Valerie Harper, TV's Rhoda, Dead at 80

Valerie Harper

TV veteran Valerie Harper, who starred as Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as well as her own self-titled spinoff, has died at the age of 80, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In March 2013, Harper revealed that she had been diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare and typically incurable form of cancer; at the time, she said doctors had given her as little as three months to live.

As recently as April 2014, Harper said she was “absolutely cancer-free,” having responded well to treatment, but this May she said that while she was “feeling good,” she was “ready to go,” having defied the odds for so long.

In her career, Harper amassed four total Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Mary Tyler Moore‘s best friend Rhoda, including once as the star of her own spinoff (which also netted her a Golden Globe).

Eight years after Rhoda‘s run, Harper fronted the NBC family sitcom Valerie, which after Season 2 changed its name to Valerie’s Family and then The Hogan Family, when the actress famously exited the series. She then co-starred on the CBS sitcoms City (1990) and The Office (1995).

Competing in the fall 2013 edition of Dancing With the Stars, Harper (paired with pro Tristan MacManus) was third to be sent home, in the season that was won by Amber Riley.

Harper’s most recent TV appearances included 2 Broke Girls, Melissa & Joey, Hot in Cleveland and Drop Dead Diva.

Following the news of her death, Harper’s Mary Tyler Moore co-star Ed Asner paid tribute to her on Twitter:

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