- Category : Entertainment-Actor-Actress
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (11,43,62)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Industry 2
American actress who became widely popular as the man-hungry worrywart, Rhoda Morgenstern, on the popular Mary Tyler Moore Show for four years (1970-1974). She continued the same character married to a nice Jewish boy in her spin-off role in 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.
Harper started as a dancer at New York Radio City Music Hall, moving on to stock productions and musicals. Following her two popular series, she concentrated on changing her image, making a pilot that fizzled in 1982 and starring in the family sitcom Valerie (1986-1987). In 1995 her series, The Office, had a short run.
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.
In 2001, she released her autobiography, Today I am a Ma'am. Harper ran against Melissa Gilbert for president of the Screen Actor's Guild, a contest that Gilbert won with such a narrow margin and "too many inconsistencies" that a rerun was called for by the guild committee on 7 January 2002.
Harper's first marriage was to Richard Schaal, 1964-1979, and her second marriage was to Tony Cacciotti, 1983, with one adopted daughter, Cristina Cacciotti. Involved in the civic drive against hunger, she rolled up her sleeves to do volunteer work in the Los Angeles, California soup kitchen projects.
In 2009, Harper was diagnosed with lung cancer. Tests from a 2013 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 was treated with chemotherapy. In 2016, Harper continued battling cancer with treatment.
Valerie Harper died at 10:06 AM on 30 August 2019 in Los Angeles, eight days after her 80th birthday.