Valerie Harper – A Television Icon and Talented Actress

Valerie Harper was a renowned American actress who left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment with her captivating performances and dynamic presence. She was most celebrated for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on the classic television series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spin-off, “Rhoda.”

Career Highlights

Born on August 22, 1939, Valerie Harper began her career as a dancer on Broadway, but she soon transitioned into acting, which led to her groundbreaking role on television. Harper’s portrayal of Rhoda Morgenstern was not only beloved by audiences but also critically acclaimed, earning her four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe.

Her career spanned over six decades, during which she appeared in numerous television shows and movies. Harper’s talent extended beyond the small screen as she also took to the stage, showcasing her versatility as an actress. She even earned a Tony nomination for her performance in the play “Looped.”

Top Movies and Television Highlights

  1. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977): Harper’s role as the witty and independent Rhoda Morgenstern brought her international recognition and several awards.
  2. Rhoda (1974-1978): This spin-off series allowed Harper to further develop her beloved character and continue her streak of award-winning performances.
  3. Freebie and the Bean (1974): Harper’s film role in this action-comedy showcased her ability to hold her own on the big screen, earning her a Golden Globe nomination.
  4. Chapter Two (1979): Another Golden Globe-nominated performance, Harper continued to prove her dramatic range in this film adaptation of a Neil Simon play.

Legacy and Influence

Valerie Harper’s impact on television and film is undeniable. She paved the way for future generations of actresses with her groundbreaking roles and commitment to her craft. Harper was not only an actress but also an advocate for cancer research and awareness, having been diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009. She bravely shared her battle with the disease, inspiring many with her resilience and positivity.

Later Years and Advocacy

  1. Dancing with the Stars (2013): Harper’s participation in the 17th season of the dance competition show was a testament to her enduring spirit and tenacity, as she competed shortly after her cancer diagnosis.
  2. Cancer Advocacy: Valerie Harper used her platform to raise awareness about cancer, speaking openly about her experiences and supporting research initiatives.


Valerie Harper’s legacy is one of talent, courage, and inspiration. Her contributions to the arts and her advocacy work continue to resonate with fans and supporters around the world. Harper passed away on August 30, 2019, but her memory and influence live on through her memorable performances and the lives she touched.

Valerie Harper remains a beloved figure, remembered not only for her characters but also for her spirit and the strength she demonstrated both on and off the screen. Her work continues to inspire aspiring actors and actresses, and her advocacy efforts have contributed to the ongoing fight against cancer. Valerie Harper’s story is one of triumph, creativity, and the power of perseverance.