Tributes paid to Cheers actor Kirstie Alley following her death aged 71

Actress Kirstie Alley dead at 71

Tributes have been paid to Kirstie Alley, who has died at the age of 71.

The actress was best known for her starring role in Cheers, as well as performances in the likes of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Look Who's Talking and Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Alley’s family confirmed she died following a cancer diagnosis, writing in a statement: "We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away.”

The statement also said that the cancer was "only recently discovered”.

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"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 added.

The actress was known for roles in Cheers and Drop Dead Gorgeous Getty Images

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

The message also praised her "zest and passion for life, her children, grandchildren and her many animals, not to mention her eternal joy of creating".

John Travolta, who starred alongside Alley in the Look Who's Talking series from 1989 to 1993, led the tributes on social media by writing: "Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I've ever had. I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again."

Actor Diedrich Bader said: “I worked w Kirstie Alley a couple of times many years ago as a guest on CHEERS and she was very welcoming and fun to be around. I was just a kid w a small part and she was very lovely. She was remarkably funny in everything i saw her do and really fun to watch rehearse RIP.”

Seinfeld star Jason Alexander added: “So sorry we have lost Kirstie Alley. She was a gloriously talented & unique actress and I am delighted I was able to work at her side on occasion.

“She made me feel welcome. And she made me laugh. As she did so many others. My sympathy to her friends and family. #RIPKirstieAlley.”

Author Kimberley Johnson added: “I'm sorry to hear Kirstie Alley has died. She was a Trump supporter and she blocked me, so we were not on the same page politically but that woman was immensely talented, hysterically funny and I'm grateful for her unforgettable contribution to entertainment. RIP.”

Actor Robert Patrick wrote: “So very sad. Kirstie Alley R.I.P. My condolences to her family.”

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