Valerie Harper Says Health is 'Looking Better and Better'

Valerie Harper Says Health is 'Looking Better and Better'

At last night's Monday Fred and Adele Astaire Awards in New York City, actress Valerie Harper spoke to PEOPLE about her present health, following a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer. "It is looking better and better each test, but it's incurable,"she said, adding, "I'm fine. People are wondering ... Not fine, but it's not progressing."

The star of stage and screen, who was a presenter at the event, also shared her positive attitude by which she lives her life. "I don't wake up saying, 'Oh, I'm going to die.' It's a waste of time. It really is," she said.

Harper shared that she goes for routine tests every eight weeks, revealing, "In my case I had a great response ... my doctor doesn't use that term [remission]. He says, 'You try a therapy. There's a response or a nonresponse.' "

As far as the 74-year-old's plans for her upcoming milestone birthday she joked, "To be alive would be good."

Harper is best known to audiences for her role as the beloved Rhoda Morgenstern on the classic TV sitcom "TheMary 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