‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ actress Valerie Harper dies at 80

Actress Valerie Harper has died at the age of 80 after a 10-year battle with cancer. Her family confirmed to ABC Los Angeles that she passed away Friday morning.

The cause of death has not been officially confirmed at this time, but is most likely due to her long battle with a rare form of cancer.

Accomplished Career

Valerie Harper was best known for her role as “Rhoda” in the “Mary Tyler Moore” show. She went on to star in a spin-off titled “Rhoda.”

She won multiple major awards for her work in both of those shows. She also made many guest appearances in shows such as “Melrose Place,” “Sex in the City,” “The Simpsons,” and “That ’70s Show.”

Her first encounter with cancer came in 2009. Then in 2012, she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. In spite of her dire situation, she continued to live life to the absolute fullest.

After she was diagnosed she competed on “Dancing With The Stars.” All this was part of her fight to continue living her life even with a terminal illness.

In an interview with People, she described her outlook on life. “Maybe because I’m working or I’m talking about cancer in a positive way. I think that might have something to do with it.”

Harper said she wanted to stay positive and to help others. “When I wake up in the morning I don’t say ‘Oh, I have cancer. I say ‘Another day. How you feeling? Good? Good.”

Leaving a Good Mark

Harper’s inspirational attitude and fight with cancer surely should be admired. Hopefully, many who have had similar struggles have been inspired by her zest for life.

Dozens of stars rallied to pay tribute to Harper’s life, tweeting stories and memories.

“That 70’s Show” star Topher Grace said, “I was so sad to hear that the amazing Valerie Harper passed away. ‘Aunt Paula’ was as wonderful to work with as she was funny. My best to her family.”

Valerie Harper didn’t just leave family and loved ones behind. She also left her story for others to look to. Her hard work in her career and positive attitude in the face of a devastating life change is an inspiration to us all.

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