Valerie Harper, TV star and Suffern native, has terminal brain cancer

Actress Valerie Harper attends NBC's taping of "Betty Actress Valerie Harper attends NBC's taping of "Betty White's 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America's Golden Girl" at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. on Jan. 8, 2012. Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Valerie Harper, a Suffern native who played Rhoda Morgenstern on television's "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spinoff, "Rhoda," has developed terminal brain cancer.

People magazine reported on its website Wednesday that the 73-year-old actress received the news Jan. 15. She has as little as three months to live, according to the report.

"I don't think of dying," Harper told the magazine in a cover interview. "I think of being here now."

Harper's character, Rhoda, was one of television's most beloved sidekicks during the 1970s. "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" ran on CBS from 1970 to 1977 and won 29 Emmy Awards. Harper, a regular on the show from 1970 to 1974, won three consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (1971-73).

The spinoff starring Harper, "Rhoda," ran from 1974 to 1978. Harper won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the show in 1975, her fourth and final Emmy.

Her TV credits also include the 1986-87 TV series "Valerie" and guest appearances on "The Love Boat," "Melrose Place," "The Office" and "Sex and the City."

Harper was born at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern on Aug. 22, 1939. Her family moved frequently because of her father's work as a salesman, and she attended schools in South Orange, N.J.; Pasadena, Calif.; Monroe, Mich.; Ashland, Ore.; and Jersey City.

She began her career as a dancer in New York City, appearing in the 1959 Broadway musical "Li'l Abner," according to her website, valerieharper.com.

Her memoir, "I Rhoda," was published in January.

The Associated Press was trying to reach a representative for Harper.

With The Associated Press

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