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Actress Valerie Harper of The Mary Tyler Moore Show dies at 80

The Emmy-winning star played Rhoda Morgenstern in the popular TV show and in her own spin-off series.

Actress Valerie Harper of The Mary Tyler Moore Show dies at 80

Actress Valerie Harper, who played Rhoda Morgenstern, died at the age of 80. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Actress Valerie Harper, who won four Emmy awards playing a budding feminist who battled her insecurities with humour and sarcasm on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and her own sitcom, died on Friday (Aug 30). She was 80.

The actress played Rhoda Morgenstern on the popular TV show and in the spin-off series Rhoda.

The cause of her death was undisclosed, but the actress had battled cancer in her later years – in 2009, she beat lung cancer and in 2013, she was diagnosed with an incurable form of brain cancer. But she would end up outliving her co-star, Mary Tyler Moore, who had also died at the age of 80 in 2017.

Valerie Harper with Mary Tyler Moore and Cloris Leachman in final episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Harper began as a dancer and chorus girl on Broadway, before being signed on to play Mary Tyler Moore’s upstairs neighbour in 1970. Her character got her own show four years later, which ran until 1978. For playing Rhoda, Harper bagged four Emmy awards and a Golden Globe.

Back in 2013, after her brain cancer diagnosis, she also took part in Dancing With The Stars. In recent years, she would also take part as a voice actress in The Simpsons and American Dad.

Source: CNA/mm

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