Valerie Harper biography

Valerie Harper was an American actress best known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on the popular television sitcoms “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spin-off, “Rhoda.” Here’s a brief overview of her biography:

  1. Early Life:
  • Valerie Kathryn Harper was born on August 22, 1939, in Suffern, New York, USA.
  1. Theater Beginnings:
  • Harper started her career in show business as a dancer on Broadway in the early 1960s.
  1. Breakthrough Role – “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970-1974):
  • Harper gained widespread recognition and acclaim for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern, the best friend of Mary Richards (played by Mary Tyler Moore), in the television series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
  1. Spin-off – “Rhoda” (1974-1978):
  • The success of the character Rhoda led to a spin-off series titled “Rhoda,” in which Valerie Harper starred from 1974 to 1978. Harper won several Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Rhoda.
  1. Awards and Accolades:
  • Valerie Harper received four Primetime Emmy Awards for her work on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda.”
  1. Film Career:
  • Harper appeared in films, including “Freebie and the Bean” (1974) and “Chapter Two” (1979).
  1. Stage Work:
  • Harper also had a successful career in theater, starring in productions such as “Looped” and “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.”
  1. Diagnosis and Advocacy:
  • In 2013, Valerie Harper was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer (leptomeningeal carcinomatosis). Despite her diagnosis, she continued to be an advocate for cancer research and awareness.
  1. Memoir – “I, Rhoda” (2013):
  • Valerie Harper wrote a memoir titled “I, Rhoda,” which was published in 2013. The memoir details her life and career, as well as her experiences with cancer.
  1. Personal Life:
    • Valerie Harper was married twice, first to actor Richard Schaal and later to Tony Cacciotti. She had a daughter named Cristina from her first marriage.
  2. Legacy:
    • Valerie Harper left a lasting legacy in the world of television, being remembered for her iconic portrayal of Rhoda Morgenstern and her contributions to the entertainment industry.
  3. Death:
    • Valerie Harper passed away on August 30, 2019, at the age of 80, due to complications from brain cancer.

Valerie Harper’s talent, warmth, and humor endeared her to audiences, making her an influential figure in the world of television. Her portrayal of Rhoda Morgenstern remains one of the iconic characters in television history.

Trivia of Valerie Harper

Absolutely, here are some trivia tidbits about Valerie Harper:

  1. Early Career on Broadway:
  • Before making a name in television, Valerie Harper started her career as a dancer on Broadway.
  1. The Role of Rhoda:
  • Harper’s breakout role was as Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Her character was so beloved that it led to the spin-off series “Rhoda,” where she continued to win hearts.
  1. Emmy Awards:
  • Valerie Harper received four Primetime Emmy Awards for her outstanding work, three for her role on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and one for “Rhoda.”
  1. Marriage to Richard Schaal:
  • Valerie was first married to actor Richard Schaal, whom she met while working on the improv show “Metromedia.” They were married from 1964 to 1978.
  1. Second Marriage to Tony Cacciotti:
  • After her first marriage ended, Valerie Harper married Tony Cacciotti in 1987, and they remained married until her passing. Tony was also her manager and caregiver during her battle with cancer.
  1. Film Roles:
  • Harper appeared in several films, including the crime-comedy “Freebie and the Bean” (1974) and the romantic comedy “Chapter Two” (1979).
  1. Author:
  • Valerie Harper penned a memoir titled “I, Rhoda,” published in 2013. The book delves into her life, career, and experiences with cancer.
  1. Broadway Success:
  • Harper had success on Broadway, starring in various productions, including “Subways Are for Sleeping” and “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.”
  1. Cancer Diagnosis and Advocacy:
  • In 2013, Valerie Harper revealed that she had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer (leptomeningeal carcinomatosis). Despite her diagnosis, she became an advocate for cancer awareness and research.
  1. Television Appearances:
    • Valerie Harper made guest appearances on numerous television shows, including “Melrose Place,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “Hot in Cleveland.”
  2. Dancing with the Stars:
    • In 2013, despite her health challenges, Harper participated in the 17th season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
  3. Family:
    • Valerie had a daughter named Cristina with her first husband, Richard Schaal.
  4. Positive Attitude:
    • Throughout her battle with cancer, Valerie Harper maintained a positive and inspiring outlook, becoming a symbol of strength for many.

Valerie Harper’s contributions to entertainment, her warmth, and her resilience in the face of adversity have left an indelible mark on the hearts of many. Her legacy lives on through her impactful performances and advocacy work.

Valerie Harper movies list

Valerie Harper had a diverse career in film, television, and theater. Here are some movies in which she appeared:

  1. “Freebie and the Bean” (1974):
  • Harper played the role of Consuelo in this crime-comedy film directed by Richard Rush.
  1. “Chapter Two” (1979):
  • In this romantic comedy-drama film directed by Robert Moore, Valerie Harper portrayed the character of Jennie MacLaine.
  1. “Blame It on Rio” (1984):
  • Harper had a role in this romantic comedy film directed by Stanley Donen, starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore.
  1. “City” (1990):
  • Harper appeared in this drama film directed by David Riker.
  1. “Women of the House” (TV Movie, 1995):
  • While not a theatrical release, this television movie served as a continuation of the sitcom “Designing Women,” and Harper reprised her role as Rhoda Morgenstern.
  1. “Mary and Rhoda” (TV Movie, 2000):
  • Another TV movie reunion, this film brought together Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper in their iconic roles as Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern.
  1. “Goldie and Kids: Listen to Us” (TV Movie, 1982):
  • Harper had a role in this television movie directed by Harvey Medlinsky.

While Valerie Harper was best known for her television work, these films showcase her versatility as an actress in different genres. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, and there might be other projects in which she appeared.

Valerie Harper hobbies

Valerie Harper, known for her acting career, had interests and hobbies that extended beyond the world of entertainment. While specific details about her personal hobbies may not be extensively documented, here are some general aspects that people in the public eye often engage in:

  1. Reading:
  • Many actors and creative individuals enjoy reading as a way to relax and expand their knowledge. Valerie Harper may have had a love for literature.
  1. Travel:
  • Traveling is a common interest for those who have the means and opportunity. Exploring new places and experiencing different cultures can be enriching.
  1. Philanthropy and Advocacy:
  • Valerie Harper was an advocate for cancer awareness and research. Engaging in philanthropy and advocacy work is a meaningful hobby for many individuals.
  1. Writing:
  • Harper wrote her memoir, “I, Rhoda,” which suggests an interest in writing. Some people find joy in expressing themselves through written works.
  1. Outdoor Activities:
  • Enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking, gardening, or simply spending time in nature is a hobby embraced by many.
  1. Socializing:
  • Spending time with friends and family, socializing, and attending events can be a source of enjoyment for individuals in the public eye.
  1. Arts and Culture:
  • Given her background in the arts, Valerie Harper may have had an appreciation for various forms of art, including theater, visual arts, and music.
  1. Fitness and Wellness:
  • Many individuals maintain a focus on fitness and wellness as a hobby. Activities like yoga, hiking, or participating in sports can contribute to overall well-being.
  1. Cooking and Culinary Exploration:
  • Cooking and trying out new recipes can be a hobby for those who enjoy culinary pursuits.
  1. Family Time:
    • Spending quality time with family and loved ones is a cherished hobby for many individuals.

It’s important to note that these are general speculations based on common hobbies and interests. The specific details of Valerie Harper’s hobbies may not be extensively documented publicly.

Valerie Harper awards

Valerie Harper received several awards and nominations throughout her career, recognizing her talent and contributions to the entertainment industry. Here are some of the notable awards she received:

  1. Primetime Emmy Awards:
  • Valerie Harper won four Primetime Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Rhoda Morgenstern:
    • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1971, 1972, 1973)
    • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for “Rhoda” (1975)
  1. Golden Globe Awards:
  • Harper received several Golden Globe nominations:
    • Nominated for Best Supporting Actress – Television for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1974)
    • Won Best TV Actress – Musical/Comedy Series for “Rhoda” (1975)
    • Nominated for Best TV Actress – Musical/Comedy Series for “Rhoda” (1976)
  1. TV Land Award:
  • In 2002, Valerie Harper and the cast of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” received the TV Land Innovator Award.
  1. Women’s Image Network Awards:
  • Harper received the Actress in a Comedy Series Award for her role in “Valerie” at the 16th Annual Women’s Image Network Awards in 2014.
  1. CableACE Awards:
  • Nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for “City” in 1991.
  1. Theatre World Award:
  • Valerie Harper received the Theatre World Award for her Broadway debut in “Something Different” in 1967.

These awards reflect the recognition and appreciation Valerie Harper received for her exceptional performances, particularly for her iconic role as Rhoda Morgenstern in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda.”


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