Valerie Harper—whose greatest fame came with her TV character of Rhoda taped in Studio City—announced Wednesday that she has incurable rare brain cancer, and her local celebrity friends are rallying around her.
Harper, 73, revealed to People magazine that she has leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare case of brain cancer, and she may have only three months to live. “Valerie Harper’s Brave Goodbye” reads the cover of the latest People magazine.
Harper rose to stardom (and four Emmys) for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern, filmed at the CBS Radford Studios when it was the in the 1970s.
In 1974, on Stage 14 on the Studio City lot, she began taping her own spin-off Rhoda at one point set a TV-watching record with her television wedding. (The studio was inundated with wedding gifts sent by fans for the fictional couple.)
Mary Tyler Moore lived in Studio City during the filming of the show, as did Nancy Walker, who played Rhoda’s mom. Ed Asner, who played Lou Grant on the series (and taped his drama spin-off of the same name at the lot), still lives in Studio City.
Asner said to "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."
Betty White, who works on the Studio City lot on the show Hot in Cleveland, told E.T. "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."
Cloris Leachman, who taped her spin-off Phyllis on the lot next to Rhoda, wrote on Twitter that, "My longtime friendship w/ @ValerieHarper has been 1 of the gr8est gifts of my life. I'm here 4 any/everything she may need one day at a time."
In the past few years, Harper attended the Sportsmen’s Lodge where Asner was being honored by the Pioneer Broadcasters.
See photos of Harper in the photo gallery above, and please offer your comments below.