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Valerie Harper of 'Mary Tyler Moore' has 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. Credit: Getty Images

Just a week after the death of '70s TV icon, Bonnie Franklin, this news: Valerie Harper has told People Magazine that she has "terminal brain cancer," and has three months to live.

In a few sparse quotes from the magazine's website, Harper, 73, says: "I don't think of dying, I think of being here now." Per the magazine, she has a condition called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. Harper was of course Rhoda Morgenstern from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (later her own hugely popular "Rhoda") and was one of the most beloved characters in sitcom history.

She is also an accomplished stage actress, as fans well know, and earned a Tony  nomination for her recent run in "Looped," about Tallulah Bankhead; there were indications by the way that all was not right with Harper, who had to pull out of the show before it went on national tour  because of illness a couple of months ago. (A non-smoker, she had earlier suffered from lung cancer in 2009.)

Meanwhile, check out this interview on "Good Morning America" from a couple of months ago; she was on the promotional circuit for her new book, "I, Rhoda." Here she speaks about a sudden bout of illness that made her feel numb and that she was awaiting test results.


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