Valerie Harper joins 'Dancing With the Stars' cast, report says
Beloved TV star Valerie Harper, immortalized as Rhoda Morgenstern on the "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," continues to defy a prognosis of terminal brain cancer with upcoming projects that reportedly now include "Dancing With the Stars."
TMZ.com said Wednesday that Harper, 74, and "Dancing" professional dancer Tristan MacManus began rehearsals for the physically demanding show Monday. The site said the actress was doing very well and was self-sufficient and requiring no special assistance. Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Leah Remini and "Glee's" Amber Riley will also appear on the dance competition series, according to the site.
Harper's agent did not respond to Newsday's request for comment. ABC, which traditionally declines to confirm "DWTS" casting reports, is scheduled to announce the show's season 17 competitors on "Good Morning America" Wednesday.
Coincidentally that night, Harper will appear with "Mary Tyler Moore" co-stars Moore, Cloris Leachman, Georgia Engel and Betty White on TV Land's "Hot in Cleveland," the network announced on Tuesday.
Harper also recently completed filming a role as the owner of a bed-and-breakfast in the TV-movie "The Town That Came A-Courtin'," which will air in January on the cable channel Up, originally the Gospel Music Channel.
Harper was diagnosed in January with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare form of cancer in which malignant cells invade the meninges, the three fluid-filled membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, and was put on a course of chemotherapy. The median survival rate with treatment is three to six months, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.