Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Women We Love: Valerie Harper

Object of our affection: Valerie Harper, actress.

- Her career began on the Broadway stage as a chorus girl in such musicals as Wildcat and Subways Are for Sleeping. More recently, she starred in Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife.

- As her most famous role, Rhoda Morgenstern, she won a Golden Globe and four Emmy Awards — three as Best Supporting Actress for The Mary Tyler Moore Show and one as Best Actress for the popular spin-off Rhoda (the first season of which comes to DVDnext Tuesday). She reprised the character 22 years later in the reunion TV movie Mary and Rhoda.

- After the first season of Valerie, she was infamously fired from the sitcom over a salary dispute (the last laugh was hers though when she successfully sued the production company for breach of contract). Her other television appearances include guest spots on Love, American Style (in an episode she wrote), The Muppet Show, The Love Boat, Melrose Place, Sex and the City and That '70s Show.

- On film, she can be seen in Li'l Abner, Freebie and the Bean, Chapter Two, The Last Married Couple in America and Blame It on Rio, as well as Golda's Balcony, in which she recreated her acclaimed stage performance of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.

- She is currently camping it up as the notorious Tallulah Bankhead in the new stage play Looped, which will commence its pre-Broadway run next month in Washington DC.

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