Valerie harper dwts 20

Valerie Harper Is
Beating the Odds After
Dire Diagnosis:
‘Joining DWTS Will
Heal Me’

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Nine months after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and told she had just three to six months to live, feisty television icon Valerie Harper will hit the dance floor tonight for the season premiere of Dancing With the Stars.

“I think the show will play a major part in my recovery,” the star of the ’70s hit The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its beloved spin-off, Rhoda, said in an exclusive interview with In Touch, on stands this Wednesday. “I feel much better,” shares Valerie, who describes her cancer as “disappearing” but “not exactly” in remission.

Meet the Cast of Season 17 of Dancing With the Stars 

The actress explains, “At first I didn’t really want to do it. I really love the show, but I was afraid.” But at 74, she credits her husband of 26 years, former personal trainer Tony Cacciotti, 75, for her giving her the confidence to join the show after telling her what an inspiration she would be to other cancer patients watching.

Valerie proves her husband right with her inspirational words and upbeat attitude. “I prefer to live as though this is all we have, because we could drop dead at any given moment. When life asks you to dance, you just have to dance.”

For all the details make sure to pick up the new issue of In Touch Weekly, on newsstands this Wednesday.