LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Marcia Strassman, who played Gabe Kaplan's wife, Julie, on the 1970s sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter," has died. She was 66.

The cast and crew of "Welcome Back, Kotter" (L-R) Ellen Travolta, Gabe Kaplan, Marcia Strassman, John Travolta, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and Robert Hegyes attend the 9th Annual TV Land Awards in 2011. (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Strassman died at her Sherman Oaks, California, home on Friday after battling breast cancer for seven years, her sister, Julie Strassman, said Sunday.

"They gave her 2 1/2 years to live but she lasted much longer," she said. "She was very courageous."

Strassman had numerous roles on television and in film during her five-decade career.

She played nurse Margie Cutler on the first season of "MASH" before her breakout role in "Welcome Back, Kotter." The show was about a teacher returning to the tough high-school of his youth to teach a classroom full of misfits, including future movie star John Travolta.

She also played Rick Moranis's wife in the Disney hit movie "Honey I Shrunk The Kids" and its sequel, "Honey I Blew Up The Kid."

Born on April 28, 1948 in New York City, Strassman began acting as a teen, replacing Liza Minelli in the off-Broadway musical "Best Foot Forward. She moved to Los Angeles at 18 and landed a steady stream of roles.

She was a member of the Screen Actors Guild national board, and was an active fundraiser for breast cancer research and other social causes, her sister Julie said.

Strassman is also survived by a daughter and a brother.

Plans for funeral services are pending.

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