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Swithin

Valerie Harper 1939-2019

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Sad to hear of her passing.

Screen Shot 2019-08-30 at 5.00.10 PM.jpeg

In 2009 Valerie Harper did a two-and-a-half hour interview about her career with the Television Academy Foundation:

https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/interviews/valerie-harper

"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."

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Very sad

Mary Tyler Moore also died at the age of 80 in 2017.

The Mary Tyler Moore show was not the same after Harper left for her own show Rhoda.

val.jpg

Harper died on the morning of August 30, 2019, in Los Angeles, 8 days after her 80th birthday.

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Rest in peace, Valerie Harper. I always loved watching her on the MTM show; she always made me laugh. 💗

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I've very sorry to hear this.

Valerie Harper's Rhoda was one of the joys of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and I sincerely missed her once she left the series as Mary's outspoken Brooklyn accented friend.

She was funny and had a wonderful delivery of comedy dialogue. Harper made Rhoda a wise guy who could also be vulnerable, at times. She and MTM had great gal chemistry in one of the best sitcoms television ever gave us.

RIP, Valerie.

You touched millions of people and made them laugh.

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I remember a TV special that Mary and Valerie did in 2000. It was about how middle-aged women went about rebuilding their lives  after divorce and  orchestrating a new future .

Mar and Rhoda were not just good actresses; they were role models for a lot of young women who were just trying their wings in a male dominated Society.

Not since Lucy and Ethel have two women on TV been so popular and have been so instrumental in giving women a voice in American society.

Valerie Harper's upbeat personality and courage in the face of cancer was her ultimate gift to all of her fans and people who have admired her over the years.

There are a lot of actors and actresses who are good at their profession. But there are very few who actually were able to affect people's lives in a positive way-- the way that Mary and Valerie did.

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20 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Valerie Harper's Rhoda was one of the joys of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and I sincerely missed her once she left the series as Mary's outspoken Brooklyn accented friend.

 

 

BRONX!

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44 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

Swithin-- You're a regular Henry Higgins!

I'm from the Bronx. It wasn't a question of her accent, Rhoda was famously from the Bronx. It was mentioned often in the series. In fact, her wedding episode was shot near the building I grew up in. 

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This has been a terrible year for celebrity passings. First Luke Perry, then Doris Day, and now Valerie Harper.

While Valerie's passing is not entirely surprising (she's been ill with cancer for years and was recently placed into hospice), I am still very sad to hear that she is gone.  Valerie's passing is yet another piece of my Nick at Nite childhood that is gone.  Losing MTM, Georgia Engel, and now Valerie, within the span of a couple years is especially sad. Mary Tyler Moore, next to I Love Lucy, was my favorite show on Nick at Nite.  While I loved MTM and thought of Mary Richards as one of my role models, I knew that inside, I was always a Rhoda. 

This is me:

Image result for rhoda morgenstern gifs

Also me:

Image result for rhoda morgenstern gifs

Again me: 

Image result for rhoda morgenstern gifs

I always loved Valerie's wardrobe on both Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda. Valerie's "Rhoda" character was a nice balance between Mary and Phyllis.  When she left the show, Sue Ann and Georgette kind of filled the void, but the focus of Mary Tyler Moore changed from Mary's home life to her WJM life.

One of my favorite episodes is "Rhoda the Beautiful," when Rhoda finally loses the 20 lbs she's been trying to lose for the past two seasons.  She is still self-deprecating and refuses to accept that she looks great.  Frankly, I think she looked beautiful before, but she looks great.  I could see how working next to the very svelte MTM would make someone want to perhaps drop a few pounds, but Valerie looked great no matter what.  I thought she was gorgeous, on par with MTM. 

From "Rhoda the Beautiful" :

(Mary and Rhoda discuss how beauty pageant contestants have three part names)

MARY (mocking the Miss America contestant interviews): "Tell us, Miss Mary Jo Beth Ann Lou, what are some of your favorite hobbies?"

RHODA (acting like a stereotypical beauty pageant contestant): "My favorite hobbies are cheerleading, liking people, and living in America."

RHODA: "When I graduate from high school, I would like to become a brain surgeon... or a model!"

---

Another great Rhoda episode is the second episode of the series, "Today I am a Ma'am." 

RHODA: "You can really get close to someone fast when you hit him with a car."

---

RIP Valerie. Right now I am watching the best Rhoda-centric episodes of Mary Tyler Moore in your honor. It's the episode where Rhoda and Lou casually date.  I would also like to own Rhoda's "I live to boogie" t-shirt.  

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4 minutes ago, Swithin said:

I'm from the Bronx. It wasn't a question of her accent, Rhoda was famously from the Bronx. It was mentioned often in the series. In fact, her wedding episode was shot near the building I grew up in. 

There's an episode of Mary Tyler Moore where Rhoda asks Phyllis' brother to guess where she's from and he says "The Bronx" right out of the gate.  Rhoda looks disillusioned and wonders why nobody ever guesses "Manhattan." I am assuming that at the time, Manhattan was seen as more sophisticated and glamorous than The Bronx.

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Just now, speedracer5 said:

There's an episode of Mary Tyler Moore where Rhoda asks Phyllis' brother to guess where she's from and he says "The Bronx" right out of the gate.  Rhoda looks disillusioned and wonders why nobody ever guesses "Manhattan." I am assuming that at the time, Manhattan was seen as more sophisticated and glamorous than "The Bronx." 

The Bronx and Manhattan were part of the original New York City. The other three boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island) became part of NYC in 1898.  

Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer: "Mama, I'm rich, we're moving to the Bronx!"

In Rhoda, although Rhoda had moved to Manhattan, her mother, played by Nancy Walker, still lived in the Bronx.

Rhoda_and_Ida_1977.jpg

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She was great in the underrated Freebie And The Bean where she played Alan Arkin's temperamental Latino wife. I cannot see that movie ever being shown again due to how un-PC it is.

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1 hour ago, speedracer5 said:

There's an episode of Mary Tyler Moore where Rhoda asks Phyllis' brother to guess where she's from and he says "The Bronx" right out of the gate.  Rhoda looks disillusioned and wonders why nobody ever guesses "Manhattan." I am assuming that at the time, Manhattan was seen as more sophisticated and glamorous than The Bronx.

I recall those episodes involving Rhoda and Phyllis' brother as being quite funny. Phyllis is concerned that Rhoda and her brother, Ben, will become an item, even to the point of cornering Lou Grant at one of Mary's deadly dull parties to discuss her concerns. As it turns out, Phyllis did not need to worry. Ben was gay.

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1 hour ago, Thenryb said:

I recall those episodes involving Rhoda and Phyllis' brother as being quite funny. Phyllis is concerned that Rhoda and her brother, Ben, will become an item, even to the point of cornering Lou Grant at one of Mary's deadly dull parties to discuss her concerns. As it turns out, Phyllis did not need to worry. Ben was gay.

The funniest part is when Phyllis is so relieved that he’s gay, rather than being with Rhoda. That could have been controversial, but Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman perform it beautifully. 

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3 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

There's an episode of Mary Tyler Moore where Rhoda asks Phyllis' brother to guess where she's from and he says "The Bronx" right out of the gate.  Rhoda looks disillusioned and wonders why nobody ever guesses "Manhattan." I am assuming that at the time, Manhattan was seen as more sophisticated and glamorous than The Bronx.

Maybe Rhoda would be flattered that I thought she was from Brooklyn.

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10 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I am assuming that at the time, Manhattan was seen as more sophisticated and glamorous than The Bronx.

It still is!  I mean, what's the Bronx got over Manhattan; The Yankees...a famous zoo...Fordham University...anything else?

Valerie Harper's character on the Mary Tyler Moore Show probably had the best lines on the show, but the supporting cast, like many successful sitcoms, was very strong overall.  Betty White, Cloris Leachman, Gavin McLeod, Ed Asner, Ted Knight, and Georgia Engel were usually good at producing some good 'laugh-out-loud' moments thanks to their timing and great writing too.

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11 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

RIP Valerie. Right now I am watching the best Rhoda-centric episodes of Mary Tyler Moore in your honor.

My favorite episode was one called "Best Of Enemies" where Mary and Rhoda have an argument and stop speaking to each other. It has plenty of laughs, mostly from nosy Ted, but some touching moments as well. 

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10 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

The funniest part is when Phyllis is so relieved that he’s gay, rather than being with Rhoda. That could have been controversial, but Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman perform it beautifully. 

Also very funny to me was Lou Grant's reaction to Phyllis' desire to discuss the issue with him. He corners Mary and says something like "Mary, Phyllis wants to talk to me about her brother, Ben-and Rhoda. I don't wanna." Of course I sort of identified with misanthropic ole Lou.

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RIP  Valerie Harper.  You brought joy to my youth on the MTM Show and Rhoda.  You were superlative in an outstanding cast on the former.  

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