Valerie Harper’s Incurable Diagnosis
At the Theatre with Audrey Linden
How do you give a diagnosis of “incurable” to someone, who for years has “cured” us with her fine comedy? Valerie Harper has given us the joy of laughter for years on television, first on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” and then on her own show, “Rhoda” and also “Valerie”? Norman Cousins said (and wrote a best-selling book), “Laughter Is the Best Medicine.” And, so to this truly wonderful trooper, Valerie Harper, we are all praying and pulling for you to be around to laugh with us and to give us more years of laughter.
Apparently, after beating lung cancer in 2009, though a non-smoker, the 73 year old Harper was diagnosed with this incurable brain cancer, a not funny word, leptomeningeal carcinomatosis in January during a hospital stay. The news was devastating to her, her family and all who love her. Harper recently went public and assured us she is still here, feels fine, and in her own indomitable way, is not giving up. Harper, whose doctors are at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, will get chemotherapy in the hope of pro-longing her life and being with those who love her. “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings.”
If thoughts, prayers, and Facebook posts can reach you, Valerie Harper, we love and support you in your fight. One never knows the power of the human spirit and what faith and love can accomplish. The good news is that the cancer in the cells surrounding her brain has not spread. And miracles do exist. Doctors do not believe in them, but we, your fans do. And we are praying for the miracle of remission.
I am sure along with good wishes. Harper is getting all sorts of remedies and cures from her fans. Dr. Bernie Siegel, who wrote, “Love, Medicine, And Miracle” and has wonderful visualization tapes. He has a group called Exceptional Cancer Patients and has had patients who beat their diagnosis. We pray you beat the diagnosis.
Harper, in the clips I have seen when she went public, shows acceptance and such courage. She said she wanted to go public while she was able. She said since this cancer affects the brain. She wanted to speak out while she is not experiencing cognitive issues.
Granted, Harper has had a good life with a long and active career and a long and happy marriage. Ms. Harper, you have endured and we hope you continue to do so. Harper got her start as a dancer on Broadway in “Lil Abner”, “Wildcat” starring Lucille Ball, “Take Me Along” starring Jackie Gleason, “Subways Are for Sleeping”, etc. Harper was introduced to improvisation in Second City by her roommate, actress Arlene Golonka, who also introduced Harper to her husband, Richard Schaal. (Harper divorced in 1978 and married Tong Cacciotti in 1987. They have one daughter). I had the pleasure of seeing both Valerie Harper and Richard Schaal in an improv show, “Paul Sills Story Theatre” (Viola Spolin Theatre Games) when I lived in New York. I am sure I was influenced by their performances to get into improv later. They were having such fun.
We also remember Harper as Golda Mier in “Golda’s Balcony”, her one woman show. Who could forget that stellar and moving performance? She appeared as Tallulah Bankhead in Matthew Lombardo’s “Looped” and toured in the Pasadena Playhouse, The Arena Stage in Washington, and at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre in New York.
Harper has had an illustrious career in theatre, television, and in film. Her credits are too numerous to list. And, she will continue to act while she is able. Our collective thoughts are with you. You have given your audiences so much. It is our turn to give back to you with our thoughts and prayers.
Audrey Linden is a writer, actress and singer. She can be seen in a long-running “Associated Tax Resolution” commercial, two “Little Caesars” spots, a “Teva International Pharmaceutical” short, Gene Simmons’ “Family Jewels,” “America’s Court with Judge Ross,” VHS “Tough Love 2,”etc.
Audrey teaches ON CAMERA COMMERCIAL WORKSHOPS through the City of Beverly Hills, Community Services. To register, call 310-285-6850-course # 18014. Her classes are held at 241 Moreno Dr. B.H. 90212. The next class starts April 8th for Improvisation Comedy and April 11th for On Camera Commercials. For more information, contact Audrey at email@example.com
Both classes are for 8 weeks @ $118 from 6:45-9:15 PM ($5 materials fee payable to instructor first night).