She left the show after two seasons over a pay dispute; it went on for a while as "Valerie's Family" and then, with Sandy Duncan in the lead, "The Hogan Family".
"A handsome woman, a wonderful actress, a great friend and with balls bigger than mine", Harper's Mary Tyler Moore Show co-star, Ed Asner, tweeted. For her work on both shows combined, spanning eight full seasons of TV, Harper ended up taking home four Emmys and a Golden Globe - and helped forever change how women were portrayed on television.
She told Time magazine that part of Rhoda's appeal was that she was a loser - but a "victorious loser".
Actress Valerie Harper arrives at the Hallmark Channel & Hallmark Movie Channel 2014 Winter TCA Party, Jan. 11, 2014, at The Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, Calif.
- "I was so sad to hear that the fantastic Valerie Harper passed away". "There was a time when I went to bed thinking, "Well, there goes another day not married"; now, I just wait till New Year's Eve and say, 'There goes another year not married.' Mary, I tell you, it's progress".
In 1964, Harper married Richard Schaal, a member of the Second City improvisational theater company.
- "Valerie Harper was always the most gracious and the kindest actor on set. Like Mary Tyler Moore she could turn the world on with her smile".
As the blunt, self-deprecating Rhoda, Harper created one of the most beloved sitcom characters of the 1970s. However, she survived for almost/over six years thanks to her medical care.
In a 2009 interview with the Television Academy's Archive of American Television, Harper said had she been new to the business, the "difficult" label might have stuck to her. The pair reunited with Mary Tyler Moore co-stars Betty White (Sue Ann), Cloris Leachman (Phyllis), and Georgia Engle (Georgette) for a 2013 episode of Hot In Cleveland, titled Love Is All Around, a nod to the Mary Tyler Moore show theme song.
During the 1990s, Harper starred in a pair of short-lived sitcoms (one of which, "City", was created by future Oscar-winner Paul Haggis) and made guest appearances on series including "Melrose Place", "Sex and the City" and "Desperate Housewives".
However, Harper also had a substantial career doing voice work in her later years.