Valerie Kathryn Harper began her career as a dancer on Broadway, making her debut in the musical Take Me Along in 1959.
Valerie has died after a long battle with cancer, her daughter Cristina Cacciotti and family friend Deanna Buskey confirmed to CNN. She was 80.
Buskey, a friend of the family for more than 20 years, said the family was not "providing details at this time."
Posted by Valerie Harper on Friday, May 28, 2010
She is perhaps best remembered for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off Rhoda in the 1970s. She received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and later received the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on Rhoda.
I never imagined the headscarf look would become so iconic when I decided Rhoda was the type of woman to wear one! #ThrowbackThursday #TBT #LiveLifeFullyPosted by Valerie Harper on Thursday, March 3, 2016
From 1986 to 1987 she graced our screens as Valerie Hogan on the sitcom Valerie. Her most notable film appearances include roles in Freebie and the Bean and Chapter Two, both of which earned her Golden Globe Award nominations.
Harper returned to stage work in her later career, appearing in several Broadway productions. In 2010, she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as Tallulah Bankhead in the play Looped.
Former cast members have taken to social media to share their memories and offer sympathy.
A beautiful woman, a wonderful actress, a great friend and with balls bigger than mine. Her brilliance burst through and shined its light upon all of us. Goodnight beautiful. I’ll see you soon. pic.twitter.com/FicADkSAzS— Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) August 30, 2019
She lit up the ballroom ❤️ #RIP pic.twitter.com/QVKFgswCNw— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) August 31, 2019
Valerie Harper passed away. She was a wonderful actress and brought me so much joy. She will be missed rip❤️— Cyndi Lauper (@cyndilauper) August 30, 2019
Thank you brilliant Valerie- you gave us so much!!💔 RIP Valerie Harper pic.twitter.com/URF0SuzCux— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) August 30, 2019
Certain people become a part of our lives—and a part of our families. #ValerieHarper was one of those precious few. She was part of an ensemble but always had a comedic spark all her own. We were lucky to have her. pic.twitter.com/3zLuB6Dt1i— Leonard Maltin (@leonardmaltin) August 30, 2019
Loved her. Mary always needed her Rhoda. RIP #ValerieHarper pic.twitter.com/nmgUPp2jqD— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) August 30, 2019
Harper battled lung cancer and was subsequently diagnosed with another form of cancer, leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, in 2013. Her family recently started a GoFundMe page to help with the cost of her treatments.
May she rest peacefully.