Biography - Valerie Harper

Last Modified: 9th Sep, 2023
Valerie Harper
Best Known For
The Mary Tyler Moore Show (TV series)
Net Worth
$1.00M Under Review
$ Under Review
Social Media Presence
Personal Detail
Birth Name / Full Name
Valerie Kathryn Harper N/A
Born on
August 22, 1939 (age 80)
Date of death
Female N/A
Sexual Orientation
Marital Status
Married Date
Howard Donald Harper
Howard Donald Harper
Leah Harper
Older sister
Leah Harper
Older sister
Iva Mildred
Iva Mildred
Tony Cacciotti
Tony Cacciotti
Richard Schaal
1964-01-29 to 1978
Cristina Harper
Adopted daughter
Cristina Harper
Adopted daughter
Merrill Harper
Younger brother
Merrill Harper
Younger brother
Body Measurement
kg N/A
Hair Color
Eye Color
Green N/A
Shoe Size
Bicep Size
inch N/A
Chest Size
inch N/A
Waist Size
Dress Size
4 US N/A
Bust Size
Waist Size
Hip Size
Bra Size
inch N/A
Cup Size
Social Media Presence

Who was Valerie Harper?

Valerie Harper was an actress by profession and American by nationality. She was best known for starring in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, Freebie and the Bean, Chapter Two, etc.

Valerie Harper in 1971 (Source: Timeline)

Valerie Harper – Bio, Age, Parents, Siblings

Valerie Harper’s birth took place on August 22, 1939, in Suffern, New York, USA. She was born Valerie Kathryn Harper to her mother Iva Mildred a nurse, and her father Howard Donald Harper, a lighting salesman. 

She was not the only child of her parents and has two siblings, older sister Leah Harper and younger brother Merrill Harper.

Education, Ethnicity

As her family moved every two years due to her father’s work, she attended numerous schools. She studied ballet in New York City and graduated from Lincoln High School in Jersey City, where her fellow classmates included Sal Mineo, Tuesday Weld, and Carol Lynley. 

Her ethnicity includes French, English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh.

Valerie Harper – Boyfriend, Husband, Children, Divorce

Valerie Harper married her boyfriend Richard Schaal in December 1964. Schaa was also an actor but they divorced in 1978. She and her ex-husband do not have any children together. 

Harper went on to date and marry Tony Cacciotti on 8 April 1987. The couple adopted and raised a daughter Cristina Harper. They were married until her death on August 30, 2019, due to brain cancer.

Also read: Lin Shaye - Actress of Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary

Valerie Harper, Tony Cacciotti (Source: People)

Valerie Harper – Career

In Broadway

Valerie Harper first began as a dancer and chorus girl on Broadway. She has performed numerous shows including Wildcat, Take Me Along, Looped, Li'l Abner, When You're in Love the Whole World is Jewish, and The Ballad of Irving, among others.

On Tv

In 1970 Valerie Harper was discovered by casting agent Ethel Winant. She was given an opportunity to audition for the role of Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which she landed. She portrayed the character from 1970–1974 and also in its spinoff series Rhoda

Other TV series in which she has starred include Valerie, Touched by an Angel, and Three Sisters (2001). Moreover, she has had guest appearances in other series while also participating in season 17 of Dancing with the Stars


Valerie Harper’s The Mary Tyler Moore Show co-stars include Mary Tyler Moore, John Amos, Cloris Leachman, and Betty White.

Also read: Julia Fox - ModelActress of Uncut Gems 

Valerie Harper as Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (Source: Parade)

Valerie Harper – Awards, Nominations

She has been nominated for 8 Primetime Emmys, 6 Golden Globes, and a Tony Award. Among all her nominations she won 4 Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe Awards in 1974.

Valerie Harper – Health, Cancer, Death

In 2009 Valerie Harper was diagnosed with lung cancer and on March 6, 2013, she revealed that she has leptomeningeal carcinomatosis. 

The doctors had given her three months to live and were treated with chemotherapy in an effort to slow its progress. She responded to the treatment well and on July 30, 2015, Harper was hospitalized in Maine after falling unconscious.

In July 2019 it was reported that she required "around the clock, 24/7 care." and was taking medication, and chemotherapy drugs and was experiencing "extreme physical and painful challenges". She has been fighting cancer and escaping her death for the last 10 years.

She passed away on August 30, 2019, due to brain cancer.

Also read: Becky Ann Baker - Actress of Girls 

Valerie Harper – Net Worth, Salary

Her net worth was estimated to be around $1 million while there have been no estimates on her annual salary.

Valerie Harper – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

On social media, Valerie Harper was active on Facebook and Twitter with thousands of followers but was absent from Instagram. She also owns an official website -

Also read: Susan Lucci - Actress, TV host, Author, Entrepreneur 

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