Despite being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer earlier this year, Valerie Harper is being touted as a cast member in the forthcoming 17th season of ABC's Dancing With the Stars. The official celeb lineup won’t be announced until September 4, but TMZ is reporting that the Tony nominee is on tap for the upcoming cycle of the long-running reality competition, despite being given a three-month diagnosis in March.
The rumor is this: Harper is partnered with DWTS pro Tristan MacManus, and the duo have already been practicing for two days. Also among the potential candidates to hit the dance floor: Glee’s Amber Riley, Jersey Shore alum Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Showgirls star and stage vet Elizabeth Berkley, singer Christina Milian and King of Queens actress Leah Remini.
Best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern Gerard on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, the 74-year-old Harper is also a Broadway veteran, with credits including Take Me Along, Wildcat, Subways Are For Sleeping, Something Different, Paul Sills’ Story Theatre, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife and Looped (which earned her a Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Play in 2010). Harper recently filmed the TV movie The Town That Came A-Courtin’ in Canada.
Dancing With the Stars is scheduled to return on September 16 for one episode a week; the Tuesday night results show has been eliminated.