The famous actress Valerie Harper has passed away at 10:06 in the morning of August 30. She posted on her birthday, which was on August 22, that she had an amazing day on her 80th birthday and that she was “in good spirit.” The cause of her death was announced to be cancer, the disease she has been battling for a decade.
She was first diagnosed back in 2009 with terminal lung cancer. On March 6, 2013, she announced to the public her test results, which was called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. The cancer cells found in her lungs has spread to her spinal cord and unto her meninges, or membranes that surround the brain. The doctor gave her three months to live after her diagnosis. Since the disease is incurable, the only way she can slow the progress was undergoing chemotherapy.
Valerie Kathryn Harper was born in Suffern, New York. She was the daughter of Howard Donald Harper and Iva Mildred. She was the middle child between her brother Merrill and sister Leanne. Her parents got married in the beautiful province of Alberta, Canada, and soon enough, her mother settled in the US and trained as a nurse. She had a half-sister by the name of Virginia in her father’s second wife, Angela Posillico after her father divorced her mother in 1957.
Their family was constantly moving due to her father’s work. She studied in a variety of school, and when they finally returned to Oregon, she decided to go back to New York and study ballet. Her experience in life has gained her knowledge of how great her talent is in acting.
She based her character Rhoda Morgensterm as her Italian stepmom. Her ballet classes also paid off since she was able to dance in a Broadway musical ‘Wildcat,’ and participated as a contestant in the 17th season of the show called “Dancing with the Stars.”
She later got married in 1964 to an actor, Richard Schaal, but got a divorce later on. She then got married to a guy named Tony Cacciotti in 1987 and adopted a daughter named Cristina Harper. Tony has been a great husband to Valerie, and they have been together for more than 30 years. Tony was also the producer of a show where Valerie starred at titled “The Hogan Family.”
Valerie Harper was a four-time Emmy winner. A lot of people don’t know but her peak years started when she got a supporting role in her series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” which was from 1971 to 1974. She got nominated twice on Golden Globe Awards, three Emmy Awards, and a nomination as Supporting Actress in her comedy series in four years. On 1974 and 1975, she won one Golden Globes and Primetime Emmy for her show “Rhoda” where she took the main lead. The next four consecutive years was her being nominated back and forth in Golden Globes and Emmy for “Rhoda.”
One of the reasons why Valerie became an inspiration to a lot of people was because of her positive outlook in life. She has dealt with cancer for many years. Instead of wasting her time thinking of how unfortunate her situation is, she made sure she lived her life in its full potential, and without regret. She did say in one of her interviews, “We don’t know what’s around the corner. I think you just take each day and get the best out of it and do what you can and have fun.” That is such great insight from someone who experienced pain for a decade, and this is how we should live our life.
Her co-star on the show “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” Ed Asner has shared a picture with her on Twitter with a message for her passing. He shared how tragic it was for him and also to her family, friends, and fans that supported her throughout her journey. Though Valerie said before in her interview that she wasn’t scared to go and she is ready on whatever may happen. She even thinks that was the secret because she lived longer even after she was given by her doctor three months to live.
There are a lot of ideas for memorial services for a star like her. For sure, there will be a lot of funeral flowers when this memorial happens and even in her tombstone. It wouldn’t be a surprise since a lot of people loved her because of her personality and outlook in life.
Fortunately, Valerie Harper and her husband didn’t give up on life. A lot of people who are given three months to live by the doctors would have their lives shattered, especially to her career as an actress. You can’t guess when your life would end, and she proved everyone wrong in that area. She lived long and worked even with her condition. Her loving and supporting husband has helped her in her life decisions and which path to go through.