ABC NEWS--Valerie Harper fans were shocked to hear the news that the sitcom star has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and may have as little as three months to live.
Harper, 73, is best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" before starring in her own spinoff, "Rhoda."
She received the diagnosis on Jan. 15, after experiencing stroke-like symptoms that sent her to the hospital. Tests revealed that she had leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare condition that occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain.
"It was as if I had Novocain," the Emmy-award winning actress said in a live interview on "Good Morning America" Jan. 21, almost a week after receiving the diagnosis. "I thought what the heck is happening to me?"
Harper tells People magazine in its latest issue that though she's opting for chemotherapy, doctors have given her only three months to live.
"I don't think of dying. I think of being here now," she says.
It's been 43 years since Mary's frank and funny upstairs neighbor made her debut on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." Though "Mary Tyler Moore" ended in 1977, fans and new generations of fans can continue to enjoy Mary, Rhoda and the gang on cable television.
Click through to read more about the cast of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" then and now.