Celebrities

Fern Britton pays tribute to Kirstie Alley as Cheers star dies at 71

Kirstie Alley dies at the age of 71

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Former This Morning presenter Fern Britton, 65, shared an image of Kirstie Alley on Twitter today alongside a moving message in view of her 127,300 followers. Kirstie’s family have shared that the beloved actress died shortly after it was discovered she had cancer. 

“Kirstie Alley has died,” Fern penned with tearful and heartbroken emojis. “I worked with her on location and loved her. 

“Every morning we’d be up before anyone else and drink tea and laugh. 

“‘Hey, Fernando!’ We talked about everything, Everything!” she continued fondly.

“In a six hour taxi ride we pinched a phone and made illicit calls home. The best.”

Fern and Kirstie both took part in Channel 4’s show Time Crashers back in 2015, alongside the likes of Keith Allen and Jermaine Jenas.

Billed as a cross between Quantum Leap and Big Brother, the show followed a group of celebrities as they experienced life through a number of different historical periods. 

Kirstie was best known for playing Rebecca Howe on popular NBC sitcom Cheers, where she starred opposite Ted Danson, who played lead character Sam Malone.

Kirstie appeared in 147 episodes after joining the show at the height of its popularity and continued to appear until its end in 1993.

 

Kirstie’s family announced the news of her death in a heart-wrenching statement on the late star’s social media accounts. 

Her children True and Lillie Parker said she was surrounded by her closest family at her time of death.

Their statement read: “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.

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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 whatever adventures lie ahead. 

“As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother,” the statement continued. 

Kirstie’s children went on to speak about their family’s gratitude for those who had cared for her in her final days.

“We are grateful to the incredible team of doctors and nurses at the Moffitt Cancer Center for their care,” they wrote.

“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.”

They concluded by thanking Kirstie’s fans and friends for “your love and prayers”.

Kirstie won an Emmy and Golden Globe for her role in Cheers in 1991, before securing her second Emmy win for best lead actress in 1993 for a CBS TV movie called David’s Mother.

Plenty of the actress’ former co-stars have sent in touching tributes, including Cheers’ Ted and Look Who’s Talking’s John Travolta.

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