Valerie Harper | Biography

Born to make her audiences laugh, Valerie Harper’s career extends from the theater to TV and movies. Her iconic Rhoda Morgenstern character in the 70s TV serial “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” thrust her to the stardom. Valerie began her show business career as a dancer and eventually stepped into the acting industry. She already has more than sixty movies, TV series and theater under her belt.

With hazel eye and intoxicating smile accompanied by the down to earth attitude, Valerie Harper came into this world on 22nd of August 1939 in Suffern, New York, USA. Second child of three, Valeria was born to a lighting salesman, Howard Donald Harper and a nurse, Iva Mildred. Valeria is of Welsh, Irish, English, French and Scottish ancestry. Her older sister is named Leah and younger brother is called Merrill. From her dad’s second marriage she has a half sister named Virginia. Raised as Catholic, Valerie quit the church at a very tender age. Born to peripatetic parents, Valerie Harper spent her childhood all over America. By the time Valerie entered high school, she had lived in Jersey City, New Jersey, South Orange, New Jersey; Monroe, Michigan; Pasadena, California and Ashland, Oregon. She stayed in the New York City to learn ballet, Valeria went to the Lincoln High School and graduated through the Private Young Professionals School.

Her fourteen years old marriage with actor Richard Schaal ended legally in 1978. She fell in love with her personal trainer Tony Cacciotti. The couple came close in late seventies and soon announced their engagement. The couple walked down the aisle on 8th of April 1987. The ceremony was held in Malibu. The couple decided to extend their family and adopted a baby girl in March 1987, when she was three years old. They named her Cristina Harper Cacciotti. Her husband has 4 children from his previous marriages. It has been speculated that she has done facelift and Botox to maintain her youthful appearance. Though Valerie has never been vocal about her charity works, good deeds cannot be kept hidden behind the curtain for more. An activist for equal rights, Valerie has assisted a foundation named L.I.F.E. to fight for hunger in Children. She has supported an American Lung Association’s Lung Force. In the 70s and 80s, she was a part of the Women’s Liberation Movement. In the year 2009, she found out she was suffering from lung cancer.

Valeria entered the American entertainment world as a dancer on Broadway in the musical titled “Li’l Abner” in 1959 and went on performing in multiple Broadway productions, including “Wildcat”, “Take Me Along” and “Subways Are For Sleeping”. In-between Valerie was as well cast in “Destry Rides Again” however was compelled to leave rehearsals due to her illness. Moving into the on screen work, her debut movie role was in adaptation of “L’il Abner”. In the early 60s, she continued to sharpen her skills as a thespian, studying drama under the legend, Viola Spolin. Impressed by her raw comic talent, Viola’s son and co-founder of Chicago’s The Second City, Paul Sills invited the promising actress to be part of the theater company. She worked in 1967’s Broadway productions “Something Different” and 1970’s “Metamorphosis”. With some television experience, she starred in a star making television series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, where she portrayed the tough-talking, charismatic, Rhoda Morgenstern. The role earned this talented actress an Emmy Award in the category of the Outstanding Supporting Actress. Internationally recognized actress, Valerie went on portraying award winning roles in series, including “Rodha”. On the big screen, she landed movies, such as “Freebie and the Bean”, “Chapter Two”, “The Last Married Couple in America” and “The Town That Came A-Courtin’”. From 2001 to 2002, she played Marjorie in Broadway production of “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife”. Since 2008 to 2010, she was seen portraying Tallulah Bankhead in “Looped”. The net worth of this legendary actress is reported to be around twelve million dollars.

Till date, Valerie Harper has earned one Tony nomination, eight Emmy nominations: out of which she took four home and six Golden Globe nominations: out of which she took one home. To know more about his charismatic actress, visit wiki.

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