Valerie Harper Dead at 80

The 'Mary Tyler Moore Show,' 'Rhoda' actress fought a long battle with cancer
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2019 6:00 AM CDT
Valerie Harper Dead at 80
In this Sept. 16, 1988 file photo, actress Valerie Harper, left, and her husband, Tony Cacciotti, hug and smile after a jury decided in her favor against Lorimar Telepictures Corp. in a dispute that ended her role in the "Valerie" television series, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

Valerie Harper, who played the beloved character Rhoda Morgenstern on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and later Rhoda, died Friday at age 80, her husband Tony Cacciotti said. "My dad has asked me to pass on this message," the couple's daughter, Cristina Cacciotti , posted on Twitter. "My beautiful caring wife of nearly 40 years has passed away at 10:06am, after years of fighting cancer. She will never, ever be forgotten. Rest In Peace, mia Valeria."

Harper, who won four Emmys and also had her own show, Valerie, on NBC in the 1980s, had been battling lung cancer since 2009 and brain cancer since 2013, NBC News reports. In 2013, doctors gave her just three months to live, but she kept beating the odds, People reports. And she stayed in the spotlight in an attempt to bring awareness to cancer research, even competing on Dancing With the Stars in 2014. (A GoFundMe campaign was set up for Harper last month.)

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