The Doctors: Valerie Harper “I, Rhoda” Book Review & Cloris Leachman


The Doctors: Ed Answer Phone Interview

A very special episode of The Doctors featured actress Valerie Harper on her recent diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. Despite an extremely bleak prognosis, the TV icon has maintained a positive attitude, and her friends and family are sticking by her side.

One of these friends is Ed Asner, Valerie’s co-star on The Mary Tyler Moore ShowEd, who portrayed Lou Grant on the series, phoned in to The Doctors to profess his love for Valerie, who isn’t just his co-star, but his very close friend.


Ed asked Valerie to “drop Tony,” her husband, and move in with him instead. When asked if he had a favorite memory of working with Valerie, Ed replied, “Yeah, but I can’t talk about it on the air.” Valerie was surprised and delighted by the unexpected call.

The Doctors: Cloris Leachman Interview

The Doctors: Valerie Harper "I, Rhoda" Book Review & Cloris Leachman

Valerie Harper’s Mary Tyler Moore Show co-star Cloris Leachman surprised her on The Doctors. (Helga Esteb /


As Valerie began to discuss her other co-stars from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, she was surprised once again by actress Cloris Leachman. Cloris portrayed nosy landlady Phyllis Lindstrom on the series, and worked with Valerie for several years. After an emotional reunion, Cloris sat down to discuss her fondest memory of working with Valerie.

Valerie recalled a scene that featured the very first time the word “gay” was spoken on television. The episode, which featured Phyllis’ visiting brother, received so many laughs that they had to be cut from the show. Valerie cherishes this memory with Cloris, as well as her many years of friendship.

Valerie Harper: I, Rhoda Book Review

Dr. Travis Stork explained how Valerie’s bravery is inspiring people all over the world, even helping to reduce the fear of death. “I’d love to reduce the fear, because listen, we’re all terminal!” Valerie stated. “I’m not,” Cloris joked.

Later, Dr. Travis gave Valerie the opportunity to address her fans and the people who’ve supported her. She is glad to have affected people’s lives in such a “positive and fun” way and encouraged everyone to “find their contribution,” even if it’s just making someone else smile.

Valerie has shared her amazing journey in her memoir, I, Rhodaand has undoubtedly inspired countless fans and followers during her interview with The Doctors.


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