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Valerie Harper released from hospital

Actress and cancer survivor Valerie Harper, testifies before

Actress and cancer survivor Valerie Harper, testifies before a Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing to examine the fight against cancer on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 7, 2014. Credit: AP

TV icon Valerie Harper was discharged from a hospital in Maine Thursday after being taken by ambulance Wednesday night from a theater in which she was performing.

Initial accounts saying that the 75-year-old actress had been found unconscious backstage were incorrect, a representative for the Ogunquit Playhouse, where Harper was appearing in the George Gerhwin musical "Nice Work If You Can Get It," told "Access Hollywood."

"Entertainment Tonight" had reported that the fire department serving Ogunquit, Maine, received a call at 8:56 p.m. Wednesday from the playhouse, and that it transported Harper to York Hospital in nearby York, Maine. About 9:40 p.m., the musical's artistic director told the audience that the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda" star had become ill and could not perform. He said, "She wants all of you to know after some fluids and rest she hopes to be right back here on stage later this week."

Bradford T. Kenney, the Playhouse's executive artistic director, said in a statement Thursday that Harper "was taken to a local hospital as a precaution before her July 29 evening performance . . . after reporting that she was not feeling well. She is resting comfortably and will remain in the hospital for observation for the time being. . . . The audiences and all of us here at the Playhouse are greatly enjoying our time with Valerie here in Ogunquit, and we are encouraged that she is feeling better."

York Hospital confirmed in a later statement that Harper had been discharged.

Harper in early 2013 had been diagnosed 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. Though given as little as three months to live, she underwent chemotherapy and in June 2013 her doctor declared she was "pretty close to a remission."

The actress, who earned a Tony Award nomination for her starring role as Tallulah Bankhead in the Broadway seriocomedy "Looped" in 2010, appears as Millicent Winter in the second act of "Nice Work If You Can Get It," in which she is scheduled to perform through Aug. 15. Fellow TV icon Sally Struthers also stars, as Duchess Estonia Dulworth.

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