Valerie Harper, 'Mary Tyler Moore Show' Star, Dies at 80

Valerie Harper dies at 80
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

The actress died on Friday morning after a long battle with cancer, her family said.

Emmy Award-winning actress Valerie Harper has died, her family said Friday. She was 80.

The actress, who is best known for her role as Rhoda on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," died Friday morning, according to a statement from her husband, Tony Cacciotti, which was shared by their daughter on Twitter.

"My dad has asked me to pass on this message: '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. -Anthony," Cristina Cacciotti wrote on Twitter.

Harper had undergone treatment for cancer since 2009. In 2013, she revealed she was suffering from terminal brain cancer and had only three to six months to live.

But she went on to defy the odds, even competing on the “Dancing With the Stars."

Earlier this year, her husband revealed the end was near for the beloved actress. In an emotional Facebook post, he wrote that doctors said his wife should be placed in hospice care. Yet he refused.

“As long as the powers above allow us, I will do my very best in making Val as comfortable as possible," he said.

In the 1970s, Harper was cast in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" as Rhoda Morgenstern, a character that proved so popular, she got her own show: "Rhoda." Harper won four Emmys and a Golden Globe for the role.

She continued to work in TV shows, including appearances on "The Simpsons" and "2 Broke Girls," and in 2000, she reprised her famous role in a TV movie, "Mary and Rhoda."

Celebrities and friends paid tribute to the star after news of her death, including "Mary Tyler Moore" co-star, Ed Asner, who called her "a beautiful woman" and "a wonderful actress."

"Her brilliance burst through and shined its light upon all of us," he wrote on Twitter. "Goodnight beautiful. I'll see you soon."