Harper, Valerie 1940–

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HARPER, Valerie 1940


Born August 22, 1940, in Suffern, NY; daughter of Howard (a sales executive) and Iva (a nurse; maiden name, McConnell) Harper; married Richard Schaal (an actor and writer), c. 1964 (divorced, 1978); married Tony Cacciotti (a producer, personal trainer, and restaurateur), 1987; children: (second marriage) Cristina. Education: Attended Hunter College of the City University of New York and New School for Social Research; studied acting with Mary Tarcai, William Hickey, and John Cassavetes; also attended Erhard Seminars Training.

Career: Actress, dancer, singer, and writer. Radio City Music Hall, New York City, member of corps de ballet, 195657; performed with Second City Repertory Company, 196469, Seattle Repertory Company, Seattle, WA, and in summer stock theatres and nightclubs. TAL Productions and The Smartz Company, principal; worked as a hatcheck person, salesclerk, and telephone canvasser. (Love Is Feeding Everyone (LIFE), founding member; also affiliated with Africare, End Hunger Network, Hunger Project, Oxfam, Save the Children, World Summit for Children, Housing Now!, Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center, and efforts for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

Member: American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Screen Actors Guild (member of board of directors, beginning 2000).

Awards, Honors: Emmy awards, 1971, 1972, 1973, and Emmy Award nomination, 1974, all outstanding performance by a supporting actress in comedy, and Golden Globe Award nominations, best supporting actress on television, 1973 and 1974, all for The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Golden Apple Award, female star of the year, Hollywood Women's Press Club, 1974; Golden Globe Award nomination, most promising female newcomer, 1975, for Freebie and the Bean; named woman of the year, Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Harvard University, 1975; Golden Globe Award, 1975, and Golden Globe Award nomination, 1976, both best television actress in a comedy or musical, Emmy Award, 1975, and Emmy Award nominations, 1976, 1977, 1978, all outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, all for Rhoda; Golden Globe Award nomination, best motion picture actress in a supporting role, 1980, for Chapter Two; Humanitarian Award, Crystal Awards, Women in Film, 1987; also received Photoplay Gold Medal.


Television Appearances; Series:

Rhoda Morgenstern, The Mary Tyler Moore Show (also known as Mary Tyler Moore ), CBS, 19701974.

Rhoda Morgenstern Gerard, Rhoda, CBS, 19741978.

Valerie Hogan, Valerie (also known as Valerie's Family ), NBC, 19861987.

Liz Gianni, City, CBS, 1990.

Rita Stone, The Office, CBS, 1995.

Voice of female master of ceremonies, student, and member of dream crowd for English version, Generator Gawl (animated), [Japan], beginning 1998.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Herself, CBS: On the Air, CBS, 1978.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Ann Menzente, Thursday's Game (also known as The Berk ), ABC, 1974.

Carol Turner, Night Terror, NBC, 1977.

Carol Hefferman, Fun and Games, ABC, 1980.

Maggie, The Shadow Box, ABC, 1980.

Norma Danner, The Day the Loving Stopped, ABC, 1981.

Laura Hogan, Don't Go To Sleep, ABC, 1982.

Kate Bianchi, An Invasion of Privacy, CBS, 1983.

Hannah Epstein, The Execution, NBC, 1985.

Lynn Glover, Strange Voices, NBC, 1987.

Nora Cromwell, DropOut Mother (also known as Goodbye, Supermom ), CBS, 1988.

Rachel Yoman, The People across the Lake, NBC, 1988.

Katherine Slade, Stolen: One Husband (also known as I Want Him Back! ), CBS, 1990.

Dyan Draper, Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Fashion, NBC, 1991.

Mrs. Delvecchio, A Friend to Die For (also known as Death of a Cheerleader ), NBC, 1994.

Grace Venessi, The Great Mom Swap, NBC, 1995.

Voice of chicken, Dog's Best Friend, The Family Channel, 1997.

Rhoda Morgenstern Gerard Rousseau, Mary and Rhoda, ABC, 2000.

Claire, Dancing at the Harvest Moon, CBS, 2002.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Wife, "Double Trouble", The Trouble with People, NBC, 1972.

The Shape of Things, CBS, 1973.

Guest, John Denver's Rocky Mountain Christmas, ABC, 1975.

John Denver and the Ladies, ABC, 1978.

The Sensational, Shocking, Wonderful, Wacky '70s, NBC, 1980.

Cohost, The Candid Camera Special, NBC, 1981.

I Love Liberty, ABC, 1982.

Night of 100 Stars (also known as Night of One Hundred Stars ), ABC, 1982.

The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts, CBS, 1986.

NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration, NBC, 1986.

The Television Academy Hall of Fame, NBC, 1986.

Sex Symbols: Past, Present and Future, syndicated, 1987.

This Is Your Life, NBC, 1987.

Host, Child Abuse: Innocence on Trial, Lifetime, 1988.

HannaBarbera's 50th: A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration, TNT, 1989.

Host, A Festival at Ford's Theatre: The Stars Salute the President, TBS, 1990.

CBS Comedy Bloopers, CBS, 1990.

Happy Birthday, Bugs: 50 Looney Years, CBS, 1990.

Mary Tyler Moore: The 20th Anniversary Show, CBS, 1991.

What about Me? I'm Only 3!, CBS, 1992.

The Poetry Hall of Fame, 1993.

Scott Ross Street Talk, The Family Channel, 1993.

The Second Annual Comedy Hall of Fame, NBC, 1994.

The 69th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, NBC, 1995.

The Mary Tyler Moore Reunion, CBS, 2002.

CBS at 75, CBS, 2003.

Also appeared in the special Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Presenter, The 13th Annual People's Choice Awards, CBS, 1987.

Host, The 16th Annual People's Choice Awards, CBS, 1990.

The Fourth Annual American Comedy Awards, ABC, 1990.

The Walt Disney Company Presents the American Teacher Awards, The Disney Channel, 1990.

The 26th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, NBC, 1991.

Presenter, The 14th Annual Genesis Awards, Animal Planet, 2000.

Presenter, The 2001 Genesis Awards, Animal Planet, 2001.

The Second Annual TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV, TV Land, 2004.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

"Love and the Housekeeper", Love, American Style, ABC, 1971.

Eve Babcock, "The Most Crucial Game", Columbo, NBC, 1972.

"The Peasant Lass", Story Theatre, syndicated, 1972.

Herself, The Carol Burnett Show, CBS, 1973.

Thicker Than Water, ABC, 1973.

Rhoda Morgenstern Gerard, "Mary Richards Falls in Love", The Mary Tyler Moore Show (also known as Mary Tyler Moore ), CBS, 1975.

Herself, The Muppet Show, syndicated, 1976.

Herself, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, NBC, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1986, 1987, 1990.

Rhoda Morgenstern, "The Last Show", The Mary Tyler Moore Show (also known as Mary Tyler Moore ), CBS, 1977.

Host, Fridays, ABC, 1982.

"Egypt" (also known as "Egyptian Cruise"), The Love Boat, ABC, 1986.

Herself, At Rona's, NBC, 1989.

Herself, A Conversation with Dinah, The Nashville Network, 1989.

Ellen Hartig, Missing Persons, ABC, 1993.

Herself, "Valerie and Bonnie", Sidewalks Entertainment (also known as Sidewalks Entertainment Hour ), syndicated, 1994.

Herself, Al Roker Program, NBC, 1995.

Herself, Lauren Hutton and , 1995.

Herself, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, syndicated, 1995.

Herself, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, Comedy Central, 1995.

Kate Prescott, "Flesh and Blood", Touched by an Angel, CBS, 1996.

Molly Arnold, "The Magic Gate", Promised Land, CBS, 1996.

Cohost, Sally Jessy Raphael, syndicated, 1996.

Guest host, The Vicki Lawrence Show, syndicated, 1996.

Herself, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, 1996, 1997.

Cohost, Fox after Breakfast, Fox, 1997.

Mia Mancini, "Last Train to Baghdad", Melrose Place, Fox, 1998.

Mia Mancini, "Mama Mia", Melrose Place, Fox, 1998.

Herself, Intimate Portrait: Mary Tyler Moore, Lifetime, 1998.

Voice of a townsperson for English version, Majutsushi Orphen Mubouhen (animated; also known as Sorcerous Stabber Orphen ), [Japan], 1998.

Kate Prescott, "Full Circle", Touched by an Angel, CBS, 1999.

Wallis, "Shortcomings", Sex and the City, HBO, 1999.

Aunt Paula, "Eric's Naughty NoNo", That '70s Show, Fox, 2001.

Julia, "Clemency", Family Law, CBS, 2001.

Merle Keats, "The InLaws", Three Sisters, NBC, 2001.

Merle Keats, "Three Thanksgivings, One Turkey", Three Sisters, NBC, 2001.

Narrator, Intimate Portrait: Estelle Getty, Lifetime, 2001.

Narrator, Intimate Portrait: Nancy McKeon, Lifetime, 2001.

Herself, The View, ABC, 2001.

Herself, Lynda Carter: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 2002.

Judith, "Claude's Alternative Thanksgiving", Less Than Perfect, ABC, 2003.

Also appeared on Beggars and Choosers, Showtime; Inside TV Land, TV Land; and Later with Bob Costas, NBC.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Herself, The Burns and Schreiber Comedy Hour, ABC, 1973.

Liz Farrell, Farrell for the People, NBC, 1982.

Film Appearances:

Rock, Rock, Rock, Vanguard/Distributor Corporation of America, 1956.

(Uncredited) Girl in orange dress, Li'l Abner, Paramount, 1959.

With a Feminine Touch, 1969.

The Ones in Between, 1972.

Consuelo, Freebie and the Bean, Warner Bros., 1974.

Faye Medwick, Chapter Two, Columbia, 1979.

Barbara, The Last Married Couple in America, Universal, 1980.

Karen Hollis, Blame It on Rio, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1984.

Stage Appearances:

Dancer, Li'l Abner (musical), St. James Theatre, New York City, 19561958.

Entertainer and townsperson, Take Me Along (musical), Shubert Theatre, New York City, 19591960.

Dancer, Wildcat (musical), Alvin Theatre, New York City, 19601961.

Dancer, Subways Are for Sleeping (musical), St. James Theatre, 19611962.

Standby for Beth Nemerov, Something Different, Cort Theatre, New York City, 19671968.

Multiple roles, Paul Sills' Story Theatre (select Grimm Brothers fairy tales adapted to stage and set to music), Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, then Ambassador Theatre, New York City, 19701971.

Member of ensemble, Metamorphoses (also known as Ovid's Metamorphoses ), Ambassador Theatre, 1971.

Lunchtime and Halloween (doublebill), Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle, WA, 1975.

Night of 100 Stars (also known as Night of One Hundred Stars ), Radio City Music Hall, New York City, 1982.

Dorothy and Carol, Death Defying Acts, Variety Arts Theatre, New York City, 19951996.

Marjorie Taub, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, Manhattan Theatre Club, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City, c. 20012002.

An Evening with Valerie Harper, Epiphany Theatre Company, New York City, 2002.

Host and reader of stage directions, Auntie Mame (benefit performance for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS), John Jay College Theatre, New York City, 2003.

Appeared in Destry Rides Again, Broadway production; and Come Blow Your Horn, regional production.

Major Tours:

Dr. Martha Livingstone, Agnes of God, U.S. cities, 1983.

Pearl S. Buck and other characters, The Dragon and the Pearl (solo show; also known as All under Heaven and Pearl ), U.S. cities, between 1996 and 1999.

Marjorie Taub, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, U.S. cities, 20022003.

Also toured in Dear Liar.


Audio books:

Narrator, Today I Am a Ma'am: And Other Musings on Life, Beauty, and Growing Older, by Valerie Harper and Catherine Whitney, HarperCollins, 2001.


She Turned the World On with Her Smile: The Making of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show ", Twentieth CenturyFox Home Entertainment, 2002.

Eight Characters in Search of a Sitcom, Twentieth CenturyFox Home Entertainment, 2003.


Stage Writings:

(With Dyke Garrison) The Dragon and the Pearl (solo show; also known as All under Heaven and Pearl ), produced on tour of U.S. cities, between 1996 and 1999.

Teleplays; Episodic:

(With Richard Schaal) "Love and the Visitor", Love, American Style, ABC, 1970.


(With Catherine Whitney) Today I Am a Ma'am: And Other Musings on Life, Beauty, and Growing Older (autobiography), illustrated by Rick Tulka, Cliff Street Books, 2001.



St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, St. James Press, 2000.


Elle, February, 2000, p. 70.

Next, November 9, 2001, p. 29.

TV Guide, March 31, 2001, pp. 3436.


Theatermania.com, http://www.theatermania.com, September 28, 2001.

Valerie Harper Home Page, http://www.valerieharper.com, July 1, 2004.