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Kirstie Alley, 'Cheers' star, dies at 71

The actor had recently learned she had cancer, her family said.

October 19th 2020: Kirstie Alley faces backlash on social media for her continued support of the campaign to re-elect President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. - File Photo by: zz/Michael Germana/STAR MAX/IPx 2007 2/27/07 Kirstie Alley at the premiere of "Wild Hogs" held on February 27, 2007 in Los Angeles, CA.
Kirstie Alley in Los Angeles, on Feb. 27, 2007zz/Michael Germana/STAR MAX/IPx file

Actor Kirstie Alley, known for her role in the sitcom “Cheers,” has died after a recent diagnosis of cancer, her family said in a statement Monday. She was 71.

The cancer was only recently discovered, her family said.

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

Alley played bar manager Rebecca Howe in "Cheers."

She also played a memorable role as Saavik in “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan,” and starred alongside John Travolta in “Look Who’s Talking,” among other roles.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.