Valerie Harper Biography, Age, Career, Health, Acting Role and Movies

Last Updated on August 7, 2022 by Administrator

Valerie Haper Biography

Valerie Harper born Valerie Kathryn Harper is an American actress. She played Rhoda Morgenstern in the 1970s television series The Mary Tyler Moore Show and in its spin-off, Rhoda. She later played Valerie Hogan in The Hogan Family. She is a four-time Primetime Emmy Award winner.

Valerie Haper

Valerie Harper Age

Melanie was born on 22 August 1939, Suffern, New York, United States. She is 79 years as of 2018.

Valerie Harper Height

She stands at a height of 1.68m.

Valerie Harper Image

Valerie Harper Image

Valerie Harper Daughter

Valarie and the late Tony adopted a daughter.

Valerie Harper Husband

Harper married actor Richard Schaal in 1964. They divorced in 1978. Harper later married Tony Cacciotti in 1987; the couple adopted a daughter.

Valerie Harper Career

Broadway dancer and improv

Harper began 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 Destry Rides Again but was forced to leave rehearsals due to illness. Her roommate, actress Arlene Golonka, introduced her to 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 Sill’s Story Theatre and toured with Second City with Schaal, Linda Lavin and others, later appearing in sketches on Playboy After Dark. Harper performed several characters in a comedy LP, 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.

Television

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.

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 percent 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 canceled 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)

Valerie Harper Acting Role

For the rest of the 1960s, Harper worked on making her transition from dancer to actress. She began taking acting lessons under famous instructor Viola Spolin, whose son, Paul Sills, founded Chicago’s Second City Theater. After seeing her comedic talents, Sills invited Harper to join his company. Spurred on by her work at Second City, Harper returned to Broadway as an actress in Carl Reiner’s 1967 production of Something Different and Paul Sills’s 1970 production of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. It was through her work with Second City that Harper also met Richard Schaal, whom she married in 1964. They stayed together for 14 years before divorcing. (Harper married Tony Cacciotti in 1987, and they have one daughter, Christine Cacciotti.)
In 1970, with no television acting experience on her résumé save a few turns as an extra, Harper was cast in a prominent role in the popular CBS sitcom, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Harper played Rhoda Morgenstern, a Jewish girl from the Bronx who befriends her neighbor, Mary. The role instantly transformed Harper into a television star, and she won three consecutive Emmy Awards (1971-1973) for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her performance. In 1974, Harper’s character received her own spin-off show, Rhoda. Rhoda also proved a big hit, sometimes even earning better ratings than its parent show. In 1975, Harper won both the Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
Since Rhoda went off the air in 1978, Harper has continued to appear frequently on the big screen and on TV. She has acted in the films Freebie and the Bean (1974), The Last Married Couple in America (1980), Blame it on Rio (1984) and the TV movie Mary and Rhoda (2000). She has also appeared on numerous popular televisions shows, including City (1990), Touched by an Angel (1996, 1999), Sex and the City (1999) and That ’70s Show (2001).

In 1986, NBC gave Harper her own show, Valerie, a family-oriented sitcom Harper hoped would revive her career as a television star. However, the show became the source of one of the greatest legal disputes in TV history when, after two seasons, NBC suddenly fired Harper from her own show. Harper sued NBC for wrongful dismissal, demanding damages and an injunction against using her name in the show’s title. NBC then countersued Harper for libel. In the end, Harper won some of the damages she sought and NBC changed the name of the show to The Hogan Family.

Valerie Harper Health|  Coma| Valerie Harper Brain Cancer

In the year 2009, Harper was diagnosed with lung cancer. She announced on March 6, 2013, that tests from a January hospital stay revealed she has leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare condition in which cancer cells spread into the meninges, the membranes surrounding the brain. She said 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. 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 … I’m going to fight this. I’m going to see a way.” At the time, Harper was developing a TV series with Carter

Valerie Harper Last Days

Valerie Harper Hogan Family

She played Valerie Hogan in The Hogan Family.

Valerie Harper Movies

Year

Title

Role

2016

My Mom and the Girl

Norma/Nanny

Stars in Shorts: No Ordinary Love

Mother

2015

Merry Xmas

Mother

2014

The Town That Came A-Courtin’

Charlotte

2011

Shiver

Audrey Alden

My Future Boyfriend

Bobbi Moreau

Fixing Pete

Mrs. Friedlander

Certainty

Kathryn

2007

Golda’s Balcony

Golda Meir

2002

Dancing at the Harvest Moon

Claire

2000

Mary and Rhoda

Rhoda Morgenstern-Rousseau

1997

Dog’s Best Friend

Chicken (voice)

1995

The Great Mom Swap

Grace Venessi

1994

A Friend to Die For

Mrs. Delvecchio

1993

The Poetry Hall of Fame

Herself

1991

Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Fashion

Dyan Draper

1990

Stolen: One Husband

Katherine Slade

1988

Drop-Out Mother

Nora Cromwell

The People Across the Lake

Rachel Yoman

1987

Strange Voices

Lynn Glover

1985

The Execution

Hannah Epstein

1984

Blame It on Rio

Karen Hollis

1983

An Invasion of Privacy

Kate Bianchi

1982

Farrell for the People

Elizabeth “Liz” Farrell

Don’t Go to Sleep

Laura

1981

The Day the Loving Stopped

Norma Danner

1980

The Last Married Couple in America

Barbara

1980

Fun and Games

Carol Hefferman

The Shadow Box

Maggie

1979

Chapter Two

Faye Medwick

1977

Night Terror

Carol Turner

1974

Thursday’s Game

Ann Menzente

Freebie and the Bean

Consuelo

1973

The Shape of Things

Herself

1969

With a Feminine Touch

1963

Trash Program

Wife (voice, uncredited)

1959

Li’l Abner

Luke’s Wife (uncredited)

1956

Rock, Rock, Rock!

Dancer at Prom (uncredited)

Valerie Harper TV Shows

Year

Title

Role

2016

Childrens Hospital

Mamma Fiorucci, head of the Fiorucci crime family

2015

Melissa & Joey

Aunt Bunny

2 Broke Girls

Nola

2014

American Dad!

IHOP Diner

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Theresa Capodiamonte

2013–2018

The Simpsons

Various Characters

2013

Hot in Cleveland

Angie

Dancing with the Stars

Herself (Contestant)

2011–2012

Drop Dead Diva

Judge Leslie Singer

2011

Desperate Housewives

Claire Bremmer

2009

‘Til Death

Barbara

2005

Committed

Lily Solomon

2003−2004

Less than Perfect

Judith

2001

That ’70s Show

Paula

Family Law

Julia

Three Sisters

Merle Keats

2000

Beggars and Choosers

Unknown

As Told by Ginger

Maryellen (voice)

1999

Sex and the City

Wallis Wysel

1998

Generator Gawl

Various (voice)

Melrose Place

Mia Mancini

Sorcerous Stabber Orphen

Townspeople (voice)

1996–1999

Touched by an Angel

Kate Prescott

1996

Promised Land

Molly Arnold

1995

The Office

Rita Stone

1994

Missing Persons

Ellen Hartig

1990

City

Liz Gianni

1986–1987

Valerie

Valerie Hogan

1986

The Love Boat

Laurel Peters

1982

Fridays

Herself

1976

The Muppet Show

Herself

1975

John Denver Rocky Mountain Christmas 1975 TV Special

Herself

1974–1978

Rhoda

Rhoda Morgenstern Gerard

1972

Columbo

Eve Babcock

1971

Story Theatre

Unknown

Love, American Style

Barbara Watkins

1970–1977

The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Rhoda Morgenstern

Valerie Harper Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Richards is a thirty-something single woman who settles in Minneapolis after breaking up with a boyfriend. She lands a job as an associate producer of the evening news at WJM-TV, which happens to be the area’s lowest-rated station. Her boss, Lou Grant, hates her spunk but often looks to her to solve newsroom (or even personal) problems. Mary’s other coworkers include news writer Murray Slaughter, egomaniacal anchorman Ted Baxter and “Happy Homemaker” Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White). Mary’s home is a modest studio apartment — and her upstairs neighbor, Rhoda Morgenstern, quickly becomes a good friend. Later in the series, Mary moves to a plush high-rise apartment before leaving Minneapolis and WJM for good.
First episode date: 19 September 1970
Theme song: Love Is All Around
Network: CBS
Spin-offs: Rhoda, Lou Grant, Phyllis

Valerie Harper Later Years

In her later years, Harper returned to the place where she first made a name for herself—the stage. In 2007, she portrayed former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in a national tour of the one-person show Golda’s Balcony. And in 2010, she returned to Broadway to star as actress Tallulah Bankhead in the play Looped, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress.

In January 2013, Harper received some heartbreaking news. She was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. Doctors gave her only a few months to live. That March, Harper shared her tragic news with People magazine. She remained upbeat despite her terminal illness, telling People that “I don’t think of dying. I think of being here now.”

By that summer, Harper received some amazing news. She appeared on the Today show in August to discuss how her illness had responded positively to treatment. While her disease is still incurable, Harper has bought herself more time to enjoy her life. She announced in September that she would be joining the cast of Dancing With the Stars. On the dance competition, Harper competed against actress Leah Remini and science expert and television personality Bill Nye among others. She was eliminated after a less-than-stellar performance of a Viennese waltz. Harper told ABC News that she wasn’t upset about leaving the show. “I’m happy to have been here for four weeks.” She further explained that “If the show’s about good dancing and achieving ballroom styles, I wasn’t there yet.”

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