Valerie Harper, Star Of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ And ‘Rhoda,’ Dead At 80

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Beloved sitcom star Valerie Harper has died after a protracted battle with mind most cancers, her household confirmed to ABC and CBS on Friday. She was 80.

Greatest recognized for her function as Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Present” and its spinoff “Rhoda” within the 1970s, Harper was recognized with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a uncommon and incurable type of mind most cancers, in January 2013.

Harper arrives at the 14th Annual Movies for Grownups Awards Gala on Feb. 2, 2015, more than two years after her termina



Gabriel Olsen/Getty Photos

Harper arrives on the 14th Annual Motion pictures for Grownups Awards Gala on Feb. 2, 2015, greater than two years after her terminal prognosis.

When the actor, who had battled lung most cancers in 2009, realized of her terminal prognosis, she advised Folks journal that the finality of it “hit me like a sledgehammer.” 

″‘Incurable’ is such a concise phrase. I used to be terrified,” she stated.

“Most cancers makes actual what we attempt to obscure from ourselves,” Harper added. “We spend our lifetimes pondering, ‘I’m by no means going to die.’ However most cancers says, ‘Hey, not so quick.’”

On the time, docs gave her simply three months to reside, however Harper defied the percentages. She continued to behave in visitor spots on tv and competed on “Dancing With the Stars.” She even starred within the reside musical “Good Work If You Can Get It,” till she needed to be hospitalized earlier than a July 2015 efficiency.

In November 2015, Harper made her first public look after that hospitalization on the Glioblastoma Multiforme Heroes Awards, the place she advised Leisure Tonight, “Pay attention, I used to be purported to be lifeless in three months, possibly six, due to the type of most cancers I had. It’s a toughie.”

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" highlighted women's changing roles in the 1970s. The cast in 1972 (clockwise from upper left



CBS Photograph Archive by way of Getty Photos

“The Mary Tyler Moore Present” highlighted ladies’s altering roles within the 1970s. The forged in 1972 (clockwise from higher left): Valerie Harper, Edward Asner, Cloris Leachman, Ted Knight, Mary Tyler Moore and Gavin MacLeod.

The actor’s husband, Tony Cacciotti, stated he had declined docs’ suggestions to put Harper in hospice care, in a July 23 Fb put up.

“We’ll proceed going ahead so long as the powers above permit us, I’ll do my highest in making Val as comfy as potential,” Cacciotti wrote. “For these of you who’ve been on this place, you’ll completely perceive that ‘it’s exhausting letting go.’ So so long as I’m ready and succesful, I’ll be the place I belong proper beside her.”

Born in Suffern, New York, on Aug. 22, 1939, Harper acquired her begin in present enterprise dancing within the refrain on Broadway. After nabbing a number of small elements within the late ’50s and ’60s, Harper landed the long-lasting function of Mary Tyler Moore’s humorous, earthy finest pal in 1970. She left the unique sequence in 1974, however continued to play Rhoda ― a task that earned her 4 Emmys and one Golden Globe award ― on the spinoff sequence till 1978.

After that sequence wrapped, Harper went on to behave in a number of made-for-TV motion pictures earlier than starring in two season-long sitcoms, “Valerie” and “Metropolis,” in 1986 and 1990, respectively. Through the years, she made notable visitor appearances on “Melrose Place,” “Intercourse and the Metropolis” and “That ’70s Present.” In 2000, she and Moore reunited for the TV film “Mary and Rhoda.”

Harper additionally continued to look on stage, incomes a Tony Award nomination for enjoying Tallulah Bankhead in “Looped” in 2010.

Her final on-screen function was within the brief movie “My Mother and the Woman,” which was launched in October 2016. 

Harper is survived by Cacciotti and their daughter, Cristina.

Antonia Blumberg contributed to this report.

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