Entertainment | Nation

Valerie Harper, TV's 'Rhoda,' Reveals She Has Terminal Brain Cancer

NPR | March 6, 2013 7:10 a.m.

Contributed By:

Mark Memmott

Actress Valerie Harper, when she was "Rhoda," in the early 1970s.

Actress Valerie Harper, when she was "Rhoda," in the early 1970s.

CBS /Landov

Saying that she doesn’t think about dying, she thinks “of being here now,” actress Valerie Harper has revealed to People magazine that she has terminal brain cancer.

The 73-year-old TV icon, best known for her role in the 1970s as Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, said she got the diagnosis on Jan. 15 and that doctors say she has about three months left to live.

In 2009, Harper spoke at length about her career in an interview posted online by the Archive of American Television. She says she was reluctant to leave The Mary Tyler Moore Show for the Rhoda spinoff, and that it was Moore who convinced her to go.

“She said ‘you don’t want to be my sidekick all your life,’ ” Harper remembered. And if Rhoda didn’t work out, Moore advised, “you’ll move back to Minneapolis [where the Mooreshow was set] and I’ll have you back.”

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