Valerie Harper Replaced After Collapse and Hospitalization
The show must go on but it will go on without Valerie Harper. The actress has been replaced by Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro in the production of Nice Work If You Can Get It. The Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine hoped to relieve Harper of the pressure of returning to work despite there only being two weeks left.
The actress best known for her role as Mary Richards’ best friend, Rhoda Morgenstern, collapsed backstage last week and was then hospitalized as a precaution. Despite rumors that she was in a coma and at death’s door, Harper released a statement on Facebook thanking her fans and saying:
I am happy to report that I am not, nor have I been, in a coma.
She blamed the collapse on medications saying:
As anyone who has taken strong medication knows, it doesn’t always agree with you, even with me as this experience proves.
Harper revealed in 2013 that she was battling terminal brain cancer. Less than a year later she announced that she was “absolutely cancer free.” While she hesitated to use the word “remission” saying her doctor prefers to say, ”
I give you treatment, and it’s either responsive or non-responsive-and you are having a phenomenal response.
She has originally been diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009. In 2013 she revealed the cancer had spread to her brain. The prognosis was grim. She was told by doctors that she had as little as three months to live.
Despite being told her condition was incurable Harper went on to appear on Dancing With the Stars. She was partnered with hottie Tristan McManus before being voted off the third week.
She was starring in Nice Work If You Can Get It along with Sally Struthers. After collapsing and being hospitalized she showed more of her strength and spirit laughing off rumors that she was in a coma and saying:
p.s. But I must confess that the highlight of this ordeal came when I was escorted by two handsome young men and a pilot, in a medivac helicopter, as the full moon lit the sky. Talk about movie magic!!
The Orgunquit Playhouse artistic director Bradford Kenney said that Valerie Harper gave her blessing for Brenda Vaccaro to step in as Millicent Winter while she rests and focuses on her health.
Valerie Harper has outlasted lung cancer and brain cancer. Despite being terminally ill she has beaten the odds and continued to live a fulfilling life. What do you think about Valerie Harper’s courage despite a terminal illness? Let us know what you think here at Haveuheard.