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  • Harper Valerie

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Valerie Harper (1939)

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  Summary  

Valerie Harper is an American actress, known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on the 1970s television show The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and for her starring roles on the sitcoms Rhoda (a spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show) and Valerie.

  Biography  

 early life and career
Harper was born at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, Rockland County, New York. Her Canadian-born mother, Iva (née McConnell), was a nurse, and her father, Howard Donald Harper, was a lighting salesman. Harper is of French and British ancestry, and was raised Roman Catholic, although at an early age she "quit" the church. The family moved every two years because of her father's promotions, living in South Orange, New Jersey. St. Andrews in Pasadena, California ; Monroe, Michigan, at age 10, where she attended St. Mary's Academy; then Ashland, Oregon "at 11 to 13"; and then Jersey City, New Jersey from eighth grade through age 18. When her family returned to Oregon, Harper remained in the New York City area to study ballet. She has an older sister, Leah; a younger brother, Don ; and a half-sister, Virginia, from her father's second marriage. Harper based her future character Rhoda Morgenstern both on her Italian stepmother, Angela Basilico, and Penny Ann Green (née Joanna Greenberg from Brooklyn), with whom she danced in the Broadway musical Wildcat.

Early TV-comedy influences included Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Joan Davis, Your Show of Shows, and, later, Mary Tyler Moore in The Dick Van Dyke Show. She attended Lincoln High School in Jersey City, and finished high school at the private Young Professionals School on West 56th Street, where classmates included Sal Mineo, Barbara Dana, Tuesday Weld, and Carol Lynley. She has been married to Tony Cacciotti since 1987.

 later career
Harper is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and ran for president in the 2001 election, losing to Melissa Gilbert. However, she serves on the Hollywood Board of Directors of SAG.

In 2005 through 2006, Harper portrayed Golda Meir in a US National tour of the one-woman drama Golda's Balcony. A film of this production was released in 2007.

She played Tallulah Bankhead in the world-premiere production of Matthew Lombardo's Looped at the Pasadena Playhouse in California in a June 27 to August 3, 2008 run, and at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, in 2009. The play had a brief run on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre, from February 2010 through April 2010.

Harper will play the role of Claire, aunt of Susan Delfino , on ABC's Desperate Housewives in 2011.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Valerie Harper", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.