Actress Valerie Harper Dies at Age 80, People Pay Tribute to Her

By Paula Liu

Valerie Harper, the actress who was known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” has passed away at the age 80, according to multiple reports.

Her death on Aug. 30 was confirmed by her daughter, Cristina Cacciotti, according to the New York Times. She had been suffering from brain cancer, Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis, as well as lung cancer, according to PEOPLE. On her Facebook page, Harper’s husband Anthony Cacciotti also informed people of Harper’s passing.

“My beautiful caring wife of nearly 40 years has passed away on Friday at 10:06 a.m., after years of fighting cancer,” the post read. “She will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in Peace, mia Valeria.”

Back when she told PEOPLE of her condition, she had accepted her diagnosis, saying that she was okay with it, the news outlet reported. She said that back then, she didn’t think of dying and only about the present.

“I’m ready. I’m ready to go. Maybe that’s the secret. That I’m absolutely—I don’t want to, my God, I want to live to be 102,” she said in the interview with PEOPLE. “But I am not banking on anything, really, because we shouldn’t. We don’t know what’s around the corner. I think you just take each day and get the best out of it and do what you can and have fun.”

Harper had touched the hearts of many people as they paid tribute to her on social media, expressing their appreciation.

Suzanne Somers paid tribute to Harper on her Instagram, writing, “The last time I spoke with Valerie Harper I was asking her for advice on her experience with Dancing With The Stars. I was always blown away by the fact that she did that show knowing she had brain cancer. She was a big part of a TV era that I was lucky enough to be a part of. I always loved her work, I loved her style and I loved her passion. She will be missed. She graced the planet and brought us all a lot of joy. RIP SWEET VALERIE.”

Demi Moore also paid her tribute to Harper on her Instagram, writing, “My first film parents, Valerie Harper and Michael Caine in Blame it on Rio, I was in awe to be working with this incredible pair. She was part of a powerhouse trio along with Mary Tyler Moore and Cloris Leachman that I grew up watching. I am so honored to have worked with her at the very very beginning of my career. I send my love and thoughts to her family!”

Both the Throwback Lounge and the Hollywood Museum wrote posts on Instagram in tribute to Harper, writing that they would always remember Harper, and that she was a talented actress who will be missed.