Actress Valerie Harper, a television legend known for her roles as Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spinoff “Rhoda,” was hospitalized Wednesday night after experiencing a health emergency backstage at a theater performance.
Media reports offered few details of the nature of the incident, with ET Online quoting a source close to the situation saying, “It doesn’t look good.”
The 75-year-old Harper, who has been battling terminal brain cancer, was taken away by an ambulance during a performance of “Nice Work If You Can Get It” at the Ogonquit Playhouse in Maine.
“The fire department confirms to ET that they received a call at 8:56 p.m. about an unconscious 75-year-old female backstage, and that she was taken to York Hospital,” ET reports. “According to Ron Corning, anchor and correspondent at ET’s affiliate in Dallas WFAA, around 9:40 p.m., the artistic director of the musical announced to the audience that the ambulance seen on the side of the lawn was for the 75-year-old actress, and that she had fallen ill and wouldn’t be performing.”
The director is quoted telling the audience: “She wants all of you to know after some fluids and rest she hopes to be right back here on stage later this week.”
The playhouse issued a statement today in which it said Harper is “resting comfortably” and would remain in the hospital for observation.
Harper is a Golden Globe winner and four-time Emmy winner for her performances as Rhoda, winning three consecutive Emmys during her run on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in the early 1970s and claiming another one for the spinoff. She was nominated for a total of eight Emmys for playing Rhoda.