Actress Valerie Harper dies at age 80 after long battle with cancer

Valerie Harper in 2006. She played the iconic role of Rhoda Morgenstern in

In a tweet on Friday afternoon, Harper's daughter, Cristina, wrote: "My dad has asked me to pass on this message: 'My lovely caring wife of almost 40 years has passed away at 10:06am, after years of fighting cancer".

Valerie Harper, the Emmy-winning actress who became famous for playing shoot-from-the-hip, loud-mouthed New Yorker Rhoda Morgenstern on the '70s hit "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", and her own spinoff, "Rhoda", died on August 30 at age 80, her daughter Cristina confirmed to ABC News.

In 2013, she revealed she also had, according to Wikipedia, "leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare condition in which cancer cells spread into the meninges, the membranes surrounding the brain". She appeared on several episodes of The Simpsons, as recently as past year, as well as the short film My Mom And The Girl. In the late 1950s, she worked as a chorus girl in Broadway musicals; later, to hone her comedy chops, she did improv with Second City.

Harper, 80, was probably best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on the Mary Tyler Moore Show as well as the spin-off Rhoda.

Eight years after Rhoda's run, Harper fronted the NBC family sitcom Valerie, which after Season 2 changed its name to Valerie's Family and then The Hogan Family, when the actress famously exited the series. Her final roles included the 2016 short film Stars in Shorts: No Ordinary Love and recurring voice roles on The Simpsons. "I was told that they didn't understand Rhoda, they didn't like her." she recalled. She later took to Facebook to explain the cause of her medical emergency and deny reports of being in a coma.

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Harper sued and won a 1.4 million judgment against production company Lorimar, which she donated to charity. Listen to Harper speak about activism in her own words in this excerpt from her memoir "I, Rhoda". Her prognosis was poor, with doctors suggesting she had just months to live, though she responded to chemotherapy and lived substantially longer than originally predicted.

Born in New York, Harper began her career as a dancer - performing at Radio City Music Hall in the 1950s - and later joined the comedy troupe Second City.

She is survived by her husband Tony, and their daughter.

"She said, 'If it fails, you'll move back to Minneapolis and I'll have you back in my life again'". "I feel wonderful", Harper told ET in 2014. The three months [prognosis] didn't prove to be correct.

A statement from Harper's husband Tony Cacciotti was posted on Twitter by their daughter, actress Cristina Cacciotti.

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