Valerie Harper has died at age 80. The Emmy winning actress had a long storied career in television that also included a stint as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in the fall of 2013. She had already been diagnosed with brain cancer, but she competed, alongside pro dancer Tristan MacManus, nevertheless. Valerie and Tristan were the third couple eliminated on season 17. Glee actress, Amber Riley with Derek Hough went on to win the season.
Read about Valerie’s 50+ year television career in the Associated Press obituary.
Valerie Harper, who scored guffaws, stole hearts and busted TV taboos as the brash, self-deprecating Rhoda Morgenstern on back-to-back hit sitcoms in the 1970s, has died.
Longtime family friend Dan Watt confirmed Harper died Friday, adding the family wasn’t immediately releasing any further details. She had been battling cancer for years, and her husband said recently he had been advised to put her in hospice care.
Harper was a breakout star on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” then the lead of her own series, “Rhoda.” She was 80.
Fans had long feared the news of her passing. In 2013, she first revealed that she had been diagnosed with brain cancer and had been told by her doctors she had as little as three months to live. Some responded as if a family member were in peril.
A GoFundMe was opened for Valerie by her husband and a friend on July 8. Husband Tony Cacciotti posted a message:
I have been told by doctors to put Val in Hospice care and I can’t [because of our 40 years of shared commitment to each other] and I won’t because of the amazing good deeds she has graced us with while she’s been here on earth.
We will continue going forward as long as the powers above allow us, I will do my very best in making Val as comfortable as possible.
The campaign raised over $66,000. Rest in peace, Valerie.