Actress Valerie Harper, best known as Rhoda from ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ dies at 80

The Emmy winning actress is best remembered as the funny, brash Rhoda Morgenstern, who was a perfect complement to the perpetually cheerful lead character of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” She died Friday from cancer, after having survived lung and brain cancer in recent years, the AP reported.

Her sidekick character was so popular, it was spun off into “Rhoda,” which ran from 1974 to 1978.

“My beautiful caring wife of nearly 40 years has passed away at 10:06am, after years of fighting cancer,” her husband, Tony Cacciotti, said in a message posted on Facebook.”She will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in Peace, mia Valeria.”

The actress will be best remembered as the funny, brash Rhoda Morgenstern, who was a perfect complement to the innocent, perpetually cheerful lead character of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” from 1970 to 1977. Harper’s sidekick character was so popular, it was spun off into “Rhoda,” which ran from 1974 to 1978.

She also had a successful 32-show run on NBC’s “Valerie” in 1986-87.

The venerable actress had four Emmy statutes on her mantle — three for best supporting actress in a comedy for “Mary Tyler Moore” in 1971, 1972 and 1973; and then for best lead actress in a comedy for “Rhoda” in 1975. Harper was nominated four other times.

In recent years, she’s been one of America’s most well-known cancer survivors, battling lung cancer since 2009 and brain cancer since 2013.

Cacciotti announced on Facebook last month that he had decided not to move his wife into hospice care despite recommendations from doctors.

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