Valerie Harper is one of the world’s most famous actresses. She has spent her entire life making us all laugh, giving us a reason to smile and taking the world by storm. She became famous long before I was ever born, but even I grew up with her and watched her shows years after they aired because my parents and grandparents loved her. She is what you might call a Hollywood icon, and she is certainly a legend. She is also a woman who was supposed to die almost three years ago. She was diagnosed with a terminal form of brain cancer and given only months to live.
It’s been three years since she was told she would die soon, and she’s been hospitalized for poor health, she’s been sick, she’s been scared and she’s been ready. She’s still here though, and she says she feels good a lot of her days, and she cannot ask for more. This month, Valerie Harper celebrates three years since she was told she was dying, and she’s looking good. We thought that given this is such an unforgettable moment in her life, we’d look back at a few of Valerie Harper’s other most unforgettable moments. Perhaps you remember a few of these, or perhaps this is your first time hearing them. Either way, it’s not the first time you’ve been in awe of this inspiring and beautiful woman.
When she was a Simpson
I’m not sure why, in 2013, so many people were shocked when Valerie Harper decided to guest star as a test proctor on The Simpsons. She was hilarious, and she had a great time doing it. Everyone loved that proctor.
When she was Kathie Lee
One time when Valerie Harper was a scheduled guest in 1999 to sit down with the famous Regis Philbin and his co-host, Kathie Lee, Kathie Lee ended up too sick to show up and Harper decided that since she was there, she would step in and be the co-host for the day. She was phenomenal in the role, and everyone was so happy to have her there, in love with her performance as a whole.
When she got married
Okay, we don’t mean Valerie Harper when she got married; we mean Valerie Harper as Rhoda on The Mary Tyler Moore Show when she got married. The moment she ran like a crazed maniac through the streets is one that her fans adored and will likely never forget. It was an iconic moment in television, even for someone who wasn’t even born when it happened.
When she won her Emmy Awards
The moment that Valerie Harper won her first Emmy was a wonderful one. She was amazing. It was the 7th day of June in 1970, and she was called on stage to accept the award for her role in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and her speech was amazing. She ended up, over the course of her long career, winning three for that role and a fourth for another.
When she hosted The Muppet Show
Now this was a moment in the world of Valerie Harper. In that time, it wasn’t all that common for women to be so funny, and they certainly were not as widely revered as they are today. However, when Twiggy was chosen to host this show and then Valerie Harper just after her, it was a moment in history that will forever remain of significant importance. It’s life, and life was good for her and her ways.
When she had that whole condom issue
Back in the late 80s, it was not cool to talk about personal things on television. It was when Valerie Harper used her new show, Valerie, to discuss the idea of using condoms and she actually uttered he word aloud that the world went crazy. It was the start of something new and very exciting in television, but she faced a lot of criticism, and she even found that some channels refused to allow that episode to air. Since the internet and things like Netflix were not around, it was a huge bummer to people.
When she said goodbye to the show that made her famous
She won three Emmy’s for her role as Rhoda in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and the world was devastated when the show came to an end. It was one of the all-time favorites, and these are women who would grace households every new episode with rapt attention from everyone in the home. It was a sad, but unforgettable moment in her life; one no one will ever forget.
When she announced her cancer diagnosis
When Valerie Harpers came out in 2009 to tell the world she’d been diagnosed with lung cancer, the world mourned. However, she was able to beat the diagnosis on her own with the help of some very talented doctors, and she celebrated that moment in her life. It was a happy year for her knowing she beat cancer.
When she announced she was dying
Perhaps the most unforgettable moment in the life of the wonderful Valerie Harper was the day she announced that she’d been diagnosed a second time with cancer. It was 2013, and this time she’d been diagnosed with a very rare form of brain cancer that wasn’t beatable. She is terminal, and she has spent the past few years coming to terms with her diagnosis, unsure how much time she has left.
When she continued to live
When she announced that she had terminal brain cancer and no solution to the issue in January of 2013, she was given three to six months to live. She prepared for her death and she did whatever she could to prolong her life. This year month it is three years since she was given three to six months to live. She’s still alive, and it’s an unforgettable moment each and every day of her life. She’s beating the odds; and many people don’t.
Photo by Getty Images