Mar 11, 2013

Valerie Harper Interview

Valerie Harper Interview, Valerie Harper gives first on-camera interview since she was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer in January.

Harper, 73, is known for her portrayal of Rhoda Morgenstern, the brash New Yorker in the 1970s hit show Mary Tyler Moore.

The legendary actress announced on March 6 that she has leptomeningeal carcinomatasis, a rare conidtion in which cancer cells spread in the meninges, the membranes surrounding the brain. The doctors said she has as little as three months to live.

She appeared on The Doctors, which aired Monday morning. She got personal as she discussed her thoughts upon finding out and how she will live her last days.

"God it's good to be here, and I mean that in a big way," she announced on stage in her exclusive TV interview.

Unbelievable, throughout the interview, she wore a big smile on her face and shared positive thoughts.

"More than anything I'm living in the moment," she said. "I really want Americans and all of us to be less afraid of death ... Don't go to the funeral before the day of the funeral. While you're living, live."

She explained how thankful she was for good healthcare and doctors, and especially for the support of her longtime husband Tony Cacciotti. Cacciotti appeared from backstage and hugged and kissed Harper from behind. He expressed how he felt when he heard the tragic news.

"I didn't want to believe it, and I said, 'This can't be.'"

Harper also got a surprise visit from her friend and co-star, Cloris Leachman. They reminisced and shared their long years of memories from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. "You're beautiful, your hair is beautiful, and I love you," Leachman told Harper.

Harper's friend, Mary Tyler Moore, didn't make an appearance, but revealed her devastation about her friend's diagnosis to People magazine.

"I'm absolutely devastated by this news," Moore said. "Valerie has given so much joy and laughter and love to the world. I join her fans and send much love and positive thoughts to her and her family during this difficult time."

Moore underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor in 2011.

Harper called Mary the day before the news was reported. Moore reportedly told her friend, "One day at a time. That's how we've got to live our lives. Thats the best we can do."

Harper fought tears as she said she hopes she can attend an upcoming White House event in April.

This was not her only battle with cancer; she successfully beat lung cancer in 2009.

Harper's final words to the viewers: "Embrace yourself. Know you're perfect, even through all your flaws."