Valerie Harper Rushed To Hospital, Source Says ‘It Doesn’t Look Good’
Tragic news is coming in on one of TV’s most beloved stars.
Valerie Harper was rushed to the hospital while backstage at a performance of her musical Nice Work If You Can Get It at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine Wednesday night.
The fire department received a call at 8:56 p.m. Wednesday night about an unconscious 75-year-old woman backstage. She was subsequently taken to York Hospital while the musical’s artistic director addressed the audience by confirming that the ambulance was for the iconic TV star. However, the artistic director seemed to be optimistic about Harper’s return. Or, rather, he simply relayed Harper’s optimism.
“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 artistic director said.
But it’s not that simple, unfortunately. Apparently, Harper had been ill all week, and a source close to the situation says, “It doesn’t look good.”
The Ogunquit Playhouse is trying to deflect the negativity with a more upbeat statement, hoping to alleviate concerns many of Harper’s fans are having at the moment.
“Valerie Harper was taken to a local hospital as a precaution before her July 29 evening performance of Nice Work If You Can Get It, at the Ogunquit Playhouse, after reporting that she was not feeling well,” said Bradford T. Kenney, Executive Artistic Director. “She is resting comfortably and will remain in the hospital for observation for the time being. …. The audiences and all of us here at the Playhouse are greatly enjoying our time with Valerie here in Ogunquit, and we are encouraged that she is feeling better.”
The former star of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda was scheduled to be with Nice Work If You Can Get It for the duration of its run, which ends on August 15. But her future with the show is uncertain. She only appears in the second act of the show, so it’s unknown if the production will be suspended until Harper can return, or if an understudy will fill the role. With only three weeks left in the show, I get the feeling the Ogunquit Playhouse is likely to go with the latter. Hell, understudies are there for a reason, after all.
However, this is a major setback for Harper, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2013 after beating lung cancer in 2009. Things had been looking up for her, following her appearance on Dancing With the Stars, particularly since she had only been given months to live at the time of her announcement to the cast. But the fact remains that Harper is not cancer free. She’s simply had the good fortune not to have the cancer spread to any other part of her body.
We wish Valerie Harper all the best in her recovery. And we’d like to extend our thoughts to her family and friends as well during this difficult time. You’re loved, Valerie, and you’re in our thoughts!