Emmy Award winner Valerie Harper who is best known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on the “Mary Tyler Moore” show was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009.
In 2013, the cancer metastasized into brain cancer.
Tony Cacciotti, Harper’s husband, started a GoFundMe page to help his wife pay for medication and home healthcare. The medical bills have become too much for the couple to handle, and insurance will not cover it.
Harper was paid well for her role as Morgenstern in the ’70s when the show was popular. However, stars did not generate the salaries that television stars of today do. Women, in particular in the ’70s, did not get paid as well as the men.
On the GoFundMe page, it states:
“Valerie has been grateful over the years for the medical breakthroughs along this difficult journey, but insurance doesn’t cover everything. There are unrelenting medical costs on a continuous basis.
Valerie is currently taking a multitude of medications and chemotherapy drugs as well as going through extreme physical and painful challenges now with around the clock, 24/7 care immediately needed, which is not covered by insurance.
This is just part of the daily cost that is, without a doubt, a financial burden that could never be met alone. This GoFundMe initiative from Tony is to ensure she receives the best care possible.”
After being diagnosed with cancer, Harper continued to work. She lent her voice to a character on several episodes of the Simpsons’ which teamed her back up with Julie Kavner (Marge) who co-starred with her on “Rhoda.”
Harper also appeared in a short film which her husband co-produced entitled “My Mom and the Girl.”
The GoFundMe information was originally just sent to the Screen Actors Guild.
In 12 days, the fund reached $64,852.
If you are interested in donating to the fund, the link can be found here:
Written by Barbara Sobel
Valerie Harper GoFundMe
Featured and Top Image Courtesy Of Louise Palanker’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License