Living in the Moment
Since 2009, when she was first diagnosed with cancer, Valerie Harper has appeared in nine television series, a couple of TV movies and three feature films. In September 2013, she showed up on "Dancing With the Stars"—six months after doctors gave her three months to live. Here, to celebrate her 78th birthday, are a dozen quotes that will give you a fresh way to look at the day.
On What Goes Through Her Mind
"I don't think of dying. I think of being here now."
"When the smoke clears, I'll be standing—until I'm not."
On Her Change of Perspective
"When I was younger, I'd berate myself: You're fat, you're not a good dancer, you'll never have a boyfriend. I don't sweat that kind of stuff anymore. Now every day is a miracle."
On Mary Tyler Moore
"I will always feel privileged and honored with the amount of quality time I was able to spend with Mary."
More on "Mair"
"[Mary Tyler Moore] was my acting colleague, my sister/soulmate and, above all, one hell of a girlfriend!"
On Facing Life Head On
"I've also learned that if something is painful or upsetting, you shouldn't hide from it. You should make it part of your life instead."
On Conquering Fear
"I really want Americans, and all of us, to be less afraid of death, and know that it's a passage, but that ... don't go to the funeral before the day of the funeral."
On the Word "Terminal"
"We're all terminal; none of us are getting out of this alive."
On Owning Your Achievements
"I used to get some ego thing out of saying I wasn't a star, just an actress. Forget it. I'm a star. I wanted it. I worked for it. I got it."
On What Life Has to Offer
"We can 100 percent commit to the moment, live it fully, find the joy and excitement or tears or whatever there is that life has to offer. I think that's the way to do it."
On the Here and Now
"Life is amazing. Live it to the fullest. Stay as long as you can."
Her Message in a Nutshell
"Don't miss your life."
Sometimes flattery will get you everywhere
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Hit singles of the '70s and early '80s that had only one mission—to make you get up and dance
The Backwoods Barbie who became a country-pop icon
Major stars whose performances landed on the cutting room floor