Sad news to report… Valerie Harper has lost her battle with cancer.
Beloved sitcom star Valerie Harper has died after a long battle with brain cancer, her family confirmed to ABC and CBS on Friday. She was 80.
Best known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spinoff “Rhoda” in the 1970s, Harper was diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare and incurable form of brain cancer, in January 2013.
When the actor, who had battled lung cancer in 2009, learned of her terminal diagnosis, she told People magazine that the finality of it “hit me like a sledgehammer.”
“‘Incurable’ is such a concise word. I was terrified,” she said.
“Cancer makes real what we try to obscure from ourselves,” Harper added. “We spend our lifetimes thinking, ‘I’m never going to die.’ But cancer says, ‘Hey, not so fast.’”
At the time, doctors gave her just three months to live, but Harper defied the odds. She continued to act in guest spots on television and competed on “Dancing With the Stars.” She even starred in the live musical “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” until she had to be hospitalized before a July 2015 performance.
In November 2015, Harper made her first public appearance after that hospitalization at the Glioblastoma Multiforme Heroes Awards, where she told Entertainment Tonight, “Listen, I was supposed to be dead in three months, maybe six, because of the kind of cancer I had. It’s a toughie.”
So sad…. She will be missed by her friends, family and her legion of fans around the world.