Valerie Harper joins 'Dancing With The Stars,' hopes to inspire others

NEW YORK

Harper has spent decades making us laugh, most notably on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and on her own spinoff, "Rhoda." Now, when she spins around the dance floor, her husband, Tony Cacciotti, will be cheering her on every step of the way.

"I thought I was too heavy and too old and all this stuff and not able to dance well like I did in my 20s. Tony said, 'Now that you have cancer, you should do it. You'll be inspirational. Get out there, show that life is not over 'til it's over,'" said Harper.

Valerie is part of a cast already rooting for her to dance to her heart's content. Her partner, Tristan MacManus, is a little worried about health, but he's inspired by her just the same.

"Everyone has challenges, whatever they might be. They come in different degrees and, unfortunately, this is a big one. So getting knocked out of a competition is probably the least of our worries," said MacManus.

Harper and MacManus, plus 11 other teams, hit the dance floor on Sept. 16 for the first week of "Dancing With the Stars." The show starts at 8 p.m. on ABC7.

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