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Valerie Harper Biography

Birth Place:
Suffern, New York, United States
Profession
Actor, dancer

Fast Facts

  • Began ballet lessons at age 6 and was dancing in the Radio City Music Hall corps de ballet by age 16
  • Appeared in several Broadway musicals, including Michael Kidd's Li'l Abner (1958) and Wildcat (1960); used her earnings to finance acting classes
  • Moved with then-husband Richard Schaal from New York to Chicago in the mid-'60s so he could join the Second City comedy troupe; she later auditioned and was also accepted, beginning a five-year run with the company
  • Was Linda Lavin's understudy in 1968's Something Different and their stage careers have intertwined ever since: Lavin replaced Harper in Story Theatre, and Harper replaced Lavin in 1995's Death Defying Acts and in 2001's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife
  • Cast as the matriarch in Valerie in 1986; title was changed to Valerie's Family and then to The Hogan Family after she left the series in 1987 due to a contract dispute (she was replaced by Sandy Duncan)
  • Cowrote and starred in All Under Heaven, a one-woman show about author Pearl S
  • Buck that debuted in 1998
  • Penned a memoir (with writer Catherine Whitney and illustrator Rick Tulka) in 2001 entitled Today I Am a Ma'am: And Other Musings on Life, Beauty and Growing Older

Awards

  • 1980Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: nominated
  • 1978Emmy-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 1977Emmy-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 1976Emmy-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: nominated
  • 1976Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: nominated
  • 1975Emmy-Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: winner
  • 1975Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: winner
  • 1975Golden Globe-New Star of the Year - Actress: nominated
  • 1974Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: nominated
  • 1973Emmy-Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Comedy: winner
  • 1973Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: nominated
  • 1972Emmy-Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Comedy: winner
  • 1971Emmy-Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: winner
  • 1971Emmy-Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Comedy: winner

Relationships