Valerie Harper, the actress known for her roles in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda," has died one week after her 80th birthday.
Harper's family confirmed to KABC-TV that the actress died shortly after 10 a.m. Friday.
#BREAKING Actress Valerie Harper, known for 'Rhoda," 'Mary Tyler Moore Show," dies at 80, family sayshttps://t.co/ker20tZqPf— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) August 30, 2019
Harper's cause of death was not immediately known but she had battled leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, lung cancer and brain cancer in recent years, People Magazine reported.
Harper began working as a Broadway actress in 1956, but rose to fame when playing the character Rhoda Morganstern on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" from 1970 to 1977. Her character got her own spin-off, "Rhoda," which ran from 1974 to 1978.
Between "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda," Harper won four Emmys and one Golden Globe, according to KABC-TV.
Ed Asner, who costarred with Harper on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," tweeted a tribute to her Friday.
REST IN PEACE: Actress Valerie Harper, who made us laugh for decades on “Rhoda” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” has died at the age of 80. Our hearts go out to her friends, family and fans during this tragic time 💔 You will be missed https://t.co/ker20tZqPf pic.twitter.com/tHEf26V4Qs— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) August 30, 2019
Starting in 1986, Harper starred in the shortlived NBC sitcom, "Valerie."
Harper continued working on stage and screen well into her '70s. In 2010 she was nominated for her performance in the Broadway comedy "Looped," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Harper announced in 2013 that she had been diagnosed with eptomeningeal carcinomatosis and was originally given three months to live, People Magazine reported.
The resilient actress continued working despite the diagnosis. She appeared as a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars" in 2013. In 2017, she played a mother facing an Alzheimers diagnosis in the short film, "My Mom and the Girl," and did voice work for "American Dad!" and "The Simpsons," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Harper is survived by her husband, Tony Cacciotti, and daughter Cristina.
About the Author