Valerie Harper

Dancing With The Stars Kicks Off 17th Season: Valerie Harper Wows!

The new season of “Dancing with the Stars” got under way on Monday night with a fresh crop of celebs and some very high scores.

“Glee” star Amber Riley and partner Derek Hough wowed the judges with their cha-cha and earned the night’s top marks — three nines, for a combined score 27 out of a possible 30.

Bruno Tonioli called Riley the “tigress of season 17,” while Len Goodman professed, “I’m palpitating, perspirating and flatulating.”

Former “High School Musical” star Corbin Bleu also made a smashing debut, earning a trio of eights for his contemporary routine with Karina Smirnoff. “Saved by the Bell” star Elizabeth Berkley earned the same score for her contemporary routine with Val Chmerkovskiy. Read more at ABC News


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Valerie Harper To Guest Star On Hot In Cleveland

Valerie Harper is making the most of her remaining time. The actress, who recently revealed she is suffering from terminal brain cancer and may have as little as 3 months left to live, is reportedly reuniting with her Mary Tyler Moore Show co-stars for an upcoming episode of TV Land’s hit show Hot In Cleveland. Hot In Cleveland stars Mary Tyler Moore Show alums Betty White and Georgia Engel.

An insider tells People magazine Harper will be joined by Mary Tyler Moore and Cloris Leachmann for the guest appearance. “The cast is really excited to have Valerie guest star. They feel she is a true icon, and they are touched by her story,” the source says.

Deadline.com reports the episode will involve the ladies reuniting their bowling team, GLOB: The Gorgeous Ladies of Bowling. Filming will begin on April 5. Harper, 73, has not commented.

Harper is suffering from leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, or cancer in the fluid-filled membrane that surrounds the brain. “This is a really complicated condition. The spinal fluid is a collection of fluid that’s being circulated [through the brain] kind of like a sink. The fluid itself is growing cancer cells so they are multiplying in there. Those cells start to coat the brain,” explained Harper’s neuro-oncologist, Dr. Jeremy Rudnick.

The actress is undergoing chemotherapy to slow down the disease. “I don’t think of dying,” Harper told People earlier this month. “I think of being here now.”

Valerie Harper: ‘Brain Cancer Is Not A Death Sentence’

Veteran actress Valerie Harper is refusing to accept her brain cancer diagnosis as a “death sentence” and is “more than hopeful” she will overcome her latest battle against the disease.

The former Mary Tyler Moore Show star, who previously survived a tumor in her lung, has been warned she could have just three months to live after learning she has a rare form of terminal brain cancer, but she is determined to put up a fight until the very end.

Harper admits the seriousness of her health crisis only hit her when she realized there was no cure for leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a condition that occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain.

She tells the Today Show, “Incurable’s a tough word. So is ‘terminal’. But he (the doctor) then said, ‘It could be a week, you could have a seizure; it could be three months, it could be several years. I have people with this disease that (sic) have lived much longer than the prognosis.'”

The 73 year old has even taken to talking to her cancer cells in a bid to stay alive: “I talk to them, I do. I say, ‘Listen to me little guys. You can live if you don’t kill me.’ Why not?”

Harper, who went public with her health battle earlier this month, has surprised her fans and friends with her bright demeanour and positive attitude towards her future and she insists on continuing to live her life as normally as possible.

She says, “A lot of folks were calling, ‘Can I come by the house? Are you in a wheelchair?’ because they hear it as this death sentence, which it may well be but I’m not dying ’til I do. I promise I won’t… (I’m) more than hopeful… I have an intention to live each day fully.”

However, there is one prospect which brings her to tears – the thought of never seeing her husband Tony Cacciotti’s face again.

She adds, “He’s a gorgeous guy. I always knew that, it was part of falling in love with him. He’s wonderful.”

Mary Tyler Moore Star Valerie Harper Reveals Terminal Cancer Diagnosis

Valerie Harper has just months left to live. The actress, who is perhaps best known for playing Rhoda on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, has revealed to People magazine she was diagnosed last month with a rare type of terminal brain cancer.

“I was stunned,” she says of receiving the devastating news in mid January. “And in the next minute I thought, ‘This could draw more attention to cancer research.’ I think there’s an opportunity to help people.”

Harper, 73, is suffering from leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, or cancer in the fluid-filled membrane that surrounds the brain. “This is a really complicated condition. The spinal fluid is a collection of fluid that’s being circulated [through the brain] kind of like a sink. The fluid itself is growing cancer cells so they are multiplying in there. Those cells start to coat the brain,” explains Harper’s neuro-oncologist, Dr. Jeremy Rudnick.

The condition is very difficult to treat and doctors estimate Harper has as little as 3 months left to live. She is undergoing chemotherapy to slow down the disease. “I don’t think of dying,” Harper tells People. “I think of being here now.”

According to Dr. Rudnick, early symptoms of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis include blurry vision, severe headaches, seizures and “a belt-like sensation” in the lower torso. Harper, who battled lung cancer in 2009, experienced that sensation last August, but tests yielded no clues to her condition. She was diagnosed on January 15 when numbness in her jaw lead to a spinal tap.

Harper appeared in 90 episodes of Mary Tyler Moore from 1970 to 1979 and starred on the spinoff Rhoda from 1974 to 1978. She later starred on one season of Valerie, which was later known as The Hogan Family. Harper starred in numerous TV movies and made appearances on TV shows like Touched by an Angel, Melrose Place, Sex and the City, That 70s Show, Less Than Perfect, Desperate Housewives, Drop Dead Diva, and most recently The Simpsons.

Mary Tyler Moore Honored With 2011 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award

Renowned actress, producer and humanitarian Mary Tyler Moore will receive Screen Actors Guild (SAG)’s most prestigious accolade – the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. Moore created a new paradigm for female leads in television, won top honors for her courageous performances in film, television and on stage, produced some of the most lauded television programs of all time, and for thirty years, has served as a tireless advocate giving hope to all those afflicted with Type 1 diabetes.
Moore will be presented the Award, given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®, which premieres live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT and 5 p.m. PT.
In making today’s announcement, Screen Actors Guild National President Ken Howard said, “Mary Tyler Moore won our hearts as Laura Petrie and Mary Richards, our respect as her production company became synonymous with quality television, our awe as she tackled difficult subject matter in film and on Broadway, and our admiration she turned her public recognition into a catalyst to draw attention to critical and deeply personal health and social issues.  She truly embodies the spirit behind SAG’s Life Achievement Award, and we are honored to proclaim her as its 48th recipient.”
Holder of seven Emmys®, a Tony® and an Academy Award® nomination, among numerous industry and philanthropic accolades, Mary Tyler Moore first rose to prominence when she was cast at 23 as Dick Van Dyke’s wife in his eponymous sitcom, based loosely on the experiences of comedy writer Carl Reiner. Smart, feisty and down-to-earth in capri pants and fashionable tops, Moore’s Laura Petrie was new kind of television wife and mother. The audiences loved her and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded her two Emmys and a nomination during the show’s five-year run.
Following “The Dick Van Dyke Show’s” successful run, Moore combined her acting, singing and dancing talents in 1967 as Julie Andrew’s co-star in the 1920’s film musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” She was Elvis Presley’s final leading lady in 1969’s “Change of Habit” and the same year made her television movie debut in the drama “Run A Crooked Mile.”
When CBS beckoned with the offer to develop her own television series, Moore formed a production company, MTM, with her then husband Grant Tinker. Their groundbreaking comedy “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” premiered on September 19, 1970. While other comedies had been set in the workplace, Moore’s chronicled the career, friendships and dating life of a single, thirtyish, spunky, independent, career woman, in the unseen world of local TV news. With a brilliant cast, the character-driven series redefined the meaning of ensemble comedy and of family. In its seven-year run garnered 29 Emmys, including four for its star. Nearly 25 years later Moore was present as TV Land dedicated a statue in downtown Minneapolis depicting the iconic moment in the show’s opening credit’s when a hopeful Mary Richards tosses her hat in the air.
Moore and Tinker’s MTM Enterprises continued to produce an impressive list of landmark comedies and dramas including “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Newhart, “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Hill Street Blues” “The White Shadow” (starring current SAG president Ken Howard) and “St. Elsewhere,” Characters from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” became the focus for several successful spin-offs in the 1970s: “Rhoda,” starring Valerie Harper; “Phyllis,” starring Cloris Leachman; and  “Lou Grant,” starring Ed Asner (SAG’s 38th Life Achievement recipient), which significantly took Asner’s gruff but soft-hearted journalist from TV newsroom comedy into a hard-hitting newspaper-set drama.
Moore showcased her dramatic talent in her Emmy-nominated depiction of TV correspondent Betty Rollin’s battle with breast cancer in the 1978 CBS telefilm “First You Cry.”  In 1980 Moore was nominated for an Oscar® for her riveting portrayal of Beth Jarrett, a bitter mother coping with the death of one son and the attempted suicide of another in the Robert Redford-directed drama “Ordinary People.” The same year she continued to explore painful subject matter onstage in the hit Broadway play “Whose Life Is It, Anyway?” which earned her a Tony for playing a quadriplegic sculptor fighting to determine her own destiny, a role originated by Tom Conti and rewritten for its female star in her Broadway debut.
Other feature films include: “Six Weeks,” opposite Dudley Moore; David O, Russell’s “Flirting with Disaster”; and Peter Calahan’s dark comedy Against The Current, opposite Joseph Fiennes and Justin Kirk, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Moore’s success in telefilms has continued across decades: In 1984, she delivered an Emmy-nominated performance in the ABC television movie “Heartsounds” opposite James Garner (SAG’s 41st Life Achievement recipient),; received a Cable Ace nomination for HBO’s “Finnegan Begin Again” opposite Robert Preston and Sam Waterson; delivered a stunning portrayal of disturbed first lady Mary Todd Lincoln in the 1988 NBC miniseries “Gore Vidal’s Lincoln;” and won her seventh Emmy in 1993 for her performance as a spinster trafficking in illegal adoption in Lifetime’s “Stolen Babies.”
Other telefilm credits include TNT’s “Miss Lettie and Me” and the CBS television films “Like Mother, Like Son: The Strange Story of Sante and Kenny Kimes”; “Snow Wonder”; and “Blessings” based on the Anna Quindlan novel. She and Dick Van Dyke showcased their old spark in a PBS version of D. L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning nursing home-set stage play “The Gin Game,” then reunited with a large number of their former cast mates in TV Land’s nostalgic “The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited.”
Moore’s television guest roles include: a recurring run as Tea Leoni’s mother “The Naked Truth,” an appearance as Ellen DeGeneres’s Aunt Mary in a Christmas episode of “Ellen,” a recurring stint as a high-strung TV host on “That 70’s Show” and a multi-episode arc in NBC’s “Lipstick Jungle.” This year, on the season premiere of “Hot in Cleveland,” Moore reunited onscreen with Betty White for the first time since “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” sharing a jail cell with White’s character, Elka, who was arrested in the season one cliffhanger.
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Moore returned to the stage in 1987 to star opposite Lynn Redgrave in A. R. Gurney Jr.’s “Sweet Sue” and has performed numerous benefit readings of Gurney’s two-person  “Love Letters,” starring opposite James Earl Jones to benefit, the Poughkeepsie Day School, Patrick Stewart to benefit the Ethical Culture School and Gene Wilder for the North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center Association, as well as opposite Gurney himself.
Moore’s first autobiography, “After All,” published in 1995, was a frank exploration of her childhood, personal challenges and career. Her second book, “Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes” is a candid, humorous and illuminating detailing of her battles with the disease since she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (then called “juvenile diabetes” for its prevalence among children) in 1970 at age 33. The book includes conversations with remarkable people who live with the disease and those who work on the frontiers of medical research. Moore donated all her profits from “Growing Up Again” to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the world’s leading funder and advocate for Type 1 diabetes science.
Moore has been JDRF’s International Chairman since 1984. She has also chaired JDRF’s biennial Children’s Congress since its inception in 1999, leading up to 200 children with Type 1 diabetes to Washington, D.C. to meet face-to-face with congressional representatives. Moore has been at the vanguard of JDRF’s visit on Capitol Hill, testifying before the House and Senate on behalf of increased National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for Type 1 diabetes, which affects as many as 3 million children and adults. Moore and her husband, Dr. S Robert Levine, have been generous supporters of JDRF’s research programs and in 2003 established JDRF’s “Excellence in Clinical Research Award” in recognition of outstanding diabetes researchers. She herself was honored by JDRF in 2007 with its Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Among many other accolades, Moore received the 1984 Women in Film Crystal Award, was immortalized in 1992 with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was presented with the American Screenwriters Association first David Angell Humanitarian Award in 2002 and in 2009 was honored with the National Association of Broadcasters Distinguished Service Award.