The 69-year-old actress was recently spotted shuffling around Pacific Palisades — and not a soul recognized the gal, who played snooty know-it-all waitress Diane Chambers on the super-hit ’80s sitcom.
Except for an eight-episode gig on Modern Family and voicing a character on Disney’s cartoon Milo Murphy’s Law last year, Shelley’s largely faded from view.
“Shelley pretty much keeps to herself and spends most of her time with her little dog or in the company of friends,” dishes a source. “It’s a far cry from when she was a big star!”
When a GLOBE reporter tracked down the TV legend, there was a cane by the door of her condo. A brief glimpse inside revealed the place is stuffed with odd things and resembles the home of a hoarder.
“She said she was in no position to speak to any writer and slammed the door,” says the reporter. “I barely got a word out and her little dog was yapping.
“Her place was packed with SO much antique furniture and weird trinkets, there was barely any room to move!”
Shelley famously quit the show that made her a star after Cheers’ 1987 fifth season.
She’d won two Golden Globes and an Emmy, but then decided to launch a film career and spend time with her daughter, Juliana, then 2.
But her plans didn’t work out.
Her movies, namely Outrageous Fortune, Troop Beverly Hills and the spoofy Brady Bunch flicks of the mid-’90s, failed to make her a film star.
Shelley then became depressed and eventually “hit rock bottom” when her 22-year marriage to securities broker Bruce Tyson ended in 2003, notes a source.
Less than a year later, on November 16, 2004, she was rushed to UCLA Medical Center after overdosing on painkillers and was hospitalized for a week.
“For 18 months, she’s been getting more and more depressed,” a friend noted at the time. “She felt like she had nothing to live for.”
Shelley then turned reclusive and began to rapidly lose weight.
“She kept the curtains drawn and wasn’t eating,” reported a pal. “She has always been thin, but she was almost skeletal.”
Said another friend: “She is so thin. And she never seems happy anymore. She just doesn’t look like herself.
Nearly two years after the accidental overdose, in January 2006, Shelley went public and declared: “I’m doing really well. We all have our struggles. We have these days where we have to put one foot in front of the other. I’ve had a few of those days in the last couple years.
“I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
But she’s continued to fade. “She’s become a shadow of her former self,” spills a source. “It’s a shame what happened to Shelley.”