Valerie Harper’s performance Monday on “Dancing With The Stars” was one of the most anticipated of the night, and she didn’t disappoint. The 74-year-old former “Mary Tyler Moore” star glided across the ballroom with grace despite being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer nine months earlier.
Harper was paired with professional dancer Tristan MacManus, 31, who admitted to being nervous about the actress’ cancer. The couple earned a score of 21 for their foxtrot and received a standing ovation.
After the performance ,the pro dancer stepped aside to let Harper relish in the applause. “It’s good to be alive,” Harper said when the cheers died down. “And it’s even better to be dancing.”
“Thank you for being on our show,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said. “Dance has been healing for all of us. That’s why we’re all here. It’s such a beautiful thing.”
Harper feels great physically, she told People.com, except for some minor pains. “It's a knee that I strained during early rehearsals. Just age," she told the news site. "Nothing very bad, but I've been getting therapy for it."
As far as her cancer, it’s not something that’s in the forefront of her mind. "I think about cancer less and less all the time," she said. "I'm doing very well, and feeling well. I try to live every day, like we all should, baby. All of us. No one knows what's ahead."
Harper has improved, according to recent brain scans, and her doctor said she was “close to a remission,” People.com wrote.
She's expected to dance again on Monday at 8/7c on ABC. Check out her Monday performance with MacManus below: