Stage Actor and TV Icon Valerie Harper Dies at 80

Tony Sokol Aug 31, 2019

Best known as Rhoda, Valerie Harper started as a dancer and never left the stage behind.

Valerie Harper, whose Rhoda Morgenstern character is an icon of television, died on Friday August 30, eight days after her 80th birthday.

"My dad has asked me to pass on this message," Harper’s daughter Cristina Cacciotti, confirmed on Twitter. “'My beautiful caring wife of nearly 40 years has passed away at 10:06 a.m., after years of fighting cancer. She will never, ever be forgotten. Rest In Peace, mia Valeria. -Anthony.'”

The Emmy winning actor was battling lung and brain cancer, according to Variety. When her brain cancer was first diagnosed in January 2013, Harper was told she had three months to live. While she was never cancer-free, she responded well enough to treatment to compete on Dancing with the Stars. Harper started in show business as a dancer, and her defining
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