Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Remembering TV Legend Valerie Harper, TV Tributes Scheduled; ABC Shifts Reef Break Finale to Friday, Sept. 13

Valerie Harper

Emmy-winning actress Valerie Harper, who starred as Rhoda Morgenstern in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off Rhoda, has died. She died on August 30 in Los Angeles. She had battled leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare condition in which cancer cells spread into the meninges, the membranes surrounding the brain, since March 2013. Ms. Harper was 80.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show Cast

Harper starred as Rhoda Morgenstern, the best friend and upstairs neighbor of Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore), in the CBS sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show from 1970 to 1974. Rhoda worked as a window dresser at the fictional Hemphill's department store. Harper appeared in a total of 92 episodes of the series. She was a regular in seasons 1-4 and appeared as a guest star in seasons 6-7. She won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 1971, 1972 and 1973. The series also starred Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight, Cloris Leachman (1970-1975), Georgia Engel (1973-1977) and Betty White (1973-1977).

Rhoda Cast

She continued her role as Rhoda Morgenstern in the spin-off series Rhoda, which aired on CBS from 1974 to 1978. Rhoda was desperately looking for a husband. She moves from Minneapolis back home to New York City. She soon meets and marries Joe Gerard (David Groh). Harper won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the role in 1975. The series also starred Julie Kavner, Nancy Walker (1974-1976, 1977-1978), Harold Gould (1974–1976, 1977–78), Ron Silver (1976-1978), Ray Buktenica (1977-1978), Kenneth McMillan (1977-1978) and Lorenzo Music (voice only as Carlton the Doorman).

Harper and Moore reunited in the 2000 ABC TV movie Mary and Rhoda. The two-hour made-for-TV movie also starred Elon Gold, Christine Ebersole, Bethany Joy Lenz and Marisa Ryan. Harper and Moore reunited with the other women of The Mary Tyler Moore Show - Cloris Leachman, Betty White and Georgia Engel - in the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland. The episode was titled Love Is All Around and aired on September 4, 2013.

Valerie Cast

She starred as Valerie Hogan in the first two seasons (32 episodes) of the NBC sitcom Valerie from 1986 to 1987. Valerie Hogan was a mother trying to juggle her career with raising three sons with an absent airline pilot husband. The family lived in Oak Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. The series, which was later renamed Valerie's Family and The Hogan Family, also starred Sandy Duncan (1987-1991), Jason Bateman, Danny Ponce, Jeremy Licht, Josh Taylor, Edie McClurg, Steve Witting (1987-1991), Tom Hodges (1986-1989), Christine Ebersole (1986), Judith Kahan (1986-1987), Josie Bissett (1990-1991), Angela Lee (1990-1991) and John Hillerman (1990-1991).

Harper held out in a contract dispute for more money, a larger piece of the syndication revenues and more creative control of the series after the second season. Her husband, Tony Cacciotti, was one of the executive producers. Lorimar eventually fired her from the series. She sued for being wrongfully fired and was awarded $1.4 million plus 12.5 percent of the show's profits. The character of Valerie Hogan was killed off in an auto accident. Sandy Duncan joined the series as Michael Hogan's divorced sister Sandy Hogan, a high school counselor. The series was renamed Valerie's Family for the third season and The Hogan Family for seasons four through six (the last season airing on CBS).

City Cast

She next starred as Liz Gianni in the 1990 CBS sitcom City. Liz Gianni was the city manager for The Department of City Services of an unnamed American city. The series also starred Todd Susman, Tyra Ferrell, Stephen Lee, Sam Lloyd, Liz Torres, Mary Jo Keenen, James Lorinz, LuAnne Ponce (Danny Ponce's sister) and Shay Duffin. She did an interview with David Letterman on February 13, 1990.

Harper starred as Rita Stone in the short-lived 1995 CBS sitcom The Office. Rita Stone was a divorcée and a 19-year veteran of a secretarial pool at the executive office of a package design company in Chicago called Package Inc. The series also starred Dakin Matthews, Debra Jo Rupp, Lisa Darr, Kristin Dattilo-Hayward, Kevin Conroy, Andrea Abbate and Gary Dourdan.

Some of her sitcom guest appearances included Love, American Style (she also co-wrote an episode with her then-husband Richard Schaal), The Love Boat, Sex and the City, That '70s Show, Three Sisters, Less Than Perfect, Committed, 'Til Death, Melissa & Joey and 2 Broke Girls. She voiced various characters in eight episodes of The Simpsons and two episodes of American Dad!.

Harper made drama guest appearances in Columbo, Missing Persons, Touched by an Angel, Promised Land, Melrose Place, Family Law, Desperate Housewives, Drop Dead Diva and Signed, Sealed, Delivered. She competed as a contestant in Season 17 of Dancing with the Stars in 2013.

She received Golden Globe Award nominations for her roles in Freebie in the Bean (1974) and Chapter Two (1979). Some of her other film credits included The Last Married Couple in America, Blame It on Rio, Golda's Balcony and Shiver.

Harper began her career on Broadway as a dancer. She made her debut in the musical Take Me Along in 1959. She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as Tallulah Bankhead in the play Looped in 2010. Some of her other theater credits included Wildcat, Subways Are for Sleeping, Something Different, All Under Heaven and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife.

She was interviewed for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television on February 26, 2009.

Ms. Harper was wonderful as Rhoda Morgenstern. Rhoda was one of the best sidekick characters of all time. She won a total of four Emmy Awards for the role. We thank her for the many laughs and entertainment she brought us during our long career. She fought a courageous battle with cancer. She will be deeply missed.

Share your memories on our The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda and The Hogan Family message boards. View photos in our galleries.

MeTV Remembers Valerie Harper

MeTV Network pays tribute to the career of beloved actress Valerie Harper with a special presentation of select episodes from The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, airing on MeTV this Sunday, September 8th beginning at 5:00pm ET/PT through 8:00pm ET/PT.

Sunday, September 8, 2019 (All Times are Eastern/Pacific)

5:00pm-5:30pm: The Mary Tyler Moore Show – "Rhoda, The Beautiful"
Rhoda enters a beauty contest but continues to put herself down.

5:30pm-6:00pm: The Mary Tyler Moore Show – "Is a Friend in Need"
Rhoda loses her job, but Mary doesn't tell her about an opening at WJM.

6:00pm-6:30pm: The Mary Tyler Moore Show – "A Girl's Best Mother Is Not Her Friend"
Rhoda's mother visits with the intention of being her daughter's best friend.

6:30pm-7:00pm: The Mary Tyler Moore Show – "Where There's Smoke, There's Rhoda"
Mary and Rhoda are best friends, but can they be roommates too?

7:00pm-7:30pm: Rhoda – "Rhoda's Wedding Part 1"
Rhoda's wedding day has finally arrived and is filled with mishaps.

7:30pm-8:00pm: Rhoda – "Rhoda's Wedding Part 2"
Complications may ruin Rhoda's wedding day.

Antenna TV honored Valerie Harper this past Sunday (September 1) from 1pm-10pm ET with a special marathon of Valerie (aka The Hogan Family). The series airs regularly late Sunday/early Monday at 3am ET/12am PT.

Decades will present a special tribute to Valerie Harper all week beginning Monday, September 9. Stay with us for further updates.


Reef Break

Due to the Democratic Candidates Presidential Debate being extended to three hours on Thursday, Sept. 12, ABC has shifted the finale for summer drama Reef Break to the next night on Friday, Sept. 13 at 9pm (instead of Thurs, Sept. 12 at 10). In the finale, sultry and tough cookie Cat Chambers (Poppy Montgomery) is on the run and fearing for her life and freedom. Hearts are broken and futures are uncertain as Cat faces her toughest case yet - to clear her own name. La La Anthony guest stars as Regina O'Casey in the season finale of ABC's Reef Break, Friday, Sept. 13 from 9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT, on ABC. (TV-PG, SV) Episodes can also be viewed the next day on ABC.com, the ABC app and Hulu.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, January 27

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to Logan #2" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Calvin and Dave’s college basketball teams go head to head, Dave surprises the Butlers with tickets to the game and also invites one of his best friends from Michigan, Logan #2, who reveals to Calvin surprising new details about Dave.

Bob Hearts Abishola - "Splitting the Hairs" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bob, Douglas and Christina try to get Dottie to make a will. Also, Abishola and Kemi’s friendship is tested after Abishola catches Kemi in a lie.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 27)

Monday, January 27

  • Kathy Bates (Disjointed) - Watch Kathy on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm) - Larry appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Keegan-Michael Key (Friends from College/Playing House/Gary Unmarried) - Keegan-Michael visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Bill Pullman (1600 Penn) - Bill talks about The Sinner on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Kaley Couco (The Big Bang Theory/8 Simple Rules) - Kaley stops by The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Jerry O'Connell (We Are Men/Carpoolers/My Secret Identity) - Jerry talks about pulling double-duty on TV and Broadway on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings. He will also be on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
  • Kate Flannery (The Office) - Kate talks about the Dancing with the Stars Tour on Reality Check at 4:30pm.
  • Julia-Louis Dreyfus (Veep/The New Adventures of Old Christine/Seinfeld) - Julia-Louis talks about Downhill on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Life) - Nia talks about Poisoned Love on the BUILD Series at 4:30pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December/January)

Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One

11/05 - The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang - The Complete Animated Series
11/05 - Laverne & Shirley in the Army (Animated Series) - The DVD Edition
11/05 - Letterkenny - Seasons 1 & 2
11/05 - Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season (Blu-ray)
11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Series (Blu-ray Limited Edition)
11/18 - The Guest Book - Season Two
11/19 - The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) (Blu-ray)
11/19 - The Kominsky Method - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
12/03 - The Simpsons - The Nineteenth Season
12/03 - The Simpsons - Seasons 1-20: Limited Collector's Set
12/06 - 9JKL - The Complete Series
12/10 - Family Guy - Season Seventeen
12/17 - Atlanta - Season 2 - Robbin' Season
12/17 - Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season
12/17 - Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (2019 Release)
12/17 - The Other Two - Season 1
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One
01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume Two
01/14 - Veep - The Final (Seventh) Season ((Blu-ray)
01/14 - Veep - The Complete Series (DVD)
01/21 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Third Season (WBShop.com)
01/21 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Fifth and Final Season
01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Series
01/28 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (DVD)
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