In the FOXlight: Valerie Harper on Breaking Into Show Business and Battling Lung Cancer

For more than 50 years, Valerie Harper has been charming audiences with her witty characters and brilliant performances. But long before getting her big break on "The Mary Tyler Moore" show, you might be surprised to learn that Harper had a very different career in mind.

"My mom and dad took me to the ballet," she says of her first experience with the theater, adding that it was only when she "heard the laughs" that she decided to try acting instead.

FOX entertainment correspondent Michael Tammero met up with Harper at NYC's Palm Restaurant to discuss her past and present projects, including her work with Lung Force, a program aimed at raising women's awareness of lung cancer.

"In 2009, I got this [lung] cancer diagnosis, which was such a shock!" Harper exclaims. "I have never smoked in my life! And yet, I had this."

Now, Valerie is dedicating her efforts to educating women at, where supporters can learn more about lung cancer and lung health, and even donate to the cause.

"It is stoppable, early," she explains. "There's many, many resources, and many research developments … and we don't have enough money for it."

Watch the video clip above for Michael Tammero's complete interview with Harper, then be sure to visit to read more.