Sideshow: Harper close to remission

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Valerie Harper. (AP Photo)

Valerie Harper, 74, who revealed in the spring she had brain cancer, may be seeing some hope.

"I'd say that we're getting pretty close to a remission," her doc, Jeremy Rudnick, told her on-camera in a segment shot for NBC's Today. "It defies the odds."

But any remission is going to be temporary, Rudnick added. Harper's type of cancer develops resistance to therapy. "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," he said. But a remission buys time, he added.

The Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda star took Meredith Vieira - and a camera crew - to her appointment with her doctor as part of a Today special about Harper to air on Sept. 19, says the New York Daily News.

Harper was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009. Her latest condition developed when cancer cells spread into the membranes surrounding the brain.

"I just want to live every moment to the fullest," Harper tells Vieira.

I auditioned to be Tom Cruise's wife!

Another week, another Scientology scandal. Former Scientologist Anette Iren Johansen writes in Aussie mag Women's Day that a year before Church A-lister Tom Cruise wed Katie Holmes in '06, the org had her audition to become his spouse.

It suggests two things: Cruise's entire life is managed by the org; falling in love with a woman isn't important to him. In October, Vanity Fair published a report claiming that beginning in '04, the org launched an elaborate casting process to pair Cruise with a girlfriend and potential wife. The Church has denied all such reports.

Give my friend Ben a chance . . .

Pundits continue to mock Ben Affleck's sacred installation as Batman. Well, moody '89 Batdude Michael Keaton says Ben's perfect. "He's gonna be great," he tells TMZ.

Local chef masters 'MasterChef'

Congratulations to Philly paralegal Krissi Biasiello, 34, who on Wednesday survived the litany of sufferings imposed by haute cuisine's Beelzebub, Gordon Ramsay, to make the top four on Fox' MasterChef. Krissi will compete for a spot in the finale on Wednesday. Keep your fingers crossed.

Get out the nappies, Lenny Dykstra!

The Dude is a granddad. Former Phillies titan and all-around dudely dude Lenny Dykstra's son, Cutter and his fiancée, Sopranos' Jamie-Lynn Sigler, 32, on Wednesday welcomed their first child, a beau bébé named Beau. Cutter is also a ballplayer.

Gossip petits fours (le beaux tidbits)

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who are worth an estimated $200 mil, are still separated. . . . E! News has posted lovely pics of David Beckham and his 1-year-old girl Harper having a laugh at a Chicago Cubs vs. L.A. Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium. . . . "When I was younger I just wanted people to take us seriously as artists," Backstreet Boys' Kevin Richardson, 41, tells People. "Now, as long as I'm enjoying myself, I don't care. I've got my family." Kevin and Kristin, who wed in 2000, wecomed son Mason in '07.

See Made in America live online!

This weekend's Beyonce and Nine Inch Nails headlining Made in America concert will be streamed live on YouTube (full video) and Spotify (audio only), Inquirer music critic Dan DeLuca reports (www.inquirer.com/mia-info). Concert info:

www.madeinamericafest.com.


This column contains information from Inquirer wire services. Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.