This may be shocking to read, but it's not over the top to say that Valerie Harper was supposed to be six feet under now. Instead, she's going to be dancing up a storm.
Harper, beloved to this day for having played the sassy, tough Rhoda Morgenstern on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda," was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year. Her doctors gave her three months to live.
Maybe she couldn't pay her bill, and the docs are giving her six more months.
With apologies to Henny Youngman, whose joke I just bastardized, have you noticed what's been going on with Harper?
The most recent news is that she's going to be one of the celebrity contestants on "Dancing With the Stars" this fall. Before that, Harper appeared on an "MTM Show" reunion on Nick at Nite, and filmed a movie role.
Not bad for someone who was supposed to be gone by now.
Cancer is a funny thing, and never before has the word "funny" been used more colloquially.
It's obviously a nasty, nasty disease---sadistic and merciless. Cancer's most evil trait is tricking you into thinking you're getting better, or that its terror is subsiding. Then, BAM. It says "F-you" and finishes you off.
That may indeed what eventually happens to Valerie Harper.
But for now, Harper is living life to the fullest.
She's going to be tripping the light fantastic on ABC's "DWTS" (the cast was announced today) and after that, win or lose, who knows?
Harper is already beating the odds. Every day on this Earth is a win for her.
I always had a little thing for Valerie Harper. As Rhoda on "The MTM Show," Harper played the role of the supposed ugly duckling who couldn't find a man, though she was anything but. The writers eventually agreed, and wrote a boyfriend into the show for her, who eventually became her husband (played by the late David Groh).
I have long been a sucker for the dark-haired, dark-eyed beauties. Natalie Wood comes to mind. As I've written here before, I like those types so much, I married one.
The brain cancer that Harper is battling now started in her lungs back in 2009. In March 2013, it was announced that Harper's doctors gave her about three months to live. That was six months ago, and counting.
No one has any idea how Harper will fare on "DWTS." But when she takes to the floor for her first number, she can put another one under the W column, for win. Anything more than that is gravy.