Valerie Harper's husband won't move actress to hospice care

Harper, 73, best known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spinoff, "Rhoda," has been battling cancer for years.
Image: Valerie Harper arrives for an event in Los Angeles in 2016.
Valerie Harper arrives for an event in Los Angeles in 2016.Rich Fury / Invision / AP file

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By Variety

LOS ANGELES — Valerie Harper's husband, Tony Cacciotti, took to Facebook on Wednesday to announce that he has decided not to move his wife into hospice care despite recommendations from doctors.

"I have been told by doctors to put Val in Hospice care and I can't [because of our 40 years of shared commitment to each other] and I won't because of the amazing good deeds she has graced us with while she's been here on earth," he wrote in a post.

"We will continue going forward as long as the powers above allow us, I will do my very best in making Val as comfortable as possible," he continued.

The 73-year-old Broadway actress, best known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spinoff, "Rhoda," was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009 and with a rare brain cancer in 2013.

Many of Harper's fans commented on the Facebook post that hospice care can also take place at home and that it shouldn't be feared, but embraced as a compassionate way to make a patient comfortable at the end of life.

Cacciotti, who married Harper in 1987 following her first marriage with actor Richard Schaal, thanked friends and family for their generosity and kindness. "For those of you who have been in this position, you will totally understand that "it's hard letting go." So as long as I'm able and capable, I'll be where I belong right beside her," he wrote. "Many, many thanks for your outpouring of kindness and support."

Harper's good friend Deanna, who has helped the actress throughout her cancer fight the past several years, also added to the post. "We are so grateful for your love and support," she wrote, noting that she'll continue to update the Facebook page.