Looking back on the life of Hollywood legend Valerie Harper.
“Hiya!” To legions of fans of the 1970s hits The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, that greeting was synonymous with an icon of the times: Rhoda Morgenstern, Mary Richards’ wisecracking best friend, a single gal from New York with a meddling Jewish mother and a penchant for headscarves. And Valerie Harper, the actress who played her, was as famously lovable as her alter ego. First diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and given just three months to live in 2013, the veteran stage actress and Emmy winner defied the odds, even going on to join Dancing With the Stars that same year. When she succumbed to her illness on Aug. 30, 2019, at age 80, Harper was with her beloved husband of 32 years, Anthony Cacciotti, who said, “She will never, ever be forgotten.” Those who were fortunate enough to know her agree. “Valerie was one of the most generous and genuine people I’ve ever worked with,” a theater insider tells Us. “She had an intrepid spirit and never-ending will. She was an inspiration and will be missed by all whose lives she touched.”