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Lombardo Sues Valerie Harper Over Brain Cancer

The Broadway play Looped was written by Matthew Lombardo and starred Valerie Harper. However, during rehearsals, Harper started slurring her speech and forgetting her lines. When she went to the doctors, they discovered that her lung cancer had spread to her brain. Lombardo was forced to replace Harper last minute, which he claims cost him $500,000. According to TMZ, Lombardo plans to make up for his losses by suing Harper.

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Lombardo claims that Harper purposefully neglected to inform him that she had brain cancer and that she did so in order to keep her job. He is now suing her for $2 million. At the time of the diagnosis, Harper was given only months to live; however, while she is not cancer-free, Harper is still alive and well.

Harper is best known to audiences for her role as the beloved Rhoda Morgenstern on the classic TV sitcom "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its subsequent spin-off, "Rhoda." The popularity of the show was enormous, and the episode of Rhoda's wedding set ratings records with 52 million viewers.

For playing Rhoda, Harper won a total of four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe. Her extensive television career includes the self titled sitcom, "Valerie," and more recently guest roles on such hit shows as "Desperate Housewives," "Sex and the City," "That '70s Show," "Touched by an Angel" and "Hot in Cleveland." Notable film credits include "Blame It on Rio," "Freebie and the Bean," "Chapter Two" and "The Last Married Couple in America."

In 2010 Harper was seen on Broadway in "Looped" and received a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of legendary actress Tallulah Bankhead. In January 2013, Harper published her memoir, I Rhoda.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski

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