The Doctors: Valerie Harper Interview
Last week, fans around the world were devastated to learn that actress Valerie Harper had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. On a very special episode of The Doctors, Valerie joined Dr. Travis Stork, Dr. Lisa Masterson and Dr. Andrew Ordon for her first televised interview since her cancer announcement. Read on for Valerie’s incredibly inspiring story and message of hope, in her own words.
Valerie Harper: Television Icon
Valerie Harper has been a television icon for several decades. The New Jersey native first expressed her love of performing as a small child. Valerie later became a dancer on Broadway and eventually found herself moving to Los Angeles, California to pursue a film and television career.
Valerie’s role as Rhoda Morgenstern was what catapulted her to instant fame. First, Valerie appeared on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and then, on her own spin-off, Rhoda. Valerie has won countless awards throughout her career, including four Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe.
Valerie received a huge round of applause and standing ovation from The Doctors audience. As it turns out, Valerie is a huge fan of the show and watches The Doctors often. As Rhoda, Dr. Lisa explained that Valerie “epitomized the independent woman” and was “every girl’s best friend.” Valerie has shared her life’s journey in a memoir, I, Rhoda.
Valerie Harper: Terminal Brain Cancer Diagnosis
However, the mood soon turned sour as the topic turned to Valerie’s cancer diagnosis. Sadly, doctors say that Valerie could have just three months to live. Dr. Travis asked, “How do you still put one foot in front of the other?”
Incredibly, Valerie said that it’s “easy” to live each day despite her incurable and rare disease. She plans to “live in the moment” and show people how to be less afraid of death. “Don’t go to the funeral before the day of the funeral,” Valerie explained. She plans on living each day she has left to the very fullest.
Instead of “why me?,” Valerie has asked herself the question, “why not me?” In 2009, Valerie survived lung cancer, but still considered herself lucky to have such incredible care. While working on Broadway, Valerie began to feel pain in her back and chest, as well as numbness on her jaw. That was the first sign that something was changing for the worse.