Hollywood pays tribute to 'great friend' Valerie Harper

Stars send messages of remembrance

By Whitney Friedlander, CNN
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - Valerie Harper, the Emmy-winning actress who parlayed a scene-stealing role on "The Mary Tyler Moore" show into her own hit series "Rhoda," died Friday after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Former cast members -- such as her "Mary Tyler Moore" costar Ed Asner, who described Harper as "a wonderful actress" and "a great friend " -- shared their memories on social media.

They were joined by friends and fans, some of whom also wrote of her work as a feminist activist or other endeavors.

 

Ed Asner

 

"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." -- via Twitter

 

Topher Grace

 

"I was so sad to hear that the amazing Valerie Harper passed away. 'Aunt Paula' was as wonderful to work with as she was funny. My best to her family." - via Twitter

 

Tom Bergeron

 

"She lit up the ballroom." -- via Twitter

 

Cyndi Lauper

 

"Valerie Harper passed away. She was a wonderful actress and brought me so much joy. She will be missed rip." -- via Twitter

 

Mia Farrow

 

"Thank you brilliant Valerie- you gave us so much!! RIP Valerie Harper." -- via Twitter

 

Phil Rosenthal

 

"One of our all-time favorites has passed. Wonderful, funny, lovely, supportive and a huge influence on and off stage, we love you, Valerie." -- via Twitter

 

Marlee Matlin

 

"Even when she was down she danced and showed the world that she refused to let cancer beat her. Now Rhoda is with Mary in heaven. RIP Valerie Harper. You were the epitome of strength and humor." - via Twitter

 

Leonard Maltin

 

"Certain people become a part of our lives—and a part of our families. #ValerieHarper was one of those precious few. She was part of an ensemble but always had a comedic spark all her own. We were lucky to have her." - via Twitter

 

Julie Cohen

 

"Rhoda Morgenstern -- ambitious career woman, funny & artsy Jewish New Yorker, Mary's BFF -- was so relatable to me that I wore a scarf like hers all thru 7th grade. RIP Valerie Harper." -- via Twitter

 

Simon Blackwell

 

"Rhoda was a terrific show and Valerie Harper such a superb lead - real, honest and hugely funny." - via Twitter

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