Valerie Harper

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Valerie Harper discusses her early years as a dancer in New York City, her time as a member of Second City and moving to Los Angeles to pursue acting. She talks in detail about her most famous character, Rhoda Morgenstern, whom she portrayed on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the spinoff, Rhoda. She reminisces about working with Mary Tyler Moore, James L. Brooks, Jay Sandrich and many others of the cast and crew of both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda. Harper also describes why she was only on Valerie for one year, and outlines her current theater projects. Jim McKairnes conducted the interview in North Hollywood, CA on February 26, 2009.

"I like a lot of preparation because when you get to the moment, you can just forget your lines, you're not thinking, 'what's my line?' you're feeling what the character is, and only that line can come out."

Highlights
Valerie Harper on working with Mary Tyler Moore
03:08
Valerie Harper on shooting the pilot of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
02:56
Valerie Harper on her initial hesitation in starring in her own spin-off show, Rhoda
00:55
Valerie Harper on how marriage changed "Rhoda"
00:37
Valerie Harper on how she'd like to be remembered
00:31
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her childhood and early influences; on her siblings; on wanting to be a dancer; on college at the New School; on getting into the Radio City Music Hall Court of Ballet
15:57
On joining Second City; on first husband Dick Schaal and hosting a daytime talk show with him in New York
11:06
On moving to Los Angeles in 1968; on getting the role of "Rhoda Morgenstern" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show;  on who she based "Rhoda" on, "Rhoda's" fashion sense, and "Rhoda" as a character
32:41

Chapter 2

On working with Mary Tyler Moore, Grant Tinker and Jay Sandrich; on shooting the pilot episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
19:24
On the success of The Mary Tyler Moore Show; on specific episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show; on her own spinoff Rhoda and how marriage changed the character; on the TV reunion special Mary and Rhoda
19:58
On television movies: Fun and Games, The Shadow Box; on the series Valerie; on unsuccessful series in which she starred - The Office and City
19:26

Chapter 3

On working on Touched By an Angel, Melrose Place, and Less Than Perfect; on her husband Tony
10:09
On her (then) current theater projects: "Looped"; on her acting style; on the highlights of her career; on "Golda's Balcony"; on how she'd like to be remembered
12:20
Shows

City

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Valerie Harper the unsuccessful series City in which she starred
00:19

Doctors, The

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Valerie Harper on her first role on television, on The Doctors
00:28

Fun and Games

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Valerie Harper on the TV movie Fun and Games about sexual harassment
00:47

Hogan Family, The aka Valerie

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Valerie Harper on the drama around starring in Valerie aka The Hogan Family
13:33

Less Than Perfect

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Valerie Harper on working on Less Than Perfect
01:09

Love, American Style

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Valerie Harper on writing a piece with her husband for Love, American Style
00:11

Mary Tyler Moore Show, The

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Valerie Harper on getting the role of Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
04:48
Valerie Harper on the show and the character of "Rhoda"
05:04
Valerie Harper on one of the longest laughs on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
03:02
Valerie Harper on Mary Tyler Moore
03:15
Valerie Harper on working with The Mary Tyler Moore Show / Rhoda director Jay Sandrich
02:35
Valerie Harper on specific episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show: "Support Your Local Mother"
01:13
Valerie Harper on the anticipation of "Rhoda"'s wedding (on Rhoda) after years of watching her perpetually single on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
01:22
Valerie Harper on interacting with the writers on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
06:41
Valerie Harper on shooting the pilot of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
02:56

Mary Tyler Moore Show, The: "Support Your Local Mother"

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Valerie Harper on specific episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show: "Support Your Local Mother"
01:13

Mary and Rhoda

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Valerie Harper on the reunion TV movie Mary and Rhoda
01:01
Valerie Harper on her opinion of where "Rhoda" would be "today" (following the reunion TV movie Mary and Rhoda)
01:18

Melrose Place

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Valerie Harper on working on Melrose Place
02:18

Playboy After Dark

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Valerie Harper on doing sketches on Hugh Hefner's Playboy After Dark
00:20

Rhoda

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Valerie Harper on working with The Mary Tyler Moore Show / Rhoda director Jay Sandrich
02:35
Valerie Harper on her initial hesitation in starring in her own spin-off show, Rhoda
01:01
Valerie Harper on her responsibilities on Rhoda and the popularity of the show
03:22
Valerie Harper on Rhoda getting married
01:45
Valerie Harper on the anticipation of "Rhoda"'s wedding (on Rhoda) after years of watching her perpetually single on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
01:22
Valerie Harper on her opinion of where "Rhoda" would be "today" (following the reunion TV movie Mary and Rhoda)
01:18

Touched By an Angel

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Valerie Harper on working on Touched By An Angel  
01:19
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

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Valerie Harper on the character of "Rhoda Morgenstern"
01:01
Valerie Harper on the elements she brought to the character of "Rhoda Morgenstern"
06:10
Valerie Harper on "Rhoda Morgenstern's" fashion sense v. that of "Mary Richards"
02:05
Valerie Harper on how marriage changed "Rhoda"
00:37
Professions

Actress

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Valerie Harper on joining Second City and her acting philosophy
03:37
Valerie Harper on her acting style
03:02
Genres

Comedy Series

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Valerie Harper on playing "Rhoda Morgenstern" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
28:23
Valerie Harper on Rhoda
13:03
People

Tallulah Bankhead

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Valerie Harper on her (then) current theater projects: "Looped" playing Tallulah Bankhead
03:13

James L. Brooks

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Valerie Harper on auditioning for the role of "Rhoda Morgenstern" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
02:41
Valerie Harper on James L. Brooks not wanting to use Yiddish in The Mary Tyler Moore Show
01:00
Valerie Harper on interacting with the writers on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
06:33
Valerie Harper on James L. Brooks hiring writer Treva Silverman
01:51

Carol Burnett

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Valerie Harper on Carol Burnett's support when Harper was fired from Valerie aka The Hogan Family
06:08

Allan Burns

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Valerie Harper on auditioning for the role of "Rhoda Morgenstern" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
02:41

Dave Davis

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Valerie Harper on auditioning for the role of "Rhoda Morgenstern" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
02:41

Hugh Hefner

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Valerie Harper on doing sketches on Hugh Hefner's Playboy After Dark
00:19

Skitch Henderson

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Valerie Harper on hosting a daytime talk show with her first husband and friend, Richard Schaal
03:42

Carol Kane

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Valerie Harper on Carol Burnett's support when Harper was fired from Valerie aka The Hogan Family
06:08

Joanna Kerns

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Valerie Harper on working on Less Than Perfect
01:09

Ted Knight

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Valerie Harper on the character of "Rhoda Morgenstern"
01:01

Alyssa Milano

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Valerie Harper on working on Melrose Place
00:46

Tom Miller

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Valerie Harper on the drama around starring in Valerie aka The Hogan Family
02:18

Mary Tyler Moore

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Valerie Harper on auditioning for the role of "Rhoda Morgenstern" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
02:41
Valerie Harper on Mary Tyler Moore teaching her about staging and calming her down 
01:32
Valerie Harper on Mary Tyler Moore refusing to smoke so Harper incorporated other props into scenes
00:44
Valerie Harper on working with Mary Tyler Moore
03:07

Marge Mullen

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Valerie Harper on making "Rhoda" loveable
02:05

Paul Newman

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Valerie Harper on Paul Newman directing her in the TV movie The Shadow Box
03:53

Jay Sandrich

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Valerie Harper on auditioning for the role of "Rhoda Morgenstern" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
02:41
Valerie Harper on working with The Mary Tyler Moore Show / Rhoda director Jay Sandrich
02:35

Richard Schaal

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Valerie Harper on her first husband and friend, Richard Schaal
00:49
Valerie Harper on hosting a daytime talk show with her first husband and friend, Richard Schaal
03:42
Valerie Harper on writing a piece with her husband for Love, American Style
01:26

Treva Silverman

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Valerie Harper on Treva Silverman knowing how to write "Rhoda"
01:51
Valerie Harper on Treva Silverman in the testosterone heavy writer's room
01:02

Fred Silverman

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Valerie Harper on Fred Silverman wanting her to spin-off to Rhoda
00:55

Aaron Spelling

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Valerie Harper on working on Melrose Place
01:32

Grant Tinker

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Valerie Harper on Grant Tinker
03:54

Nancy Walker

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Valerie Harper on specific episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show: "Support Your Local Mother"
01:13

Martha Williamson

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Valerie Harper on working on Touched By An Angel , again working with Mary Tyler Moore
01:19

Ethel Winant

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Valerie Harper on getting the role of "Rhoda Morgenstern" on The Mary Tyler Moore Show
02:25

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