Tony nominee and Emmy winner Valerie Harper, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in March 2013, forcing her to withdraw from a national tour of Looped, has filed a lawsuit against its playwright Matthew Lombardo and the production’s producers. The New York Daily News reports that it claims they failed to pay the remainder of her contract.
In response, Lombardo and the producers of Looped have filed a suit against Harper and her husband, Tony Cacciotti, for $2 million, saying the two "were both aware" that the actress was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009, but did not disclose the information until after she signed onto the play. Lombardo said in a statement that "he was given no choice to defend himself as would anyone in his position and to reluctantly reveal what had actually transpired behind the scenes."
Best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern Gerard on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, Harper appeared on Dancing With the Stars last fall. A Tony nominee for the 2010 Broadway run of Looped, her other Great White Way credits include Take Me Along, Wildcat, Subways Are For Sleeping, Something Different, Paul Sills’ Story Theatre, Ovid’s Metamorphoses and The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. It was recently reported that she was to guest star in Hallmark’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered.