The four-time Emmy winner, who played TV's Rhoda Morgenstern, passed far after a fight with cancer.

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Valerie Harper, that played Rhoda top top 'The mary Tyler Moore Show,' dies at 80

Aug. 31, 201902:00
Valerie Harper, who scored guffaws, stole hearts and also busted TV taboos together the brash, self-deprecating Rhoda Morgenstern ~ above back-to-back fight sitcoms in the 1970s, has died.

Longtime family members friend Dan Watt shown Harper passed away Friday. She had actually been battling cancer because that years, and also her husband said newly he had actually been recommend to placed her in hospice care. She to be 80.

Actress Valerie Harper together her standard TV personality Rhoda Morgenstern, 1975.Getty Images

Cristina Cacciotti, Harper"s daughter with husband Tony Cacciotti, tweeted: "My dad has asked me to pass on this message: "My beautiful caring mam of practically 40 years has passed away at 10:06am, after year of fighting cancer. She will never, ever be forgotten. Rest In Peace, mia Valeria. -Anthony.""

Ed Asner, Harper"s co-star top top "The mar Tyler Moore Show," also tweeted his condolences:

A beautiful woman, a exorbitant actress, a great friend and also with balls bigger than mine. She brilliance explode through and also shined its light upon every one of us. Goodnight beautiful. I’ll view you soon.

— Ed Asner (

Harper to be a breakout star on "The mar Tyler Moore Show," then the command of her own series, "Rhoda."

She won three consecutive Emmys (1971-73) as supporting actress on "The mar Tyler Moore Show" and another for impressive lead actress for "Rhoda," which ran native 1974-78. Beyond awards, she was immortalized — and typecast — because that playing among television"s many beloved characters, a finest friend the equal of Ethel Mertz and Ed Norton in TV"s sidekick pantheon.

The actors of "The mar Tyler Moore Show": (back row left come right) Valerie Harper together Rhoda Morgenstern, Ed Asner together Lou Grant, Cloris Leachman together Phyllis Lindstrom, (front row, left to right) Gavin McLeod as Murray Slaughter, mary Tyler Moore as mar Richards, and Ted Knight as Ted Baxter, 1972. CBS via Getty Images

Fans had actually long feared the news of she passing. In 2013, she an initial revealed the she had actually been diagnosed with mind cancer and had been told by her medical professionals she had as tiny as 3 months come live. Some responded as if a family members member were in peril.

But she refuse to despair. "I"m no dying until I do," Harper stated in one interview top top "I promise ns won"t." Harper did outlive her well known co-star: mary Tyler Moore died in January 2017. Ed Asner, Cloris Leachman and also Betty White are amongst the former actors members who endure her.

In current years, Harper"s various other appearances contained "American Dad!" ""The Simpsons" and also "Two broke Girls."

Valerie Harper and also husband actor Tony Cacciotti.Barry King / FilmMagic

Harper was a chorus dancer top top Broadway as a teen prior to moving right into comedy and also improv when, in 1970, she auditioned because that the component of a Bronx-born Jewish girl that would be a neighbor and pal that Minneapolis news producer mar Richards on a new sitcom because that CBS.

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It appeared a long shot because that the young, unknown actress. Together she recalled, "I"m no Jewish, no from new York, and I have a tiny shiksa nose." and also she had almost no TV experience.

But Harper, that arrived for she audition some 20 pounds overweight, may have clinched the role when she blurted out in admiration come the show"s tall, slender star: "Look at you in white trousers without a long jacket to cover her behind!"

Alexander Kacala is a reporter and also editor at Digital and NBC OUT. That loves writing around pop culture, trending topics, LGBTQ issues, style and all points drag. His favourite celebrity profiles include Cher — who stated their interview was one of the most interesting of she career — and also Kylie Minogue, Candice Bergen, Patti Smith and also RuPaul. That is based in brand-new York City and also his favorite film is “Pretty Woman.”