Suffern-born actress Valerie Harper, best known for playing the zany Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and the spin-off series “Rhoda,” is receiving an outpouring of love and support today after revealing that she is battling terminal brain cancer.
The actress, who says she was diagnosed with the rare condition leptomeningeal carcinomatosis in January, might have just three months to live, doctors say.
Harper, a lung cancer survivor, tells People magazine she was initially “stunned” by the diagnosis. “And in the next minute I thought, ‘This could draw more attention to cancer research,’”she said. “I think there’s an opportunity to help people.”
Ed Asner, Harper’s costar on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” released the following statement Wednesday:
“Valerie Harper is a century plan and I have come to know her much better in my ladder 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.”
Larry King, one of the many stars to wish Harper well on Twitter, tweeted “I’ve known Valerie Harper for years- enjoyed intv’ing her & being in her company-wishing her strength & good thoughts.”
Harper was born in Suffern in 1939, but she has been quoted as saying she considers herself a “Jersey Girl” after moving to New Jersey as a child.
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