Valerie Harper/Rhoda Morgenstern
Credit: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images;Paul Redmond/WireImage
Harper played Mary's best friend Rhoda, a shoot-from-the-hip, loud-mouthed New Yorker. After four seasons, she left to star in her own spinoff, "Rhoda," which lasted four years. Harper picked up four Emmys and a Golden Globe for playing Rhoda on "Mary Tyler Moore."
After "Rhoda" ended, Harper moved on to the 1986 sitcom "Valerie," until parting two years later because of a salary dispute. She was replaced by Sandy Duncan, and the series was renamed "The Hogan Family." Harper continued to take guest parts on such shows as "Sex and the City" and "Melrose Place," and appeared on Broadway. In 2000, Harper and Moore reunited for the TV movie "Mary and Rhoda."
While promoting her memoir, "I, Rhoda" on "GMA" in January, Harper revealed that she had battled lung cancer in 2009 while starring in the Broadway show "Looped." "I thought this is just not going to be good for comedy if the audience is out there worrying about their Rhoda," Harper said of her decision to keep her disease, which she fought with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, private.