Valerie Harper Passes Away At 80

Four-time Emmy Award-winner Valerie Harper has died at age 80 after a long battle with cancer.

Last month, her family began a GoFundMe campaign to help with medical expenses. The fundraiser garnered over $66,000 before ending.

Her husband Tony Cacciotti reached out to fans via social media:

I have been told by doctors to put Val in Hospice care and I can’t [because of our 40 years of shared commitment to each other] and I won’t because of the amazing good deeds she has graced us with while she’s been here on earth. We will continue going forward as long as the powers above allow us, I will do my very best in making Val as comfortable as possible.

The venerable actress was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009, and then in 2013 with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. She was told she wouldn’t live past three months, but chemotherapy helped her to rally.

Harper went back to work, even appearing in the 2015 edition of Dancing with the Stars.

Her early career including bit parts in Broadway musicals and films, but she will forever be remembered as one of the great sidekicks of all time, Mary Tyler Moore’s bestie, Rhoda Morgenstern, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The role, which would eventually be spun off to her own series, Rhoda, garnered her a Golden Globe Award and four Emmys.

She was also nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as Hollywood legend Tallulah Bankhead in Looped (2010).

She is survived by her husband and their adopted daughter.

Click over to Boy Culture where Matt Rettenmund has much more on Harper’s long and celebrated career.