alley – who shot to fame after appearing in the US sitcom Cheers – has died at the age of 71.
In a statement, her children said: “We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a short battle with cancer, 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.”
Alley was best loved for her role as Rebecca Howe in the long-running US comedy Cheers, in which she appeared as the on-off love interest of Boston bar owner Sam, played by Ted Danson.
She also starred alongside John Travolta in the successful 1989 romantic comedy Look Who’s Talking.
The actor paid tribute to her on social media. “Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie,” he wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of the late star. “I know we will see each other again.”
From 1997 to 2000 she had her own sitcom on US network NBC, Veronica’s Closet.
Later, in 2018 she took part in UK Celebrity Big Brother, in which she finished as runner-up.