Valerie Harper: Alyssa Milano Remembers 'Gracious' and Kind 'Melrose Place' Co-Star Following Death

Alyssa Milano paid tribute to former Melrose Place co-star Valerie Harper after news surfaced of her tragic death. The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda star died at 80, though her official cause of death has not been revealed she was diagnosed with an incurable form of brain cancer in 2013.

Milano took to Twitter Friday shortly after news broke of the actress' passing to share kind words about Harper, along with a photo of the two of them, and Melrose Place star Thomas Calabro, on the set of the beloved television series. Milano starred in 40 episodes of the series in 1997 and 1998. Harper appeared in two episodes of the series as Mia Mancini, Milano's and Calabro's characters' mother.

Fans of the actress responded to Milano's message on social media sharing their own condolences to Harper's loved ones and remembering her legacy.

"She was the first person on TV that sounded like me...a New Yawker. Awesome human," One fan wrote.

"Rest in peace...adored her," another user commented.

"I am sorry for your loss. Please convey my sympathies to her family," another user wrote.

Harper's family confirmed news of her passing, revealing she died at 10:06 a.m. Friday to ABC 7 News. The actress had successfully beat lung cancer in 2009, but doctors told her four years later she had leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a disease that accounts for less than two percent of all cancers, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Though Harper would often speak about not being in remission, she would say, "It's not making progress, I am." She ended up outliving her costar and "soulmate" Mary Tyler Moore, who died in January 2017 at the age of 80.

A GoFundMe page was set up for Harper back in July by a family friend to help pay for the costs of the TV icon's treatment.


Ed Asner, who co-starred on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, honored Harper on Twitter Friday, writing: "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."

Harper continued to work after her cancer diagnosis, most recently having roles on shows like 2 Broke Girls and The Simpsons. The actress also appeared as a contestant on ABC's Dancing with the Stars in 2013.