Valerie Harper, or Rhoda, as she came to be known thanks to her comedic television alter ego, announced Wednesday that she has terminal brain cancer. The 73-year-old actress was diagnosed in January with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare cancer found in the fluid-filled membrane around the brain, and says she may only have three months left to live. A nonsmoker, Harper survived a fight with lung cancer in 2009.
Here, we take a look back at seven of her greatest television moments.
Her First Emmy
June 7, 1970. Harper wins her first of four Emmys, and the first of three for her performance as Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (Watch fellow cast member Ed Asner’s win, as well.)
The Muppet Show
January 2, 1977. Harper hosts the 17th episode of The Muppet Show, following Twiggy.
Goodbye, Mary Tyler Moore
March 19, 1977. The last episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show airs on CBS. After Mary walks off the set and the lights dim, the cast returns for a curtain call.
February 8, 1987. Harper’s new sitcom Valerie causes a stir when, in its second season, it becomes the first television show to use the word “condom” in primetime. Some stations refuse to run the episode; where it does air, the show runs a parental warning beforehand. (Fun fact: Jason Bateman played Valerie’s son, David.)
Co-hosting Live With Regis and Kathie Lee
August 4, 1999. Harper is scheduled to appear as a guest on Live With Regis and Kathie Lee. Kathie Lee calls in sick, so Harper steps in.
Standardized Testing Proctor on The Simpsons
January 13, 2013. Harper guest-stars on The Simpsons as a standardized testing proctor. In this clip, she runs into Marge and Maggie at the grocery store as she’s stocking her cart with vodka.