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Valerie Harper flouts cancer diagnosis to act again

Valerie Harper might have been told she had three months to live – four months ago – but that won't keep this veteran TV actor off the sound stage. Valerie Harper is best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern Gerard on 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' and her own spin-off, 'Rhoda.'

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Valerie Harper, seen here at the 2012 Friars Club Roast of Betty White in New York, is filming a TV movie in Canada. The movie, titled 'The Town that Came A-Courtin',' is based on a novel by Ronda Rich and also stars Lauren Holly, Cameron Bancroft and Lucie Guest.

Charles Sykes/AP/File

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Despite a diagnosis of incurable brain cancer, actress Valerie Harper is back at work.

The UP cable channel said Thursday that Harper is filming a TV movie in Canada. Shooting began this week and is expected to end Aug. 11. UP said the movie, titled "The Town That Came A-Courtin'," is expected to air in January.

The movie, described as an uplifting romance, is based on a novel by Ronda Rich and also stars Lauren Holly, Cameron Bancroft and Lucie Guest. Harper portrays the owner of a bed-and-breakfast who is trying to help kindle a romance between the widowed mayor of a Southern town and a successful author.

"When I learned that the remarkable Valerie Harper was interested in working, I was so excited, because that meant she was doing well," said Barbara Fisher, programming chief at UP. "We are thrilled to have this iconic talent in our film and awed by her determination to live each day to the fullest. She is truly an inspiration."

Harper, the 73-year-old sitcom star of "Rhoda" in the 1970s, announced in March that she had been diagnosed with a rare brain cancer. She was told by some doctors that she had as little as three months to live.

Fisher said Harper was not making any statements about her health. Harper's representatives had no immediate comment.

UP's "The Town That Came A-Courtin'" will air in January, the channel said. It's being shot in Vancouver, British Columbia.

AP Television Writer David Bauder in New York contributed to this report.


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