- Date of Birth:
- August 21, 1939
- 5' 6"
Valerie Harper (born Valerie Kathryn Harper in August 22, 1939 in Suffern, New York) is an American actress. Valerie’s family moved every two years due to her father’s job as a lighting salesman. She grew up in New Jersey, California, Michigan and Oregon. When her family moved to Oregon, Valerie remained in the New York City area to study ballet. In 1959, she began as a dancer and chorus girl on Broadway in the musical Lil’ Abner. She performed in several Broadway shows in the 1960s. Valerie switched to television in 1970s, when she was cast as Rhoda Morgenstern, Mary Tyler Moore’s best friend on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Valerie stayed with the show from 1970-74, when she left to star in the spin-off series, Rhoda. She won four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for her work as the character. She was cast in the NBC series Valerie in 1986. She was fired from the show after its second season, resulting in a wrongful termination lawsuit that won Valerie 1.4 million dollars. Since then, Valerie has appeared in many television shows and films, including Melrose Place and Sex and the City. In 2013, Valerie was a contestant on the 17th season of Dancing With The Stars.
Best Known For:
In 1970, Valerie was cast as Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which ran through 1974.
Valerie married improv performer. Dick Schaal. in 1965, but they divorced in 1978. Nine years later, she married Tony Cacciotti, and the two of them adopted a daughter together. Valerie has had some health issues in her life: she battled lung cancer in 2009, and in March 2013, she announced she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given three months to live. Valerie’s disease was reportedly incurable, but she has undergone chemotherapy to slow its progress. In April 2014, she was reportedly responding well to the treatment. In July 2015, Valerie was rushed to the hospital before a performance of Nice Work If You Can Get It in Maine.