TODAY

TODAY   |  April 16, 2014

Valerie Harper on her health: I’m doing very well

The Emmy-winning actress best known for “Rhoda” tells Kathie Lee and Hoda that she’s beaten her cancer for now and is living in the moment. She also discusses her guest-starring role in the new Hallmark series “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” which her friend Martha Williamson wrote specifically for her.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> emmy and golden globe -winning actress valerie harper has been entertaining audiences since the '70s.

>> now the girl that kept us laughing for more than four decades guest stars in "signed, sealed and delivers."

>> it follows the lives of four postal detectives who track down the recipients of undeliverable mail . take a look.

>> oh, my goodness.

>> my dear, you are oliver o'toole. i knew your grandfather.

>> you did?

>> he was so strong. so powerful. what a mind. wh wh what hands. that man could hand stamp anything. i see him in you.

>> you do?

>> oh, yes. you have his hands.

>> well, we're so excited to have valerie here as well as the series writer and creator, my old palomar that williamson, also behind the hugely successful series " touched by an angel ." welcome.

>> the angel is touching them.

>> you look so good. i know the last i think a lot of people saw you, you were with meredith and others doing interviews about your cancer diagnosis. how are you doing? how are you feeling?

>> i'm doing very well. the treatment the doctors have me on at cedars-sinai is working and i'm doing acupuncture and herbal tea and imagering and bringing spirit, body and mind together. you know, to say get out of here. i was supposed to be gone before last easter. when you say supposed to be, the doctors just give their best guesstimate. and what i have is incurable and terminal. but guess what? not today. you know?

>> tomorrow's looking good, right?

>> i watched the series. and you're dancing in it and throwing your head back.

>> she wrote that for me, god love her. that's a friend.

>> that is a friend. martha is a friend. she's just a great friend. tell us about the idea to have her character. here she is. here she is.

>> fabulous. yeah, we decided -- as soon as -- i just called val up, said we're going to start the show, we want you in for the very first two episodes. and i couldn't imagine anybody better. she said i'm in, and that was a done deal.

>> you didn't even read the script. you just knew.

>> i didn't have to. she's only gotten better since she's a mom.

>> you were on the show.

>> " touched by an angel " twice. i'd love to.

>> you came the weekend i had to leave. i stayed over.

>> in utah.

>> you had to finish.

>> where does the idea come from? it's such an interesting concept.

>> isn't it?

>> yeah.

>> you're only as good as the last show you did. so when "touched" was over a couple years later, i felt like what happened? did that really happen? so i found a whole bunch of old fan letters that people had sent me that i had never read. and i started reading them. and they talked about how their lives had been changed and how moved they had been and changes they had made in their own world, in their own families. and i went, these are late letters. these letters are delivered late, but they arrived just on time for me. and i said what happens when letters get lost in the mail?

>> and whose responsibility is it to get them? these kids are heroic in a way. they're detectives. they have politics in the dead letter offer.

>> romance.

>> i'm their supervisor. oh, yeah. and it's funny, and it's very -- we have a great veterans.

>> eric from the star of "ugly betty."

>> the second story is about an afghanistan fellow coming back.

>> you always do that, though. you try to make it topical and applicable to your life today.

>> it's life. she writes life. joy, love, everything. sadness, crying. god.

>> when a lot of people see you, they also think about " mary tyler moore ." we associate you two together. how is she doing?

>> i guess i talked to mary just about three, four weeks ago just to say hi. she offered to do a masset in my home way back when i announced i had this uncurable situation. and my doctors didn't want me to get on a flight at the time. isn't that a girlfriend?

>> just try to stop her.

>> when i go, that's when i'm supposed to go, like all of us. live the moment. stay in the moment.

>> don't think about stuff!

>> stuff! i heard you. yeah. american lung association is -- i'm proud to be working with them to expand the fact that lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of women. and it should be -- you know, a public health policy to really get on that because the research dollars equal lives. and it's a 15% survival rate. so i really want to beat the drum. and get that going.

>> great to see you.

>> thank you.

>> congratulations.

>> good luck.

>> new series "signed, sealed, delivered" premieres this sunday on the