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Kirstie Alley, best known for roles in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (as the Vulcan Ensign Saavik) and as the replacement for Shelley Long in "Cheers," has passed away after a short battle with cancer.  She was 71.

KC's View:

People don't remember what a roll of the dice it was when Alley replaced Long in the sixth season of "Cheers."  Long was quitting the series, which was largely focused on the romance between her character and Ted Danson's Sam Malone, who owned the eponymous bar "where everybody knows your name."  In casting Alley as Rebecca Howe, who worked for the company to which Sam had sold Cheers and was attempting (with increasing futility) to run a tight ship, the producers actually repositioned the series with a greater emphasis on the terrific ensemble.  It ran for a total of 11 seasons and 275 episodes, and is generally considered to be one of the greatest sitcoms of all time.  And now, I'd bet, people remember Kirstie Alley more than Shelley Long.