Harper in 1974
Valerie Kathryn Harper
August 22, 1939
Suffern, New York, U.S.
|Died||August 30, 2019 80) (aged|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Years active||1956–2019[ citation needed ]|
(m. 1964;div. 1978)
Valerie Kathryn Harper (August 22, 1939 – August 30, 2019) was an American actress. She began her career as a dancer on Broadway, making her debut in the musical Take Me Along in 1959. Harper is best remembered for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977) and its spin-off Rhoda (1974–1978). For her work on Mary Tyler Moore, she thrice received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and later received the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on Rhoda.
From 1986 to 1987, Harper appeared as Valerie Hogan on the sitcom Valerie . Her film appearances include roles in Freebie and the Bean (1974) and Chapter Two (1979), both of which garnered her Golden Globe Award nominations. Harper returned to stage work in her later career, appearing in several Broadway productions. In 2010, she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as Tallulah Bankhead in the play Looped .
Harper was born on August 22, 1939, in Suffern, New York, [ citation needed ] from her father's second marriage to Angela Posillico (1933–1996).the daughter of Iva Mildred (née McConnell; 1910–1988) and Howard Donald Harper (1907–1981). Her father was a lighting salesman; her mother was born (and raised) in Dalmeny, Saskatchewan, before becoming a teacher and later trained as a nurse. Her parents married in Alberta before her mother immigrated to the United States. Valerie was the middle child of three siblings, between her sister Leanne (b. 1937) and her brother Merrill (b. 1942, who later took the name "Don"). After her parents' divorce in 1957, she also had a half-sister, Virginia,
She stated that her parents were expecting a boy; after her arrival, her first and middle names were derived from that year's women's doubles tennis champions, Valerie Scott and Kay Stammers.She was of French, English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh ancestry. Harper based her character Rhoda Morgenstern on her Italian stepmother and Penny Ann Green (née Joanna Greenberg), with whom she danced in the Broadway musical Wildcat . She was raised Catholic, although at an early age she "quit" the church.
Her family moved every two years due to her father's work. Harper attended schools in South Orange, New Jersey; Pasadena, California; Monroe, Michigan; Ashland, Oregon; and Jersey City, New Jersey. When her family returned to Oregon, Harper remained in the New York City area to study ballet. She attended Lincoln High School in Jersey City, graduating from the private Young Professionals School on West 56th Street, where classmates included Sal Mineo, Tuesday Weld, and Carol Lynley.
Harper began her show business career as a dancer and chorus girl on Broadway, and went on to perform in several Broadway shows, some choreographed by Michael Kidd, including Wildcat (starring Lucille Ball), Take Me Along (starring Jackie Gleason), and Subways Are for Sleeping . In between, she was also cast in the musical Destry Rides Again , but was forced to leave rehearsals due to illness. Her roommate, actress Arlene Golonka, introduced her to The Second City improvisation theater and to improv performer Dick Schaal, whom Harper later married in 1965. Harper was stepmother to Schaal's daughter, Wendy, an actress. They lived in Greenwich Village.She returned to Broadway in February 2010, playing Tallulah Bankhead in Matthew Lombardo's Looped at the Lyceum Theatre.
Harper appeared in a bit part in the film version of Li'l Abner (1959), playing a Yokumberry Tonic wife. She broke into television on an episode of the soap opera The Doctors ("Zip Guns can Kill"). She was an extra in Love with the Proper Stranger . She was in the ensemble cast of Paul Sills' Story Theatreand toured with Second City along with Schaal, Linda Lavin, and others, later appearing in sketches on Playboy After Dark . Harper performed several characters in a comedy LP record, When You're in Love the Whole World is Jewish , which included the popular novelty single, The Ballad of Irving , a recitation by TV announcer Frank Gallop. Harper and Schaal moved to Los Angeles in 1968, and co-wrote an episode of Love, American Style .
While doing theater in Los Angeles in 1970, Harper was spotted by casting agent Ethel Winant, who called her in to audition for the role of Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show .She co-starred from 1970–1974 and then starred in the spin-off series, Rhoda (CBS 1974–1978) in which her character returned to New York City.
She won four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for her work as Rhoda Morgenstern throughout this period. In 2000, Harper reunited with Moore in Mary and Rhoda , a TV movie that brought their characters together again in later life.The first season of Rhoda was released on DVD on April 21, 2009, by Shout! Factory.
She was nominated for a Golden Globe for "New Star of the Year" for her role in Freebie and the Bean (1974).Harper was a guest star on The Muppet Show in 1976, its first season.
Harper returned to situation comedy in 1986 when she played family matriarch Valerie Hogan on the NBC series Valerie .Following a salary dispute with NBC and production company Lorimar in 1987, Harper was fired from the series at the end of its second season. Harper sued NBC and Lorimar for breach of contract. Her claims against NBC were dismissed, but the jury found that Lorimar had wrongfully fired her and awarded her $1.4 million plus 12.5% of the show's profits. The series continued without her with the explanation that her character had died off-screen. In 1987, it was initially renamed Valerie's Family and then The Hogan Family, as Harper was replaced by actress Sandy Duncan, who played her sister-in-law Sandy Hogan. NBC cancelled The Hogan Family in 1990, but CBS picked up the series for a final season.
Harper appeared in various television movies, including a performance as Maggie in a production of the Michael Cristofer play The Shadow Box , directed by Paul Newman, and in guest roles on such series as Melrose Place (1998) and Sex and the City (1999).
Harper was a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and ran for president in the 2001 election, losing to Melissa Gilbert. She served on the Hollywood board of directors of SAG.
In 2005 through 2006, Harper portrayed Golda Meir in a United States national tour of the one-woman drama Golda's Balcony .A film of this production was released in 2007.
She played Tallulah Bankhead in the world-premiere production of Matthew Lombardo's Looped at the Pasadena Playhouse from June 27 to August 3, 2008.The production moved to Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., in 2009. It then briefly ran on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre, from February 2010 (previews) through April 2010, for which she received a Tony Award nomination. Harper was to continue in the role on a national tour beginning January 2013, but withdrew from the production due to her health.
She played Claire Bremmer, aunt of Susan Delfino (Teri Hatcher), on ABC's Desperate Housewives in 2011.
On September 4, 2013, Harper was announced as a contestant for the 17th season of Dancing with the Stars . She was partnered with professional dancer Tristan MacManus.Harper and MacManus were voted off the show on October 7, 2013.
Harper appeared as the character Wanda, on the American comedy web television series Liza on Demand , in the July 11, 2018, episode: "Valentine's Day".
In the 1970s and '80s, Harper was involved in the women's liberation movement and was an advocate of the Equal Rights Amendment.With Dennis Weaver she co-founded L.I.F.E. in 1983, a charity that fed thousands of needy in Los Angeles.
Harper married actor Richard Schaal in 1964. They divorced in 1978. Harper married Tony Cacciotti in 1987.The couple shortly afterward adopted a daughter. Despite playing Jewish characters, such as Rhoda Morgenstern, Harper herself was not Jewish and was of mixed European and French Canadian descent.
In 2009, Harper was diagnosed with lung cancer.She announced on March 6, 2013, that tests from a January hospital stay revealed she had leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare condition in which cancer cells spread into the meninges, the membranes surrounding the brain. She explained her doctors had given her as little as three months life expectancy. Although the disease was reported to be incurable, her doctors said they were treating her with chemotherapy in an effort to slow its progress. In April 2014, Harper said she was responding well to the treatment. On July 30, 2015, Harper was hospitalized in Maine after falling unconscious, and taken via medevac to a larger hospital for further treatment. She was later discharged.
In 2016, Harper continued battling cancer with treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center but was well enough to appear in a short film, My Mom and the Girl, based on the experiences of director/writer Susie Singer Carter, whose mother has Alzheimer's disease. ... I'm going to fight this. I'm going to see a way." At the time, Harper was developing a television series with Carter. By July 2019, Harper was on a regimen of "a multitude of medications and chemotherapy drugs" and was experiencing "extreme physical and painful challenges" that required "around-the-clock, 24/7 care."In September 2017, she made this comment: "People are saying, 'She's on her way to death and quickly'. Now it's five years instead of three months
Harper died on the morning of August 30, 2019, in Los Angeles, at the age of 80.
|1956||Rock, Rock, Rock!||Dancer at Prom (uncredited)|
|1959||Li'l Abner||Luke's Wife (uncredited)|
|1963||Trash Program||Wife (voice, uncredited)||Short film|
|1969||With a Feminine Touch|
|1973||The Shape of Things||Herself||Television movie|
|1974||Thursday's Game||Ann Menzente|
|Freebie and the Bean||Consuelo||Nominated — Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress|
|1977||Night Terror||Carol Turner||Television movie (also known as Night Drive)|
|1979||Chapter Two||Faye Medwick||Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture|
|1980||The Last Married Couple in America||Barbara|
|Fun and Games||Carol Hefferman||Television movie|
|The Shadow Box||Maggie|
|1981||The Day the Loving Stopped||Norma Danner|
|1982||Farrell for the People||Elizabeth "Liz" Farrell|
|Don't Go to Sleep||Laura|
|1983||An Invasion of Privacy||Kate Bianchi|
|1984||Blame It on Rio||Karen Hollis|
|1985||The Execution||Hannah Epstein||Television movie|
|1987||Strange Voices||Lynn Glover|
|1988||Drop-Out Mother||Nora Cromwell|
|The People Across the Lake||Rachel Yoman|
|1990||Stolen: One Husband||Katherine Slade|
|1991||Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Fashion||Dyan Draper|
|1993||The Poetry Hall of Fame||Herself|
|1994||A Friend to Die For||Mrs. Delvecchio|
|1995||The Great Mom Swap||Grace Venessi|
|1997||Dog's Best Friend||Chicken (voice)|
|2000||Mary and Rhoda||Rhoda Morgenstern-Rousseau|
|2002||Dancing at the Harvest Moon||Claire|
|2007||Golda's Balcony||Golda Meir|
|My Future Boyfriend||Bobbi Moreau||Television movie|
|Fixing Pete||Mrs. Friedlander|
|2014||The Town That Came A-Courtin'||Charlotte||Television movie|
|2015||Merry Xmas||Mother||7 minute short|
|2016||My Mom and the Girl||Norma/Nanny||22 minute short|
|Stars in Shorts: No Ordinary Love||Mother||Merry Xmas segment|
|1963||The Doctors||Mrs. Steiner||Season 1, Episode 11: "Zip Guns Can Kill"|
|1970–1977||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Rhoda Morgenstern||92 episodes|
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (1971–73)
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (1973–74)
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
|1971||Story Theatre||Unknown||Unknown episodes|
|Love, American Style||Barbara Watkins||Episode: "Love and the Housekeeper"|
|The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour||Herself||1 episode|
|1972||Columbo||Eve Babcock||Episode: "The Most Crucial Game"|
|1972||The Dick Cavett Show||Herself||1 episode|
|1973||The Carol Burnett Show||Herself||1 episode|
|1974–1978||Rhoda||Rhoda Morgenstern Gerard||110 episodes|
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1976–78)
|1975||John Denver Rocky Mountain Christmas 1975 TV Special||Herself||Television special|
|1976||The Muppet Show||Episode: "Valerie Harper"|
|1976-1990||The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson||Herself||8 episodes|
|1978-1980||The Mike Douglas Show||Herself||7 episodes|
|1986||The Love Boat||Laurel Peters||2 episodes: "Egyptian Cruise Part 1 & Part 2"|
|1986–1987||Valerie||Valerie Hogan||32 episodes|
|1990||City||Liz Gianni||13 episodes|
|1990||Late Night with David Letterman||Herself||1 episode|
|1991||Mary Tyler Moore: The 20th Anniversary Show||Herself||Television special|
|1994||Missing Persons||Ellen Hartig||3 episodes|
|1995||The Office||Rita Stone||6 episodes|
|1996–1999||Touched by an Angel||Kate Prescott||2 episodes: "Flesh and Blood" (1996) and "Full Circle" (1999)|
|1996-2001||The Rosie O'Donnell Show||Herself||6 episodes|
|1996||Promised Land||Molly Arnold||Episode: "The Magic Gate"|
|1998||Generator Gawl||Various (voice)||Unknown episodes|
|Melrose Place||Mia Mancini||2 episodes: "Mama Mia" and "Last Train to Bagdad"|
|Sorcerous Stabber Orphen||Townspeople (voice)||Episode: "The Sword of Baltanders"|
|1999||Sex and the City||Wallis Wysel||Episode: "Shortcomings"|
|2000||Beggars and Choosers||Unknown||Episode: "Be Careful What You Wish For"|
|As Told by Ginger||Maryellen (voice)||Episode: "The Wedding Frame"|
|2001||That '70s Show||Paula||Episode: "Eric's Naughty No-no"|
|Family Law||Julia||Episode: "Clemency"|
|Three Sisters||Merle Keats||2 episodes: "The In Laws" and "Three Thanksgivings, One Turkey"|
|2002||The Mary Tyler Moore Reunion||Herself||Television special|
|2003−2004||Less than Perfect||Judith||2 episodes: "Claude's Alternative Thanksgiving" and "Mom's the Word"|
|2005||Committed||Lily Solomon||Episode: "The Mother Episode"|
|2007-2016||Entertainment Tonight||Herself||7 episodes|
|2008||The Oprah Winfrey Show||Herself||1 episode|
|2009||'Til Death||Barbara||Episode: "The Courtship of Eddie's Parents"|
|2011||Desperate Housewives||Claire Bremmer||Episode: "Where Do I Belong"|
|2011–2012||Drop Dead Diva||Judge Leslie Singer||2 episodes: "Bride-a-Palooza" and "Freak Show"|
|2011-2013||The Talk||Herself||1 episode|
|2013–2018||The Simpsons||Various characters (voice)||8 episodes|
|2013||Hot in Cleveland||Angie||Episode: "Love Is All Around"|
|The View||Herself||2 episodes|
|Dancing with the Stars||Herself (Contestant)||6 episodes|
|2014–2019||American Dad!||IHOP Diner / Various (voice)||2 episodes|
|2014||Signed, Sealed, Delivered||Theresa Capodiamonte||Guest star; 2 episodes: "Time to Start Livin' " and "To Whom It May Concern"|
|2015||Melissa & Joey||Aunt Bunny||Episode: "Thanks But No Thanks"|
|2 Broke Girls||Nola||Episode: "And The Great Unwashed"|
|2016||Childrens Hospital||Mamma Fiorucci||Episode: "Childrens Horsepital"|
|2018||Liza on Demand||Wanda||Episode "Valentine's Day"|
|1959–1960||Take Me Along||Lady Entertainer, Townswoman|
|1961–1962||Subways Are for Sleeping||Dancer|
|1967–1968||Something Different||Beth Nemerov||Replacement|
|1970–1971||Paul Sills' Story Theatre||Various|
|1995||Death Defying Acts||Dorothy/Carol||Replacement. Off-Broadway: Variety Arts Theatre|
|1998–1999||All Under Heaven||Pearl S. Buck||Off-Broadway's Century Center Theatre. Ran November 3, 1998 – January 11, 1999. Played 16 previews and 65 regular performances.|
|2001–2002||The Tale of the Allergist's Wife||Marjorie||Replacement (July 31, 2001 – May 26, 2002)|
|2008–2010||Looped||Tallulah Bankhead||2010 Tony Award nominee: Best Actress in a Play. Looped ran on Broadway (at the Lyceum Theatre), February 19 – April 11, 2010 for 60 performances.|
|2015||Nice Work if You Can Get It||Millicent Winter||Ogunquit Playhouse (Maine) (July 22–29—bowed out after collapsing backstage and being hospitalized. Replaced by Brenda Vaccaro for remaining run through August 15, 2015.)|
|1971||Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Won|
|Golden Globe||Best Supporting Actress — Television||Nominated|
|1973||Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Won|
|Golden Globe||Best Supporting Actress — Television||Nominated|
|1974||Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series|
|Golden Globe||New Female Star of the Year||Freebie and the Bean|
|Best Actress in a TV Comedy Series||Rhoda||Won|
|1975||Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series|
|Golden Globe||Best Actress in a TV Comedy Series||Nominated|
|1976||Primetime Emmy||Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series|
|1979||Golden Globe||Best Supporting Actress — Motion Picture||Chapter Two|
|2010||Tony Award||Best Actress in a Play||Looped|
Mary Tyler Moore was an American actress, producer and social advocate. She was widely known for her prominent television sitcom roles in The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966) and The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977).
Julie Deborah Kavner is an American actress. She first attracted notice for her role as Brenda Morgenstern, the younger sister of Valerie Harper's title character in the sitcom Rhoda, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She is best known for her voice role as Marge Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons. She also voices other characters for the show, including Marge's mother, Jacqueline Bouvier, and sisters Patty and Selma Bouvier.
Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was an American actress of the stage and screen. Bankhead was a member of the Brockman Bankhead family, a prominent Alabama political family; her grandfather and uncle were U.S. Senators and her father served as an 11-term member of Congress, the final two as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Tallulah's support of liberal causes such as civil rights broke with the tendency of the Southern Democrats to support a more typically aligned agenda, and she often opposed her own family publicly.
Rhoda is an American sitcom television series starring Valerie Harper that originally aired on CBS for five seasons from September 9, 1974, to December 9, 1978.
Brett Somers was a Canadian-American game-show personality, actress, and singer who was born in New Brunswick and raised in Maine. Brett was best known as a panelist on the 1970s game show Match Game and for her recurring role as Blanche Madison opposite her real-life husband, actor Jack Klugman, on The Odd Couple.
Anna Maria Chlumsky is an American actress. She began her career as a child actress, best known playing the lead role of Vada Sultenfuss in My Girl (1991) and its 1994 sequel. Between 1999 and 2005, Chlumsky's career entered a hiatus while she attended college. She returned to acting with roles in several independent films, including Blood Car (2007) and In the Loop (2009). From 2012 to 2019 Chlumsky portrayed Amy Brookheimer on the HBO television series Veep, for which she has received six nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
Nancy Walker was an American actress and comedian of stage, screen, and television. She was also a film and television director. During her five-decade long career, she may be best remembered for her long-running roles as Mildred on McMillan & Wife and Ida Morgenstern, who first appeared on several episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and later became a prominent recurring character on the spinoff series Rhoda.
Bonnie Gail Franklin was an American actress, known for her leading role in the television series One Day at a Time (1975–1984). She was nominated for Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe Awards.
Amanda Michael Plummer is an American-Canadian actress. She is known for her work on stage and for her roles in such films as Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), The Fisher King (1991), Pulp Fiction (1994), and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013). Plummer won a Tony Award in 1982 for her performance in Agnes of God.
Phyllis is an American sitcom television series that aired on CBS from September 8, 1975, to March 13, 1977. Created by Ed. Weinberger and Stan Daniels, it was the second spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The show starred Cloris Leachman as Phyllis Lindstrom, who was previously Mary Richards' neighbor, college friend, and landlady on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Brenda Buell Vaccaro is an American stage, television, and film actress. In a career spanning over half a century, she received one Academy Award nomination, three Golden Globe Award nominations, four Primetime Emmy Award nominations, and three Tony Award nominations.
Terri Sue "Tovah" Feldshuh is an American actress, singer, and playwright. She has been a Broadway star for more than four decades, earning four Tony Award nominations. She has also received two Emmy Award nominations for Holocaust and Law & Order, and appeared in such films as A Walk on the Moon, She's Funny That Way, and Kissing Jessica Stein. In 2015–2016, she played the role of Deanna Monroe on AMC's television adaptation of The Walking Dead.
Richard Schaal was an American film and television actor.
Rhoda Faye Morgenstern, portrayed by Valerie Harper, is a fictional character on the television sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show and subsequent spin-off, Rhoda.
David Lawrence Groh was an American actor best known for his portrayal of Joe Gerard in the 1970s television series Rhoda, opposite Valerie Harper.
Mary and Rhoda is a 2000 American made-for-television comedy-drama film starring Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper reprising their roles as Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern from the 1970–1977 sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Looped is a play by Matthew Lombardo about an event surrounding actress Tallulah Bankhead. It had a Broadway run in 2010, after two previous productions in 2008 and 2009, all three of them featuring Valerie Harper.
The Hogan Family is an American sitcom television series that began airing on NBC on March 1, 1986 and finished its run on CBS on July 20, 1991, for a total of six seasons. It was produced in association with Lorimar Productions (1986), Lorimar-Telepictures (1986–1988), and Lorimar Television (1988–1991). Originally starring Valerie Harper in the titular role as a mother trying to juggle her career with raising three sons with an absent airline pilot husband, Harper's character was killed off in the series after its second season, when Harper was fired from the series following contractual disputes. The series was initially renamed Valerie's Family before Sandy Duncan joined the cast as Valerie's sister-in-law and the boys' aunt, and the series was ultimately renamed The Hogan Family.
Uzoamaka Nwanneka "Uzo" Aduba is a Nigerian-American actress. She is known for her role as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black (2013–2019), for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014, an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2015, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series in 2014 and 2015. She is one of only two actors to win an Emmy Award in both the comedy and drama categories for the same role, the other being Ed Asner for the character Lou Grant.
It's 'well-known' that I was born in 1940, I read it everywhere, but it was actually 1939.
Valerie Harper, center, participated in a rally in support of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1978 in Seattle. She is flanked by her sister, Leah Windward, right, and Diane Narasaki.”
Harper is actually Catholic,...
That was the end of the Catholic church for me. I quit. I had a big click.
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