VALERIE HARPER died Friday after a courageous battle with cancer.  She was 80 years old.  I know they always say everybody’s battle with cancer was “courageous”, but it’s rarely been as true as it is in her case.

Valerie was diagnosed all the way back in 2013 with an aggressive form of lung cancer that spread to her brain.  She was given THREE MONTHS to live.  But instead of laying down and waiting to die, she did Season 17 of “Dancing with the Stars”.

She also made guest appearances on “2 Broke Girls”“Hot in Cleveland”, and “Melissa and Joey”.

Valerie is best known for playing Mary’s friend “Rhoda” on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” back in the ’70s . . . then getting her own spin-off, “Rhoda”.

In 1986, she returned to TV with the sitcom “Valerie”.  But after the second season, she was fired in a salary dispute and replaced by SANDY DUNCAN.  The show was retitled “The Hogan Family”, and ran for four more seasons.

ED ASNER worked with her on “Mary Tyler Moore”, and said, “A beautiful woman, a wonderful actress, a great friend and with balls bigger than mine.   Her brilliance burst through and shined its light upon all of us.  Goodnight beautiful.  I’ll see you soon.”