Television icon Valerie Harper, best known as wise-cracking Rhoda on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” has died after a long bout with cancer, her family confirmed on Friday. She was 80 years old.
Harper, a native of Suffern, N.Y., began her career as a dancer at Radio City Music Hall, then transitioned into theater and improv comedy before ultimately rising to stardom as Rhoda Morgenstern on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," earning her a Golden Globe and four Emmys.
She got her own spinoff, titled "Rhoda," from 1974 to 1978, then starred in her own sitcom, "Valerie," from 1986 to 1987. She appeared regularly on television for more than 30 years, as well as in a dozen films.
Harper, who beat lung cancer in 2009, was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis in 2013. The disease is incurable, and Harper was reportedly told at the time she would only have months to live. However, she survived for six years thanks to her medical care.