When ABC news asked Valerie Harper why she wanted to do the physically challenging reality show “Dancing With the Stars” after her terminal brain cancer diagnosis, the TV star, responded, “Don’t die until you’re dead!”
Here’s a look at her most recent performance:
We bid farewell to the courageous Harper, who was voted off of the reality show after a less than stellar try at a Viennese Waltz. The 74-year-old was the third contestant to be eliminated from the show, but Harper, has no regrets. She told “The Dancing With the Stars” audience after her elimination, “It has been absolutely wonderful. Completely unique, nothing else like in the world that you would ever do. And it was an opportunity for me to carry a message to folks, not just with cancer, but with whatever challenge. Carry on, carry on.”
Harper is no stranger to dancing. She began her career as a dancer at Radio City Music Hall. She also danced as a chorus girl on Broadway. The stage and screen star transitioned into acting and cut her comedic teeth with the famous Second City Comedy Troupe in Chicago. She got her big career break in 1970 when she was cast as Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Harper went on to win four Emmy Awards playing opposite Moore’s girl-next-store type. Rhoda was Moore’s best friend and tell-it-like-it-is sidekick. The character became so iconic that Harper was given her own spinoff, simply titled, “Rhoda.”
Harper was initially told by doctors that she had just three to six months to live following her diagnosis of Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis, a rare cancer that affects the brain and spinal cord. But the survivor is eight months out and Harper has stated that the cancer may be close to remission.
The Twitter World showed Harper some love after her elimination:
@CherylBurke @Life_and_Style @ValerieHarper @snooki @ElizBerkley Classy,courageous and just a all around sweet soul ♥♥♥
— Kathy Smith (@kraftykatrockin) October 9, 2013
@CherylBurke @Life_and_Style @ValerieHarper Watched Valerie years ago and she always made me smile and laugh on her shows! Love her!
— Lori Gordon (@asdipfla) October 9, 2013
#DWTS @ValerieHarper You r an example of what life should be/courageous, loving. So sad 2 c u go. Been a joy 2 have u on @DancingABC.
— Linda Dano (@LindaDano) October 8, 2013
Image via Facebook