On Monday's episode of "Dancing With the Stars," host Tom Bergeron delivered some unhappy news to Valerie Harper — her dancing days were over.
But the news didn't seem to get the low-scoring star down. In fact, despite some knee pain that had Harper believing ice packs looked every bit as good as the coveted mirror ball trophy, the actress seemed in high spirits as she hit the post-show press line with some good news.
In March the former "Rhoda" star revealed she'd been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and now, after battling it for months, she's symptom-free.
"I don’t have any symptoms," she said. "I might be in a fool’s paradise, but I’m going in for a scan and I’ll talk to the doctors. They’ll tell me what’s going on and if the pills are working as well as I feel they are.”
The Emmy-winning star gave farewell hugs to each and every reporter present, and she shared her happy memories from the show.
“I have been exceedingly lucky that I got through ‘Dancing With the Stars’ and didn’t die or fall on the floor," she said. "Tristan wouldn’t let me fall. He’d throw himself under me and pretend it was a lift!”
As for what's next for her, Harper explained, “I have a movie I might be doing that my husband (Tony Cacciotti) will produce. He’s got a couple of wonderful ideas. He’s said to me, ‘Val, keep moving.’ ”
It’s standard for remaining cast members to comment on how much they’ll miss the latest ejected star from the show, but dancers and pros had nothing except genuine, heartfelt comments about Harper.
“I’m sad about her leaving,” Jack Osbourne said. “I like Valerie a lot. She’s got this air of positivity. You just enjoy being around her. Now, I’ve lost my lunch buddy.”
“It was a hard elimination night,” pro Karina Smirnoff noted. “Valerie’s been the rock of the group. We all fell in love with her spirit and strength. We had tears in our eyes watching her dance (the Viennese waltz) to ‘Carry On.’ ”
Bill Engvall added, “When you talk to Valerie you pick up this vibe. It makes you say, ‘Man, if everyone in the world were like Valerie Harper, we wouldn’t have any problems!’”
First published October 8 2013, 7:45 AM