Entertainment & Arts

Welcome Back Kotter actress Marcia Strassman dies

Marcia Strassman Image copyright AP
Image caption Marcia Strassman's sister Julie released this photo following her death

US actress Marcia Strassman, best known for her roles in 1970s sitcom Welcome Back Kotter and 1989 film Honey I Shrunk the Kids, has died aged 66.

Strassman, who played Julie, the wife of Gabe Kaplan's character in Welcome Back Kotter, had been battling breast cancer for seven years.

Her sister Julie said she died at home in Sherman Oaks, California, on Friday.

Singer and actress Cher paid tribute to Strassman, her "funny, talented friend".

Eric Idle also wrote ‏on Twitter: "Very saddened by the news that our lovely friend Marcia Strassman finally lost her long and very brave battle with cancer. We loved her."

Strassman began acting as a teen in New York and in 1966 replaced Liza Minnelli in the off-Broadway musical Best Foot Forward.

She moved to Hollywood at 18 and her five-decade career encompassed numerous film and TV roles including nurse Margie Cutler on the first series of Mash.

She found fame with Welcome Back Kotter, which also gave a big break to fellow cast member John Travolta.

The show, about a teacher returning to his tough high school, ran from 1975 to 1979.

She also starred alongside Rick Moranis in Honey I Shrunk The Kids and the sequel Honey I Blew Up The Kid.

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