Actress Valerie Harper was in the spotlight for years, so it makes sense that fans are wondering what happened to the star and more importantly, how she is doing today.
The actress is best known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on the beloved 1970s sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off series Rhoda. But since she’s kept somewhat of a low profile in recent years, fans are wondering what she’s been up to. Keep reading below to find out more about Valerie!
She never stopped acting.
The 78-year-old has kept a steady string of roles according to her IMDB page. She had a recurring role in some classic sitcoms — she starred as Laurel Peters on The Love Boat, she played Rita Stone on The Office, she had a role on Melrose Place as Mia Mancini, and most recently, she’s done a handful of voice-overs for characters on the long-running animated series The Simpsons. She also recently appeared in the short film My Mom and the Girl.
She is a cancer survivor.
She beat lung cancer in 2009, and in 2013, she also was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and was given only three months to live. But she is a fighter and she’s still going strong today — and back in 2015, she exclusively told Closer how she keeps her illness at bay.
“Every five minutes, every hour, every day, every year that you waste worrying about your cancer — you have forfeited time that you could have been alive having fun,” Valerie said.
In a new interview with People, Valerie revealed she’s still battling cancer. “I’m still here,” she said. “I still have cancer, but I’m okay and most of my days are good.”
“It’s a miracle she’s still here,” says her oncologist, Dr. Jeremy Rudnick. “Valerie developed this disease at a time when we keep coming up with stronger and better targeting drugs for her particular cancer. The longer we keep her alive the more options we have.”
Her husband is super supportive.
She also credited her husband, former personal trainer Tony Cacciotti, with supporting her and keeping her healthy.
Valerie Harper and her husband Tony Cacciotti.
“My husband is the best caregiver in the world,” she shared. “He makes me exercise. So many of us don’t. We think it’s food that matters the most, but exercise and food both matter.”
She added to People, “He does everything for me, drives me everywhere, makes sure I’m eating healthy, walking and lifting weights. Really, he’s the best nudge in the world.”
She recently lost her beloved friend, Mary Tyler Moore.
Mary, who starred alongside Valerie on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, passed away in January at 80 years old from pneumonia. In a statement obtained by People, Valerie opened up about what it was like losing her close friend.
“Last week, to prepare me, I was kindly warned by Mary Tyler Moore’s dear husband, Dr. Robert Levine, that she was in the very last stages of life,” Valerie said. “But still I cannot stop the emotions I’m experiencing since she was my acting colleague, my sister/soulmate, and above all, ONE HELL OF A GIRLFRIEND!”