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'Welcome Back, Kotter' Actress Marcia Strassman Dead At 66

LOS ANGELES (  —  Actress Marcia Strassman, best known for playing put-upon wife Julie on the sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter," has died.

Strassman was 66.

The actress lost her seven-year battle with cancer Saturday, according to her sister. While many media reports say Strassman died of breast cancer, her daughter told KCAL9  that her mother died from bone cancer.

Strassman was also known for starring in the film "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" and the sequel "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid."

On "Kotter," Strassman played straight foil to comedian Gabriel Kaplan who played a Brooklyn school teacher to a bunch of ne'er do well students called the Sweathogs. The show ran on ABC from September 1975 to June 1979 and helped launch future movie star John Travolta.

Ironically, the role that probably made her most famous was her least favorite ever. She often clashed with series star Kaplan. Years later, the two became close.

The New York-born Strassman got her first break on a 1967 episode of the "Patty Duke Show." Her first recurring role -- as Nurse Margie -- came early in the series run of "MASH."

For a while, Strassman also was a recording artist and some of her singles charted locally and around California.

Her other acting TV credits included "Booker," "Tremors," "The Love Boat," "Magnum, P.I.", "Providence" and "The Rockford Files." She also appeared in movies including 1985's "The Aviator."

Strassman, who sat on the national board for the Screen Actors Guild, died in her Sherman Oaks home.

She is survived by her daughter, a NY costume designer, a sister and a brother.

Long a progressive activist, Strassman was also involved in the fight against cancer years before she was diagnosed with the disease.

Strassman was also remembered by her friend Cher on Twitter.

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