Actresses Valerie Harper, Leah Remini Join ‘Dancing With The Stars’

Actresses Valerie Harper, Leah Remini Join ‘Dancing With The Stars’

Leah Remini is one of 12 celebrities that will dance on the reality competition show's 17th season. Photo: WENN/FayesVision

(Reuters) – Actresses Valerie Harper, who is battling cancer, and Leah Remini will join reality TV star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson for the 17th season of the hit TV competition “Dancing With the Stars.”

The celebrities, whose names were announced Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” are among 12 celebrities who will be paired with professional dancers on the show that will premiere on the ABC network on September 16.

Harper, 74, a four-time Emmy Award winner for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on the hit 1970s TV comedy “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and the spin-off “Rhoda,” said her condition was improving.

“The brain scans you get every two months are looking better and better and better. My doctors, the neurologist and my lung cancer (doctor) because that is what it is. It is in the brain but it is not brain cancer. They are just delighted that I am moving in the right direction,” she told “Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts, herself a cancer survivor.

Remini, 43, recently left the Church of Scientology and is planning to publish a memoir. When asked to size up the competition, the star of the CBS comedy “The King of Queens” said, “Pretty stiff, pretty stiff.”

The celebrities will be taught dances such as the tango, rumba and foxtrot on the hit show.

The cast is completed by actors Brant Daugherty, best known for his role on the TV series “Pretty Little Liars,” and Corbin Bleu, of the film “High School Musical;” actresses Elizabeth Berkley and Amber Riley; Bill Nye, an American educator and actor known as the “Science Guy”; Jack Osbourne, who appeared on the reality show “The Osbournes” with his parents Ozzy and Sharon; R&B singer Christina Milian and comedian Bill Engvall.

The show will air one night a week for two hours and viewers can vote for their favorite celebrity. Former “American Idol” finalist Kellie Pickler and her professional dancing partner Derek Hough won the competition last season.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Dec. 1


A look at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Entertainment

HOLIDAY TV: What to watch this week


This week is packed with programs to get you in the holiday spirit.

in Entertainment

Bono, Clooney, Kardashian part of all-star campaign for AIDS

FILE - In this March 2, 2014 file photo, Bono arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. A New York City doctor says U2 singer Bono suffered multiple fractures and had to have two surgeries after his weekend bicycle accident. Orthopedic trauma surgeon Dr. Dean Lorich says Bono underwent a five-hour surgery on his elbow in which three plates and 18 screws were inserted on Sunday night. Bono had another surgery to repair a fracture to his left pinkie on Monday. Lorich says Bono will need therapy but a full recovery is expected.

Bono is a launching an all-star campaign featuring "once-in-a-lifetime experiences" like walking the red carpet with Meryl Streep or visiting the "Game of Thrones" set.

in Sports

Royals players get $370K bonus for World Series win


The World Series champion Kansas City Royals generously split up their Fall Classic players' pool haul of more than $25 million into 55 full shares worth $370,069 apiece, Major League baseball said on Monday.

in National

Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting suspect to appear in court


Robert Lewis Dear, 57, is expected to face multiple counts of murder and attempted murder.