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Valerie Harper Terminal Brain Cancer: 'Mary Tyler Moore Show' Star Reveals Tragic Illness

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Actress Valerie Harper revealed that she has terminal brain cancer. Here, she poses at the Friars Club Roast of Betty White in May 2012.
Actress Valerie Harper revealed that she has terminal brain cancer. Here, she poses at the Friars Club Roast of Betty White in May 2012.

Actress Valerie Harper revealed that she has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

People magazine reported Wednesday that Harper was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer -- specifically leptomeningeal carcinomatosis -- on Jan. 15 and doctors say she may have as little as three months to live.

"I don't think of dying," the 73-year-old told People about her cancer diagnosis. "I think of being here now."

Harper penned the memoir "I, Rhoda," and had been promoting the book until she fell ill in January.

“The side of my face started to feel kind of numb. I was slurring my speech,” Harper told the New Yorker that month. Doctors had ruled out a stroke and her spirits were high.

“I’m just taking it easy," she previously told the New Yorker. "I went out today. I walked. I’m just trying to keep myself healthy and I have the talk shows to do.”

This isn't the first time the Emmy Award-winning actress has battled cancer.

Harper was diagnosed with lung cancer in March 2009, according to Yahoo! Health. The lifelong non-smoker received the diagnosis following an X-ray she received before surgery for a broken wrist.

As a cancer survivor, Harper has been committed to staying optimistic, Yahoo! Health reported last month. “I’m of the thinking that we’re all terminal; no one is getting out of this alive," she said. "So you shouldn’t start sitting Shiva before it’s time. Live the best life you can. Be as healthy as possible.”

Harper started out on Broadway and rose to fame in the 1970s starring as Rhoda Morgenstern on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." She then went on to star in the spinoff "Rhoda," and make appearances on shows like "Melrose Place," "That '70s Show," "The Office," "Sex and the City," "Desperate Housewives" and "Drop Dead Diva."

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