Stars React to Valerie Harper's Cancer Diagnosis
March 06, 2013
Following the news today that Valerie Harper was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, actor Jason Bateman and other stars have spoken out with personal messages of support.
"Valerie is someone that I've learned a great deal from. Not just comedically, but also in her ability to put whomever approached her, or worked with her, completely at ease with a laugh, and an energy that's intoxicating," Bateman told ET in a statement. "My thoughts and love go out to her and her family," added the Identity Thief star, who played Harper's son on the 1980s sitcom Valerie.
Also reacting to the news was Ed Asner, who co-starred with Harper, 73, in the 1970s sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show. "Valerie Harper is a century plan and I have come to know her much better in my latter years and have every confidence in the world that she will shock the hell out of us and survive to keep functioning as the great talent and human that she is," he told ET.
Cloris Leachman had this to say: "I love and adore Valerie and have every confidence that she is dealing with this very difficult information in the best way possible. She's one smart lady, and I know she will handle her illness as she has handled everything else in her life -- with intelligence, optimism and grace."
Hot in Cleveland star Betty White also reacted with her own heartfelt message to Harper, who co-starred with White on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. "Here I go wheezing on at 91 years old and this beautiful, beautiful lady is facing something far too soon. We all love her so much, and we are going to make the most of every second we can," White said.
TV icon Mary Tyler Moore also weighed in on Harper's diagnosis, saying she was "devastated" by the shocking news. "Valerie has given so much joy, laughter and love to the world. I join her fans and send much love and positive thoughts to her and her family during this difficult time," Moore said.
The 76-year-old actress -- who herself underwent surgery in 2011 for a benign tumor in her head -- lauded her Mary Tyler Moore Show co-star and friend. "Valerie has given so much joy, laughter and love to the world," Moore said, according to a statement published by People.com. "I join her fans and send much love and positive thoughts to her and her family during this difficult time."
One day before going public with her diagnosis in People, Harper called Moore to share the news. After small talk, "She said, 'What's up?'" Harper told the magazine. "I said, 'It's incurable cancer.' She said, 'Val, I'm so sorry.'"