In the hit 1970’s show “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spinoff, “Rhoda,” Valerie Harper, who played Rhoda, filling the role of spunky best friend to Mary Richards, has just revealed that she has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. At 73 years old, Harper was rushed to the hospital in mid-January after suffering from stroke-like symptoms.
“It was if I had Novocain. I thought what the heck is happening to me?” Harper said of the ordeal only a few days later on “Good Morning America.”
On the morning show she reported that she was feeling great while awaiting her test results. In this week’s People (out today), Harper disclosed that the test results came back with tragic news. Doctors have said that she has what is known as leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare condition that occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain. With no other recourses left, she was also told that she has only three months left to live.
This is not the first time Harper has had to battle cancer. In 2009 she fought lung cancer and was able to recover, continuing to star in the Broadway play “Looped” at the time.
In the face of this devastating prognosis, Harper has somehow been able to stay grounded and positive. “I don’t think of dying,” she told People. “I think of being here now.”