Kirstie Alley: How she made her fortune as an actress and with weight loss

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Kirstie Alley has died after a brief battle with colon cancer.

The actress's family shared the news of Alley's death Monday night on social media.

"We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered," a statement posted on Twitter stated.

"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."

KIRSTIE ALLEY DIED AFTER BATTLE WITH COLON CANCER, REP REVEALS

Kirstie Alley’s family announced the actress died following a brief battle with cancer. (Getty Images / Getty Images)

Alley began her career in television and later film, but she also ventured into other business endeavors. The "Cheers" star was outspoken about her struggles with weight and set out to inspire others by sharing her journey with the world.

Here is a look at Alley's impact on the topic of weight loss:

Spokesperson for Jenny Craig

Alley first entered the world of weight loss in 2004 when she signed up for Jenny Craig. The actress became a spokesperson for the weight loss program that same year.

She lost 75 pounds at the time and maintained a 145-pound figure for the next three years on the program.

Kirstie Alley in 2004 (John Shearer/WireImage via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"You know, I don't usually say this, but [Jenny Craig] has been a godsend," she said during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2005. "I needed a game. I'm one of those people that if you give me a sport or a game or make something really fun for me, then I'm on board. And I was just tired of the whole subject – weight loss, blah blah blah. And this has been so much fun because they have 8,000 things you can order [to eat], and you get your own consultant!"

Kirstie Alley in 2006 (Will Powers/Getty Images / Getty Images)

She later returned to the Jenny Craig program in 2014.

"It's like being an athlete. No athlete is going to do well without having a coach," Alley explained to People magazine. "We have to equate that to life. Without a coach helping us along the way, I don't think someone can make it for the long haul," she said.

‘Fat Actress’

During her time as a spokesperson for Jenny Craig, Alley also starred in the sitcom "Fat Actress." The show told the story of a fictionalized version of Alley as she embarked on a weight loss journey.

Much of the show was based on experiences the actress faced in real life during her own struggles with weight loss.

Alley's close friend John Travolta and his late wife Kelly Preston were also cast in the series.

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Author of weight loss book

Alley also turned her weight loss struggles into a book. The actress released "How To Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life: Reluctant Confessions of a Big-Butted Star" in 2005.

She wrote about living life as an overweight person in a world obsessed with being skinny.

Kirstie Alley launched her own diet program in 2010. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Launched her own weight loss program

In 2011, Alley made an appearance on "Dancing with the Stars." At the time, she had just created her own weight loss program, Organic Liaison.

She and dance partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy finished second on that season of "DWTS," and Alley credited her weight loss at the time to the show and her program.

"NO surgery, NO flippin lasers, NO barfing, NO starving…Jeez…my products, organic food, dance," she wrote.

Alley claimed she lost 100 pounds using her own weight loss system, but she was sued in 2012 for false advertisement. She settled a class-action lawsuit and removed the "proven product" labeling from the product packaging.

The actress settled a class-action lawsuit against her weight loss program after she was accused of false advertising. (D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra / Getty Images)

A successful actress

Outside of her business endeavors, Alley made a name for herself as a successful actress. She was most known for her role in the sitcom "Cheers." Her first television appearances were as a game show contestant on "The Match Game" in 1979 and "Password" in 1980.

She made her film debut in 1982's "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan." Other film roles included 1987's "Summer School," 1995's "Village of the Damned" and 1999's "Drop Dead Gorgeous." She also starred in the "Look Who's Talking" films alongside Travolta.

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In recent years, she appeared on several reality shows in addition to "Dancing With the Stars." She competed on the series "The Masked Singer" wearing a baby mammoth costume earlier this year.

She also appeared in the Ryan Murphy comedy series "Scream Queens" on Fox in 2015 and 2016.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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