Yesterday, BWW reported the sad news that Broadway and TV veteran Valerie Harper has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. According to a report on People.com, the actress received the tragic news on January 15th and has as little as three months to live. The 73-year-old is best known to millions of fans as quirky New Yorker 'Rhoda Morgenstern' on TV's "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spinoff, "Rhoda."
The brave actress told People magazine, "I don't think of dying. I think of being here now."
Since then, former co-stars haved shared their support and good wishes to their long-time friend including Mary Tyler Moore, who told People that Harper had shared the news of her diagnosis earlier this week and that she is, "absolutely devastated" She adds, "Valerie has given so much joy, laughter and love to the world."
Mary Tyler Moore Show co-star and Broadway actor Ed Asner commented in a statement obtained by Entertainment Tonight, "Valerie Harper is a century plan and I have come to know her much better in my latter years and have every confidence in the world that she will shock the hell out of us and survive to keep functioning as the great talent and human that she is."
Another Mary Tyler Moore Show alum, Betty White, is quoted by Entertainment Tonight as saying, "Here I go wheezing on at 91 years old and this beautiful, beautiful lady is facing something far too soon. We all love her so much, and we are going to make the most of every second we can."
Fellow Mary Tyler Moore Show cast member Cloris Leachman wrote on Facebook, "I love and adore Valerie Harper and have every confidence that she is dealing with this very difficult information in the best way possible. She's one smart lady and I know she will handle her illness as she has handled everything else in her life...with intelligence, optimism and grace."
Jason Bateman, who played one of Harper's sons on the 1980s sitcom Valerie, tells Entertainment Tonight in a statement, "Valerie is someone that I've learned a great deal from. Not just comedically but also in her ability to put whomever approached her, or worked with her, completely at ease with a laugh and an energy that's intoxicating. My thoughts and love go out to her and her family."