Valerie Harper, who played the beloved character Rhoda Morgenstern on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and later Rhoda, died Friday at age 80, her husband Tony Cacciotti said. "My dad has asked me to pass on this message," the couple's daughter, Cristina Cacciotti , posted on Twitter. "My beautiful caring wife of nearly 40 years has passed away at 10:06am, after years of fighting cancer. She will never, ever be forgotten. Rest In Peace, mia Valeria."
Harper, who won four Emmys and also had her own show, Valerie, on NBC in the 1980s, had been battling lung cancer since 2009 and brain cancer since 2013, NBC News reports. In 2013, doctors gave her just three months to live, but she kept beating the odds, People reports. And she stayed in the spotlight in an attempt to bring awareness to cancer research, even competing on Dancing With the Stars in 2014. (A GoFundMe campaign was set up for Harper last month.)