Very sad news out of Hollywood Wednesday. Legendary sitcom star Valerie Harper, who famously portrayed Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and on its spinoff, Rhoda, has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and has roughly three months to live.
People first reported the story, after sitting down with the 73-year-old actress for an exclusive interview. She reportedly received the diagnosis of a rare condition known as leptomeningeal carcinomatosis in mid-January. Basically, cancer cells have spread into the part of the brain containing a fluid-filled membrane.
“I don’t think of dying,” Harper said in the interview. “I think of being here now.”
Throughout her career, the actress received three Emmy awards for supporting actress, as well as one for leading actress.
“I’m absolutely devastated by this news,” Harper’s former co-star and real-life BFF, Moore, told People. The 76-year-old also underwent surgery for a benign tumour in the same part of her brain in 2011.
“Valerie has given so much joy, laughter and love to the world,” says Moore. “I join her fans and send much love and positive thoughts to her and her family during this difficult time.”
In January, Harper released her latest memoir, I, Rhoda.