After an inspiring run on ABC's reality competition "Dancing with the Stars," terminally ill actress Valerie Harper was given an emotional sendoff last night after failing to receive enough votes to move on.
"It has been absolutely wonderful, completely unique, like nothing else in the world," she said, adding to those cheering around her, "It's really a great thing to get out and dance!"
The 74-year-old, best known for her "Rhoda" TV series and roles on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," was diagnosed back in March with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare form of cancer in which cancer cells spread into the membrane surrounding the brain. Initially only given three months to live, Harper defied the odds and, with brain scans showing less cancer than previously expected, she took ABC up on its offer to hit the dance floor.
"I'm well past my expiration date already," she added, a nod to the lung cancer she previously beat in 2009. "I've had a good run. What more could I ask for?"
Valerie's pro partner, Tristan MacManus, told host Tom Bergeron that working with the actress has changed him for the better.
"Sometimes you get very lucky to do well with your partner," he said. "Sometimes you get very lucky in your life to meet someone who can affect (you) more than this (show) could at all. I feel like I've been very lucky to get that. And I feel like maybe my life's a little bit better since I met Valerie Harper."
You can watch Harper's emotional goodbye on the show below (hit the 3:04 mark).
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