American actor Kirstie Alley has died at age 71 after a short battle with cancer.

Alley’s children True and Lillie Parker confirmed her passing in a touching social media post.

“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 began.

It continued, “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. 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.

“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.

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“With love always, True and Lillie Parker.”

Alley rose to fame in 1987 in her breakout role as Rebecca Howe in the NBC sitcom Cheers, a role which won her an Emmy and a Golden Globe in 1991. Over the years she has starred in a number of hit TV shows and movies, including Scream Queens, Fat Actress, Veronica’s Closet, Look Who’s Talking and Drop Dead Gorgeous. The actress won her second Emmy in 1994 for the TV film David’s Mother, which was based on a true story.

John Travolta has begun the tributes to the late actress, with a heartfelt message on Instagram.

“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had.

“I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”

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