Valerie Harper has brain cancer and may only have a few months to live, according to a March 5 report by MSN.com. Harper, 73, has been diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a condition which involves cancer spreading into the membrane around the brain.
Valerie Harper is best known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” from 1970 until 1974. She left the show to star in her own spinoff, “Rhoda,” which ran until 1978. These shows were two of the most popular sitcoms in the 1970s.
Valerie Harper previously battled lung cancer in 2009, and leptomeningeal carcinomatosis is frequently associated with relapse of cancer elsewhere in the body, according to eMedicine Medscape. It has a high rate of morbidity and mortality.
According to Hollywoodlife.com, Valerie Harper describes herself as a “lifelong non-smoker,” and she beat lung cancer. In typical self-deprecating “Rhoda Morgenstern” humor, she told People Magazine, “I’m well past my expiration date already.”