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Southwest Dutchess Daily Voice serves Beacon, East Fishkill, Fishkill, LaGrange, Poughkeepsie, Wappinger & Wappingers Falls

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Obituaries

Area Native Valerie Harper, Who Earned Fame As TV's 'Rhoda,' Dies At 80

Valerie Harper
Valerie Harper Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Hudson Valley native Valerie Harper, who achieved fame in a sidekick role on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” before starring in her own, top-rated show, “Rhoda,” died on Friday, Aug. 30. She was 80.

She had leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, in which cancer cells invade the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain.

For her work on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," she received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series three times, and later received the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on "Rhoda/"

Harper was born on Aug. 22, 1939, in Rockland County in Suffern. Her father, Howard, was a salesman; her mother, Iva, was a nurse.

The family moved frequently as Valerie grew up -- to California, Michigan, Oregon and Jersey City, where she attended high school. Her parents divorced when she was a teenager.

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