*Funny money issues are not exclusive to common, everyday folk. Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you’re rich or well off. Case in point, actress Valerie Harper.
Harper starred for years on “The Mary Tyler Show,” but she’s also struggled with cancer for years and has run out of money to fund her treatments and is seeking help through a GoFundMe campaign.
Harper’s diagnosis of lung cancer goes back to 2009. But things got worse when, in March 2013, she revealed that she had developed leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a condition in which cancer cells invade the tissue protecting the brain and spinal cord.
Now, the Valerie Harper Cancer Support Fund is raising money to help pay for her medical treatment and other health costs not covered by health insurance. As of Monday afternoon, more than 135 people had contributed $5,640.
“Valerie has been grateful over the years for the medical breakthroughs along this difficult journey but insurance doesn’t cover everything,” the campaign statement reads. “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 [her husband] Tony [Cacciotti], is to ensure she receives the best care possible.”
Harper won four Emmys for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and spinoff Rhoda in the ‘70s. Both were among the most popular shows of the decade. She went on to star in her own sitcom, Valerie, in 1986 and has continued to appear on shows such as Sex and the City, Drop Dead Diva, The Office and The Simpsons. Her most recent credit is voice work on an April 2019 episode of the animated series American Dad! according to IMDb.
Since 1987, Harper has been married to actor and producer Tony Cacciotti, and she’s called him an “incredible” caregiver.