I want to hear about her days in "Valerie's Family." Did she really think she could pull down the same salary as Bill Cosby?
It goes through "MTM" and "Rhoda" past "Valerie's Family" and her fights with Melissa Gilbert up to her recent one-woman show as Tallulah Bankhead!
I want to hear her side of the battle with Melissa Gilbert to become SAG president!
In Melissa's autobiography, she referred to Valerie and her minions as "The Valiban."
She won her court case, r2, 1.4 million plus 12% of the show's profits. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the issue was that Valerie had created the show, she wasn't just a hired hand. But then the network denied she created it and were trying to gyp her out of the extra money she'd get as the show's creator.
Melissa Gilbert fights with everyone and anyone, from Natassja Kinski to her own husband Bruce Boxleitner. No one can stand her or ever could.
[quote]I want to hear her side of the battle with Melissa Gilbert
What's there to hear? Bitch stole my shitbra!
Why don't any of the networks show "Rhoda?"
"Mary was a cunt on set."
Why don't any of the networks show "Angie?"
She's still working, she won't be revealing anything of note.
I, Rhoda? What is this, a BBC drama about Caligula?
I've always loved the fact that the definitive jewish mother and daughter relationship portrayed on tv was by two non-jews.
I wonder if she'll include a chapter about her visits to the It's a Living set ostensibly to visit Wendy that inevitably wound up as psychological muff-diving sessions, with Valerie gushingly complimenting ME on how wonderful an comic actress I was.
Too bad Nancy Walker never got around to writing her autobiography. She could have called it I, IDA.
What's with the sudden increase in posts and threads about sitcom actresses from the 70s and 80s?
[quote]What's with the sudden increase in posts and threads about sitcom actresses from the 70s and 80s?
I don't know, r16, but I'm waiting breathlessly for I, STEPFANIE.
Powers, Zimbalist, or Beecham?
R8, ALN (American Life Network) was running both Phyllis and Rhoda last year.
You'll have to wait your turn, bitches.
I hope this thread continues. It is hilarious.
Can't Stop The Music
This thread needs some testosterone. Help me name my autobiography, bitches.
Will she reveal who was sleeping with whom in the Original Broadway Cast of LI'L ABNER?
Still naked and in my car.
You better stay in there Jan, or you'll get run over by a truck again.
It won't be half as good as "Damn, Damn, Damn: How Florida Evans Got From Rich Westchester to Poor Chicago" by Esther Rolle.
Ja'net "I Was The Real Star" Dubois
Valerie is in the film of "Li'l Abner" as one of the wives.
Bitch stole the title of her book from me!
And I was the first Rhoda!
R18? There was only ONE actress who spelled her name Stepfanie. And she was on HUNTER.
I spelled it that way FIRST!
Only is she gives us dirt lots of on Bajour, Wildcat, and Subways are for Sleeping!
Val is too adjusted and even tempered to write a good dishy autobiography. And only 300 odd pages? She's over 70 years old!
I worked on a production with Valerie Harper years ago and she was the nicest, most down-to-earth person you could ever know. Everybody on the crew adored her. It's too bad all actresses/actors can't be as lovely as she is.
I think we can say with certainty that r33 is most definitely NOT Miss Julie Kavner.
The title is odd.
It's like Faye Dunaway Syndrome in reverse: I only want to be known for one role!
Did Val and Julie Kavner not get along?
Julie's PR people always warn interviewers, please do not ask about the TV show 'Rhoda'
R33, if everyone was so nice, we wouldn't get good bio/autobiographies.
What's with the title of Valerie Harper's book? It sounds weird and uncreative.
Julie Kavner hated herself on Rhoda, not Valerie.
Remember it's "Rhoda Faye" and "Brenda Faye."
Julie Kavner, though I love her, is a notorious oddball. She also refuses to be filmed recording The Simpsons, and won't do interviews about that show either. She appeared on James Lipton's Actors Studio with the rest of the cast, but it was supposed to be a big deal that she agreed to it, and she left after one segment.
r39, the publisher chooses the title and book cover, the author has nothing to do with it.
Is Julie a prima dona or just a neurotic jerk?
R43: You don't know what you're talking about.
I'm not nearly as famous as she, but I've had a say in every book cover, both title and image.
I hit her with a shit bra!
Hulu has first 3 seasons of Rhoda fyi
R37 Julie Kavner dislikes talking about her past work, not just RHODA. Interviewers are also forbidden to ask her to speak like Marge. She walked out of a taping of ACTORS STUDIO because of that.
I could kill Valerie for stealing my title. I'm sure you'll all agree that it's much more appropriate for me.
"I, Claudia," by Pamela Bellwood
[quote] Julie Kavner dislikes talking about her past work, not just RHODA
There goes the Rhoda reunion
Who are you, r45? Unless you tell us, your post is useless.
I'm friends with two non-fiction authors who've had absolutely no choice in title or cover. This was for their combined 6 books for major publishers.
It really depends on the publishing house, the editor, and the author's clout as to whether or not the author gets some say in the cover or not.
There are no hard and fast rules governing it.
R14. Whatever happened to Barrie Youngfellow anyway? I remember her from when she was a kid named Barrie Rivchun doing shows at Heights Youth. Theater with Jerry Leonard.
Barrie is (or was) married to Sam Freed, who played Bob Barsky on KATE AND ALLIE and was on OZ.
I think she retired from showbiz to raise her kids.
Simon & Shuster gave me de facto veto power (which I exercised) on the cover of my first fiction book.
It wasn't in the contract, but they allowed it anyway.
Of course, that may have been one thing that contributed to the editor-in-chief telling my agent that it was like dealing with Barbra Streisand.
I don't think it was a compliment.
Wasn't Julie Kavner promised a Brenda spin-off series that was developed and then shelved? No wonder she's bitter.
Julie is incredibly and painfully shy and is truly ALL about the work. She doesn't like talking in the Marge voice publicly because she feels it will ruin the illusion that people have for that beloved character. The Simpsons have made her an incredibly wealthy woman (hundreds of millions of dollars--something like $400,000 per episode, plus dvd sales, residuals and licensing) and she only works if and when she wants to, and prefers to do small off Broadway productions if anything at all though she played Adam Sandler's mother a few years back in the movie, Click, and I think she says she wants to work with Woody Allen again after their numerous successful outings (she was his muse, of sorts, in the 80's).
What's with Julie Kavner and the weird behavior? Everyone talks about past work at least a bit.
I adored RHODA and loved Valerie Harper and Julie Kavner, always.
I'm sorry to report that Nancy Walker was one bitter, rude old hag to me but after having met her she died soon after.
It's possible that she was so mean because her brain cells were dying off and she couldn't help herself.
Julie Kavner sounds like a self-absorbed asshole.
You can't believe a word of it, I'm sure.
Well, I've worked with both Valerie and Julie (separate projects) and am here to report that both ladies were just about the nicest women I've ever encountered in show biz.
Both extremely considerate and respectful of everyone's job and position and totally eager to do the work and get the job done to the best of their abilities.
Julie was indeed rather shy but there was nothing weird or off-putting about her. She is a genuinely modest and humble person, partnered to the same (I think ) non-show biz guy for many years.
Valerie grew up in the theater as a chorus girl in many Broadway shows, including Take Me Along with Jackie Gleason and Wildcat with Lucille Ball, but I'll bet she'll be too nice to disparage either of them harshly in her book (though there are, no doubt, good stories!).
Julie Kavner has the sweetest fucking gig in show business. She gets paid a fortune for the Simpsons and doesn't even travel to LA to do the show. She lives on Long Island and does her lines over the phone, then gets a nice fat check. And she really just lucked into the Simpsons as well.
The Simpsons cast was underpaid before the renegotiated though. If it was such an unusually long-running success, they never would've been able to cash-in like they have.
"Valerie grew up in the theater as a chorus girl in many Broadway shows, ...Wildcat with Lucille Ball, but I'll bet she'll be too nice to disparage either of them harshly in her book (though there are, no doubt, good stories!)."
SHIT! Who needs these useless nice people. I want DIRT.
R23, Valerie wasn't in the Broadway Li'l Abner, just the film. She was 19 when she shot the movie - alongside (as another wife) 17 year old Beth Howland.
Donna Douglas is also to be seen briefly in the movie.
David Groh -- anyone work with him? Was he nice?
[quote] She is a genuinely modest and humble person, partnered to the same (I think ) non-show biz guy for many years.
I thought Julie Kavner's longtime partner was David Davis, who was one of the producers on MTM and Rhoda.
R67, David Groh was LUCKY. So lucky. He was nice so he could keep his job.
It was between David Groh and Alex Rocco for the part of Joe Gerrard
btw Valerie Harper said the premise of her show was suppose to be a 70s version of 'Mad About You'. But the writers felt Rhoda worked when she was single. That they could only think of plots for Brenda, and the show is about Rhoda!
Valerie & David Groh appear on "Sally" and explain why Rhoda & Joe had to split up!
Having Rhoda get married right off the bat was a huge mistake. They should have at least let us have half a season of wacky Rhoda back in NY stories first.
Having Rhoda get married at all was about the dumbest thing in sitcom history.
[quote]Will she reveal who was sleeping with whom in the Original Broadway Cast of LI'L ABNER?
She probably wouldn't know, because Valerie was NOT in the original cast of "L'il Abner", but was a replacement cast member who went into the show quite a while after it opened.
She has a very unique story in the "L'il Abner" was the first Broadway show she had ever seen, a seventeenth birthday gift from her parents, as well as the first Broadway show she was ever in as well!
I wonder if she will talk about her involvement with Werner Erhard's EST training?
Her book title, "I, Rhoda" is sort of like Tina Turner's, "I, Tina". Only with no "Tin" and more "Rhod".
That bitch wasn't the only Broadway chorine who had a weird name.
Ms. Channing to you
Isn't it a pun on I, Robot?
I, Mask. Love you Bennett
She should have called it I'LL NEVER BE MARY.
I, Jobs. I, dead.
Well if she doesn't want to talk about her past work, what would she talk about? Her future work? What would the interviewer say? I don't know what she wants to talk about then. Would it be a monologue?
I hope she does dish the dirt on that godawful reunion movie she made with Mary a few years ago.
Erin Moran, at the Shell gas station waiting on a call from HarperCollins
Too late, r87, loser.
I, JENNY PICCALO
I think that spinning off Rhoda was foolish in the first place, and then the marriage just made it more foolish. All they did was destroy the Mary show. I did not like Phyllis either before or after she spun off. I guess I should say that I did not find her funny or entertaining, because they did not intend for anyone to like her.
Seven letters too much.
"Bitches" really? REALLY???
TV executives described it as "the Rhoda effect" and it's colored tv decisions since. Basically, on MTM, Rhoda was a little bit of a character. Mary was the mostly sane one, and most of the people around her were sane, but Rhoda came in with all her insecurities and her crazy mother and she added a lot of flavor. Spun off into her own show, it no longer worked with the main character as 'the flavor,' and that's why they tried to ground her (with the marriage) and by making the people around her more colorful by comparison. Rhoda was a great show, but it sort of teetered a bit.
They should have spun off RHODA after the MTM show had finished its run.
It has often worked, like with the Jeffersons, but I think it is ill-advised to spin off main supporting characters. When they take a guest star roll, like Maude and spin her off, that is not a problem.
R94 you are right but Maude made only a couple appearances on All in The Family. Rhoda was a regular main character and as was mentioned, the flip side of Mary Richards. Their characters worked well off each other.
Mary Tyler Moore had a few spinoffs. "Rhoda", "Phyllis" "Lou Grant".
They wanted to do a spinoff with Ted Baxter, but Ted Knight didn't want to continue playing the airheaded oaf. It's too bad because he may have been the Kelsey Grammer of the 80s.
They should have taken the Betty White character and built a show around her. It would have been funny if she had a gay assistant. Sue Ann trading barbs with a character like Mr. Humphreys from "Are You Being Served" would have worked.
Doesn't the huge success of Frasier make mincemeat out of "the Rhoda effect?"
Anyway, once Rohoda divorced Joe and she was single again, the show got even worse so I'm not sure their marriage was where the problems lay in that series.
Carletn, your doorman
The show had lost a lot of momentum by the time they final got rid of Joe. The audience was furious that he'd dumped her, and stayed away for that reason, some drifting back eventually but by then the show's momentum had truly dissipated.
I don't think the show holds up that well, but it was entertaining at the time. I'd stopped watching by the last year or so, though.
I saw an episode a few months ago and was surprised at how mean it was, mostly the relationship between Rhoda and her mother. Not funny at all
I just remember Rhoda being exasperated by all the other characters....her mother, Brenda, Carleton, the two idiots played by Ron Silver and Ray Buktenica who I could never tell apart, etc.
And exasperation is wearying....
Valerie is too nice to dish. I met her a few months ago and said she was robbed of a Tony for "Looped" and she said, no, Viola davis was magnificent, to which I relpied, yes she was, but "Fences" was a revival and Mary Alice won for the original production, but for the Best Features category and they changed the category for Davis. She said Ohh your're right, but still went onto praise Davis. Too nice!
Never talked to Julie Kavner, so I don't know how shy or weird she is, but I did see her walking to work in her play last year and there was two twenty something guys waiting for her and as she saw them she started running for the stage door with her hand over her face. One guy said "Miss Kavner can we get picture with you?" and she yelled "NO!" and ran in the stage door.
"They should have taken the Betty White character and built a show around her."
Sue Ann Nivens, like Ted Baxter, was not enough of a sympathetic character to build a show around in 1978. They did produce a Betty White Show -- different character -- and put Georgette and John Hillerman on it. BOMBED.
"Rhoda" may have been better if Nancy Walker had a larger and longer role on it. But Nancy left to direct "Can't Stop The Music."
Rhoda sucked and MTM started to suck from the episode Rhoda left. It was never the same. MTM cannibalized itself for spinoffs.
The writing was bad. All the jokes were forced. It didnt work.
Year ago I was watching a teenage movie from the 50s called "Rock, Rock, Rock!" starring Tuesday Weld. In one of the dance sequences I noticed a dancer and thought she looked familiar. It was Valerie Harper.
Love Valerie but I agree that RHODA wasn't that good, particularly after the first season. I watched many of the reruns on ALN a couple of years ago. The writing level was pretty poor, the secondary characters (besides the Morgenstern family) were dull and poorly conceived (oy, Brenda's boyfriends!), and the show looked really cheap. Except for some of Rhoda's clothes, which were fabulous.
Remember how they kept giving Rhoda new BFFs: Anne Meara (who I recall reading was fired outright) and then Vivian Vance? Weird.
Among the many boyfriends on "Rhoda" (all of whom appeared in several episodes):
Ron Silver (later President of Actors' Equity)
Richard Masur (later "hold me, David")
John Ritter (pre-"Three's Company")
Judd Hirsch (pre-"Taxi)
and stepdaughter Wendy Schaal also had a brief recurring role before "It's A Living"
Ray Buktenica played one of her bfs too, if I'm not mistaken. This was pre-House Calls and before his relationship with Joyce DeWitt. Remember that brief moment in time when Ray and Joyce were Hollywood's IT couple?
Rhoda sucked because of Joe. They never should have had her marry. Rhoda was good because she wasn't a winner. All of a sudden she's the lucky one and Brenda is the loser
[quote]Remember that brief moment in time when Ray and Joyce were Hollywood's IT couple?
Oh. Dear. God.
The poster who said the show looked cheap hit the nail on the head. They took zero advantage of their setting in NYC. She was a window dresser. What better place to be a window dresser than NYC? Everything about Rhoda was just wrong.
Oh, and you know a show is in trouble when a faceless character on an intercom is the breakout star.
A Stockard Channing bio sounds fantastic. Can we make it happen?
I, for one, will not be reading it
Stockard, BTW, looked pretty great guesting on THE GOOD WIFE. I'm thinking good wig and some really decent cosmetic work.
Stockard filmed the pilot for an X-Files type show a few years ago. Unfortunately they didn't pick it up.
But remember back then, when Rhoda debuted and they introduced sexy David Groh, who had shirtless scenes with his hairy chest, you were all pretty excited about him!
And that image of Rhoda, scrambling to hail a taxi cab in her wedding gown was an image none of you will ever forget.
nowhere to go but down
Oh sure Groh was sexy, but she should've just had a fling with him. It would've worked with Rhoda as the Jewish, NYC version of Mary.
[quote] NYC version of Mary.
That is why they divorced Rhoda. They realized a married Rhoda didn't work.
I grew up in the 70s and as a little gayling, whenever I'd see David Groh and his hairy chest, I'd get all tingly. Of course, I didn't know what that meant at the time, but I knew it felt good to look at him.
Eldergay who still loves hairy chests
David Groh would later play the first and only wife beater on Daytime TV on the soap General Hospital.
He also played a wife and child beater on Law & Order, a role he reprises ten years later.
I was surprised by how sad the episodes were when Rhoda and Joe broke up. Given how facile the writing was on most of the episodes, they kind of went for blood on that story line.
Why didn't David Groh ever get on another prime time show as a regular? Was he difficult to work with or something else?
He seemed like a nice guy and had the right look (handsome NY Jew) for the 1970s/80s.
[quote] Why didn't David Groh ever get on another prime time show as a regular?
When he was let go from Rhoda, he immediately got another sitcom called 'Another Day' a family sitcom. It barely lasted 13 episodes.
Groh was hot, and had received classical training (he thought he'd do Shakespeare et al.) But honestly, he wasn't all that great onscreen.
He did sound like a nice guy, though. Harper speaks fondly of him in interviews.
OMG David Groh died in 2008. I had no idea!
David Groh was no Mike Brady!
Flo Henderson Presents
OMG, David Groh was so fucking masculine. He looked like he had a ton of testosteroine coursing through his veins. Looked like a real man's man. So damn hot. They don't build 'em like that anyone.
The guy was way too wooden. Heard he left a young child when he passed
Go to 2:54 at link to see Joan Rivers spoof 'Rhoda'
Alan Carr had to pull Valerie Perrine into his limo on the set of the Nancy Walker-directed "Can't Stop the Music" and calm her down after Nancy tortured her by having her say "One more time" something like 20 times. "For chrissakes, Nancy, how many ways can I say the fuckin' line?"
[quote] The Simpsons cast was underpaid before the renegotiated though. If it was such an unusually long-running success, they never would've been able to cash-in like they have
Well, now they're raking it in. And a bunch of them are creepy scientologists. One of the sci's gave a $10 Million donation to the "church"
The show had one good running gag, "This is Carlton, your doorman."
It would have been better if it combined the "That Girl" long-time boyfriend with the mother/daughter tension.
Also, the theme music sucked big time.
R133 is correct. The opening credit/theme music was horrendous. The most annoying thing I've ever seen. They changed the music for every season and none of the changes worked.
As sharp and brilliant MTM show was, Rhoda was the polar opposite. They tried to tweak that damn show until the last episode and never got anything right while MTM was on cruise control for 7 years.
I think the theme music just didn't age well. It probably sounded fresh and modern at the time, which was appropriate for Rhoda, who was edgier and more progressive than Mary.
Why did Valerie leave (or get fired from ) 'Valerie's Family,' her sitcom in the 80s? It was a pretty big story at the time, but it was such a long time ago I can't remember the details.
The theme song for "Phyllis," on the other hand, was brilliant.
It was a salary dispute r136, but it wasn't that she asked for a huge sum for her acting, she had also created the series. So she expected a fee for that as well, but the network refused to give her credit for that. That's how she won her court case, she was able to prove she had created the show, and that's why she was awarded 12% of the profits, which was probably quite a sizable amount, but it was her rightful money.
I know all Valerie created was a formula family sitcom, but shows always have a creator credit, so there's no reason why she shouldn't have gotten the money the same as anyone else. Sara Gilbert has gotten filthy rich as the creator of The Talk, a blatant View rip-off. I think Valarie indicated the network didn't like an uppity woman getting such a large cut, and thought they could push her around.
[quote]"Rhoda" may have been better if Nancy Walker had a larger and longer role on it. But Nancy left to direct "Can't Stop The Music."
Nancy originally left to star in her own Garry Marshall factory series, "Blansky's Beauties," in 1977.
Will Sandy Duncan be doing the foreword?
Sorry Jason - Sandy may think she's writing the forward, but she's really just scribbling on the tablecloth next to the book.
I was born in the later half of the 1970s, so I never saw Rhoda until repeats on tv in the late 80s. I loved it. I've never cared much for MTM, but Rhoda kept me coming back for more.
I was crushed when Rhoda and Joe divorced.
Joan Van Ark played Joe's snooty ex-wife.
Nancy Walker was a huge bitch.
[quote]Nancy Walker was a huge bitch.
[quote]Alan Carr had to pull Valerie Perrine into his limo on the set of the Nancy Walker-directed "Can't Stop the Music" and calm her down after Nancy tortured her by having her say "One more time" something like 20 times. "For chrissakes, Nancy, how many ways can I say the fuckin' line?"
I talked to Valerie Perrine about it and she said that for almost all of filming, Nancy never came out of her trailer because she was watching "her stories" and it was a miracle any footage was actually shot. She was a horror to work with.
r148, next time you talk to Valerie P., tell her I loved her in Superman.
I always get Valerie Perrine mixed up with Dyan Cannon and Karen Valentine.
Valerie Harper has the same acronym as visible hemorrhoids.
Nancy also had another show along with Blansky's. Cleverly titled the Nancy Walker show. Rhoda and Mary just weren't the same without each other. I hate the Rhoda show more for the hole it left in MTM than how bad it was. Everybody liked Rhoda more than Mary. As soon as she got her own show it was like they just surrounded Rhoda with nutcases and let her spout psychobabble.
R151 You might want to look up the definition of "acronym" before you use that word again.
When the publisher announced the book a year or two ago they called it "I RHODA BOOK." ("I WROTE A BOOK" get it?) Guess they didn't like the jokey title?
Sandy Duncan will be writing a companion book called "Eye, Sandy."
r154, are you serious? If that's true, the publisher changed it from a laugh with her title, to a laugh at her title. But none of that matters if it's too nicey-nice and doesn't dish the dirt anyway.
I hear the original title was going to be Melissa Gilbert Sucks!
Alice Garvery's Baby Ramrod
Next time you speak to Valerie Perrine, tell her my mom think she's a slut!
"She needs to wear a bra!"
Next time you talk to Valerie Perrine, let her know she was a better lay than Kris Kardashian.
Valerie has spent the last ten years or so, very successfully touring the country in one woaman shows,playing variously, Pearl Buck, Golda Meir and Tallulah Bankhead. That takes quite a range.
One of the most annoying theme songs, complete with adenoidal bastards trying to sing and diarrhea noises at the end.
r53 Who are you? I am sure I know you. I think Barrie is still married to Sam Freed. She has to be in her early 60s now.
I remember her as Peter Pan!
Once in a while I spot someone in a Broadway or Off-Broadway show who was part of those Jerry Leonard years.
It is always kind of a kick.
[quote]I, Rhoda? What is this, a BBC drama about Caligula?
No, that's I, Rhoda Mann.
The Rhoda reruns so far on METv are holding up well--but I dread seeing the post breakup ones.
IRL not much news about Valerie and I fear that doesn't mean there's good news.
Her book is a lot of fun and often touching.
Valerie is making a public appearance on Sunday at a Cancer fundraiser
[quote]Valerie is making a public appearance on Sunday at a Cancer fundraiser
She'll be singing a rousing rendition of "I Am Not Dead Yet" from "Spamalot."
[quote]The Rhoda reruns so far on METv are holding up well
I agree, R166. Been watching and enjoying them very much.
I'd like them better if MeTV had better prints...
I wish MeTV had an HD channel. That would certainly help.
[quote]She has a very unique story in the "L'il Abner" was the first Broadway show she had ever seen, a seventeenth birthday gift from her parents, as well as the first Broadway show she was ever in as well!
Another cool, small world moment was Valerie danced in the chorus behind Lucille Ball on broadway in "Wildcat" in 1960 and ten years later wins her first Emmy which was presented by Lucy.
Leslie, is that really you? I'm obviously not 'Michael Libasi, he should rest in peace. Just another One of Jerry Leonard's kids. What a genius he was. I was in the chorus when you did Little Me. I had the biggest crush on you. I knew Barrie when she was still a Rivchun. I knew all the Rivchuns, Stewart, Carol, Connie, all so talented. I hope Harriet is well. I knew he very well too.