Mary Tyler Moore On Valerie Harper Cancer Diagnosis: 'I'm Absolutely Devastated' (VIDEO)

03/07/2013 12:55 pm ET | Updated Mar 08, 2013

Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper are not only former co-stars, but they have also been close friends for more than 40 years. After Harper announced that she has terminal brain cancer, Moore offered comfort to her dear friend.

"I'm absolutely devastated by this news," Moore said of Harper's cancer diagnosis when speaking with People magazine on Wednesday. "Valerie has given so much joy, laughter and love to the world. I join her fans and send much love and positive thoughts to her and her family during this difficult time."

The 76-year-old was one of the first to know about Harper's illness, according to People. Harper had called her former "Mary Tyler Moore Show" co-star one day before going public with the news.

The actresses first met on the set of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in 1970. They went their separate ways in Hollywood, but have been able to remain friends ever since. Over her career, Harper said she learned so much from Moore.

Moore, who underwent surgery in 2011 to remove a benign tumor growing on the protective lining of her brain, has been a support system for Harper in the past.

"I am not afraid of what the public will see," Harper told "Entertainment Tonight" back in 1985. "I don't have a feeling that I'm out there alone, I really don't. I've always been a team player. Mary taught me that early on."

While promoting her memoir, "I, Rhoda," Harper described her outlook on life during a recent interview. In 2009, the "Looped" actress was first diagnosed with lung cancer and recovered. The struggle helped her put things into perspective.

“Even when horrible, horrible things happen and they've happened in the recent past, you do have a choice to when the smoke clears, you're standing," she recently told Yahoo! OMG! "And sometimes it seems unbearable, but there is a way through in life. And if you can just grasp what's good … And if you can get through that pain, that's what I talk about. And at the end of the book I put a lot of things people have said to me over the years that I think is funny, insightful, whatever, just because they helped me through hard times.”

Harper has been diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare and incurable cancer. Doctors says she may have as little as three months to live.

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