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Valerie Harper Biography 1939-

Valerie-Harper ’s fame largely rests on her colorful portraiture of television’s “New Yawk-er” Rhoda Morgenstern. After burgeoning up in Oregon, Michigan and Jersey urban center, Harper became a chorus dancer through the enormous Apple, hoofing with the Radio urban center Rockettes and carrying out in such Broadway musicals as Li’l Abner, Take Me Along, Wildcat and Subways Are for Sleeping. Her first movie appearance was from the 1959 movie adaptation of Li’l Abner. While spending her nights on stage, she attended Hunter College along with the New School for Social information, supporting herself among dancing gigs as a telephone canvasser and hat-check girl. through the 1960s, she did comedy-improv work with Second urban center and Paul Sill’s Story Theatre (one of her co-workers during her Sills years was her first spouse, comic actor Richard Schaal). of the common mid-1960s comedy record lp When You’re in Love, the full World is Jewish, Harper could be heard offering an embryonic version of Rhoda Morgenstern, a character she based on her childhood friend Penny Almog. So well-grounded was she in Rhoda-like characterizations from 1970 that she was hired for The Mary Tyler Moore Show (her first monthly TV-series gig) on the basis of a one-sentence audition. After winning 3 Emmies for her Mary Tyler Moore work, Harper was spun off into her personal series in 1974, titled Rhoda. Though it opened to high quality ratings (thanks largely towards the one-hour episode through which Rhoda married her blue-collar fiance Joe [David Groh]), Rhoda was never as enormous a hit as Mary Tyler Moore, and it left the air in 1978. During this period, Harper created her formal film debut in Freebie as well as the Bean (1974), earning a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of a Puerto Rican housewife. After toting up various stage and TV-video credits, she returned on the weekly-series grind in 1986 with Valerie. She walked out on the show over a salary dispute, whereupon the producers fired her and retooled the series into The Hogan Family, which ran without Harper until 1991. She has starred in two series since leaving Valerie (1990’s City and 1995’s The Office) but has been unable to latch onto a character with the staying effectiveness of Rhoda Morgenstern. Additional visual appeals in Melrose Place, Sex as well as the metropolis, Desperate Houseqives, and Drop Dead Diva followed, super active in prosocial causes off-camera, was co-founder of an anti-hunger organization called EXISTENCE (Love Is Feeding Everyone).

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