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The Buzz: 'Rhoda' actress Valerie Harper reveals she has terminal brain cancer

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Entertainment,Ryan Vogt,Buzz

TV icon Valerie Harper, who played brash neighbor Rhoda Morgenstern on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," tells People she has terminal brain cancer.

Valerie, who won three back-to-back Emmys on "MTM" and got her own spinoff, "Rhoda," fought off lung cancer in 2009, but on Jan. 15 she received a diagnosis of leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. The disease, which accounts for less than 2 percent of all cancers, occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain, People reports. It is incurable.

"You have a train that's moving 100 miles per hour," says Dr. Ronald Natale, Valerie's oncologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, "and what we're doing is slowing down the train to five or 10 miles per hour [using chemotherapy drugs]."

"I was stunned," Valerie tells People of receiving the news. "And in the next minute I thought, 'This could draw more attention to cancer research.' I think there's an opportunity to help people."

With as little as three months to live, the 73-year-old tells the magazine, "I don't think of dying. I think of being here now."

Cuba becomes a Dick

In the most ill-advised personality makeover since Garth Brooks turned into Chris Gaines, Cuba Gooding Jr. has invented an alter ego named Dick McWilly to pick up chicks. Dick looks just like Cuba Gooding Jr., except instead of being an Academy Award winner, he's an ex-con who talks nonsense. Cuba's finally solved the mystery of what women want.
"I just got out of jail," Cuba, er, Dick said as he introduced himself to a woman at a party, the New York Post reports. And how did Dick end up in the clink? "I had sex with a leprechaun, who had sex with an alligator and got him pregnant. No, I'm lying, the alligator wasn't pregnant."

Dick told another guest he was "drinking ant piss" and then demonstrating how to "milk an ant." Dude, if you're gonna rip off Charlie Sheen, at least get the terminology right. It's tiger blood, not ant piss. Tiger blood.

When a partygoer asked Cuba about his upcoming role in "The Trip to Bountiful" on Broadway, Dick said, "I don't like to talk about work with my co-workers, so I'm going to treat you like a co-worker now. If I was gonna make you a sandwich, you wouldn't want me to talk about me making you a sandwich. You just want the sandwich ... and it's a good sandwich."

Oooooooh noooooooooo!

Leaving aside all our jokes about method acting, we take a moment to bid a fond farewell to wrestling legend Paul Bearer -- real name William Moody -- who died Tuesday at 58, according to World Wrestling Entertainment.
William joined the company -- back then the WWF -- in 1990, building his creepy, high-voiced character around his real-life mortuary degree. William went on to be ringside manager for the Undertaker, Kane, Rick Rude, Vader and Mankind, proving time and again that sidekicks can be more interesting than the stars.

The cause of death is unclear, but "Cowboy" Bob Kelly, head of a wrestling society called the Cauliflower Alley Club, told TMZ he saw William on Saturday at a club reunion, where William was complaining of "respiratory issues."

RIP.

Quick Takes

Actor Russell Crowe is convinced he captured footage of a UFO, and posted the video to YouTube.

The Hawaii Senate passed the Steven Tyler Act on Tuesday to protect celebrities' privacy.

"Breaking Bad" actor Steven Michael Quezada is becoming a member of the Albuquerque, N.M., school board.

Meanwhile, "Breaking Bad" actor Dean Norris continues his profanity-laced tweets at Delta Air Lines.

Say What?

"Elderly. She's in an intergalactic old folks' home."
- Carrie Fisher, to Palm Beach Illustrated, speculating on what Princess Leia is up to these days. The actress confirmed she will reprise Her Majesty in "Star Wars: Episode VII," set for 2015.

Happy birthday for March 7:

Actress Laura Prepon is 33.

Actor TJ Thyne is 38.

Actress Jenna Fisher is 39.

Singer Hugo Ferreira of Tantric is 39.

Singer Sebastien Izambard of Il Divo is 40.

Actress Rachel Weisz is 42.

Drummer Randy Guss of Toad the Wet Sprocket is 46.

Comedian Wanda Sykes is 49.

Actor Bill Brochtrup ("NYPD Blue") is 50.

Singer Taylor Dayne is 51.

Actor Bryan Cranston is 57.

Guitarist Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers is 61.

Keyboardist Matthew Fisher of Procol Harum is 67.

Actor John Heard is 67.

Singer Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band is 67.

Bassist Chris White of the Zombies is 70.

Actor Daniel J. Travanti is 73.

TV personality Willard Scott is 79.

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