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Valerie Harper exits 'Dancing with the Stars'

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. (Credit: Getty Images)

TV icon Valerie Harper, who announced in March she had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, became the third contestant eliminated on the 17th season of "Dancing With the Stars."

"It has been absolutely wonderful," Harper, 74, said on air Monday night after being told she and dance partner Tristan MacManus were being cut. "Completely unique -- like nothing else in the world that you would ever do. And it was an opportunity for me to carry a message to folks, not just with cancer, but with whatever challenge . . . carry on, carry on."

Afterward, Harper -- who won four Emmy Awards for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on the classic TV comedy "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" -- told Entertainment Weekly: "I just feel I'm a human being that's very lucky to be with these people. The stature of them as giving, funny, supportive, light, intense, committed to doing a good job, all those great qualities -- it's so palpable in these kids. I just love 'em all."

Last month, Harper revealed that treatment for her 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 -- was going well and she might be close to remission.

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Here's a good clip from Monday night:

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