Valerie Harper Thrilled by Her 4 Weeks on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Image: Valerie Harper Thrilled by Her 4 Weeks on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Wednesday, 09 Oct 2013 11:55 AM

By Ken Mandel

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Despite her elimination from "Dancing With the Stars," actress and inspiration Valerie Harper was thrilled by the experience.

Harper, 74, has already survived longer than the three- to six-month time frame she received in January when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, so she isn't upset over a few missed Viennese waltz steps.

"I'm not sad. I'm happy to have been here for four weeks," she told ABC News after the show. "I mean, that was great. And I think there's fairness to it. If the show's about good dancing and achieving ballroom styles, I wasn't there yet."

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Harper, best known as Rhoda Morgenstern on "Mary Tyler Moore" and "Rhoda," has won four Emmy Awards. She has already come so far in her life fight, as recent tests have showed that her cancer had temporarily retreated. Her time on the show afforded her the chance to spread her message that people should keep fighting in the face of any obstacles.

"Till God strikes you dead, don’t just lie there," she told ABC News.

Harper became the third celebrity ousted from this following a cha-cha that scored an 18 from the panel, placing her last on the leaderboard for a second straight week. None of that mattered to her.

"I never expected to go past the first elimination," she told CNN. "I really didn't, and here I am! I got to dance four times with this guy [Tristan MacManus] and proved some things to myself."

"I have a fabulous life," she told Access Hollywood.

Harper has been on a tumultuous ride since her initial diagnosis. In March, a People cover story revealed that she had terminal brain cancer. But in September, when she was named a contestant on "DWTS," she clarified her situation.

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"I have lung cancer," she told CNN last month. "It is situated in the lining of the brain. It's not even in the brain. And "my lung cancer doctor says, 'Valerie, we don't even use remission.'"

In June, NBC announced that it was shooting a documentary about Harper and her treatment. Dr. Jeremy Rudnick said during the segment that resistance to treatment is an eventual certainty. "It's not a matter of if, but of when."

Related story:

Actress Valerie Harper's Brain Cancer Nearing Remission

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