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Valerie Harper Speaker Profile

Meredith Baxter (born June 21, 1947), also known for some years as Meredith Baxter-Birney, is an American actress and producer. She is known for her acting roles including three television series: Family (19761980), an ABC television-network drama, Family Ties (19821989), an NBC television-network situation comedy, and Dan Vs. (2011present), a situation comedy on The Hub television-network.

She was born Meredith Ann Baxter in South Pasadena, California, the daughter of actress and situation-comedy creator Whitney Blake and Tom Baxter, a radio announcer.She was raised in Southern California and has two brothers: Richard (born 1944) and Brian (born 1946). Her mothers widower was situation-comedy writer Allan Manings.

Baxter got her first big break on television in 1972 as one of the stars of Bridget Loves Bernie, a CBS television-network situation comedy. The series was canceled after one season, but her co-star, David Birney became her second husband in 1974. Following their marriage and until their divorce in 1989, she was credited as Meredith Baxter-Birney.

As Baxter-Birney, she became widely known several years later on Family. She played the role of Nancy Lawrence Maitland and received two Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1977 and 1978).

After Family ended, she starred with Annette OToole and Shelley Hack in Vanities (1981), a television production of the comedy-drama stage play about the lives, loves and friendship of three Texas cheerleaders starting from high school to post-college graduation; it aired as a part of Standing Room Only, a series on the premium-television channel HBO.

Baxter-Birneys next series was Family Ties, on which she played an ex-flower child mother, Elyse Keaton. In reality, she is only fourteen years older than Michael J. Fox, who played her son Alex Keaton. She and co-star Michael Gross (who played her husband Steven) share the exact same birthdate.

In 1986, during her time on Family Ties, Baxter garnered critical acclaim for her dramatic performance as Kate Stark in the well-known NBC television movie Kates Secret, about a seemingly perfect suburban housewife and mother who is secretly suffering from bulimia nervosa.

Following Family Ties, Baxter (whose marriage to Birney ended in 1989) produced and starred in telefilms. She portrayed a psychopathic kidnapper in The Kissing Place (1990) and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special for her work in A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story (1992), based on the true story of a divorce who was convicted of murder in the shooting of her ex-husband and his young wife.

In 1994, she won a Daytime Emmy Award for her role as a lesbian mother raising a young son, in Other Mothers (1993), a CBS Schoolbreak Special. For her work on the television film My Breast (1994), she received a special award for public awareness from the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

In 1997, Baxter once again played the mother of a character played by Michael J. Fox, this time on Spin City, an ABC situation comedy.

In 2005, she began appearing in television commercials for Garden State Life Insurance Company. In 2006, she temporarily co-hosted with Matt Lauer Today, the NBC morning news and talk show. In 2007, she made a guest appearance on What About Brian, an ABC drama series. That same year, she also made several appearances as the dying mother of Detective Lilly Rush on Cold Case, a CBS police-procedural series. In 2009, she is guest starring in season two of the web series We Have to Stop Now.

In recent years, Baxter has also created a skin-care line, Meredith Baxter Simple Works,[4] which helps raise funds for her breast cancer research foundation. She is also a spokesperson for Consumer Cellular, a cell phone company advertised as providing a cheaper cell phone alternative for senior citizens.

She currently costars in the cable television sitcom Dan Vs. which airs on The Hub.

Baxter has been married three times and has five children. In 1966, she married Robert Lewis Bush and they had two children Ted (born 1967) and Eva (born 1969); the couple was divorced in 1969. In 1974, she married David Birney and had Valerie Harper (born August 22, 1939)[1] is an American actress, known for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on the 1970s television show The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and for her starring roles on the sitcoms Rhoda (a spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show) and Valerie.

Harper was born at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, Rockland County, New York. Her Canadian-born mother, Iva (ne McConnell), was a nurse, and her father, Howard Donald Harper, was a lighting salesman. Harper is of French and British ancestry, and was raised Roman Catholic, although at an early age she quit the church. The family moved every two years because of her fathers promotions, living in South Orange, New Jersey. St. Andrews in Pasadena, California (where Harper attended the school St. Andrews); Monroe, Michigan, at age 10, where she attended St. Marys Academy; then Ashland, Oregon at [age] 11 to 13; and then Jersey City, New Jersey from eighth grade through age 18. When her family returned to Oregon, Harper remained in the New York City area to study ballet. She has an older sister, Leah; a younger brother, Don (originally Merrill); and a half-sister, Virginia, from her fathers second marriage. Harper based her future character Rhoda Morgenstern both on her Italian stepmother, Angela Basilico, and Penny Ann Green (ne Joanna Greenberg from Brooklyn), with whom she danced in the Broadway musical Wildcat.

Early TV-comedy influences included Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Joan Davis, Your Show of Shows, and, later, Mary Tyler Moore in The Dick Van Dyke Show. She attended Lincoln High School in Jersey City, and finished high school at the private Young Professionals School on West 56th Street, where classmates included Sal Mineo, Barbara Dana, Tuesday Weld, and Carol Lynley. She has been married to Tony Cacciotti since 1987.

Harper began as a dancerchorus girl on Broadway in the late 1950s and early 1960s. She began with the musical Lil Abner and went on to perform in several Broadway shows for Michael Kidd. Her Broadway shows included Wildcat, in which she performed with Lucille Ball; Take Me Along with Jackie Gleason; and Subways Are For Sleeping. In-between she was cast in Destry Rides Again but got sick and had to leave during rehearsals. Her roommate Arlene Golonka introduced her to Second City improvisation theater and to improv performer Dick Schaal, whom Harper later married in 1965. Harper was stepmother to Schaals daughter, actress Wendy Schaal. They lived in Greenwich Village at the corner of Perry Street and Bleecker Street.

Harper returned to Broadway in February 2010 starring as Tallulah Bankhead in Matthew Lombardos Looped at the Lyceum Theatre.

She also appeared in a bit part in Lil Abner (1959) when she was a teenager, playing one of the Yokumberry Tonic wives.[1] She broke into television with an episode of the soap opera The Doctors, Zip Guns can Kill and was an extra in Love with the Proper Stranger. She toured with Second City with Schaal, Linda Lavin and others, and with Schaal and Skitch Henderson did a New York City talk show. She appeared in sketches on Playboy After Dark. Harper and Schaal moved to Los Angeles, California in 1968, and co-wrote an episode of Love, American Style.

Harper was doing theater in a small theater on Vermont Street in Los Angeles, where casting agent Ethel Winant spotted her and in 1970 called her in to audition for the role of the wise-cracking Jewish New Yorker Rhoda Morgenstern on the landmark CBS TV sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show.[1] She co-starred from 19701974 and then starred in the spin-off series, Rhoda (CBS 1974-1978) in which her character returned to New York. She won four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for her work as Rhoda Morgenstern throughout this period. In 2000, Harper reunited with Mary Tyler Moore in Mary and Rhoda, a TV movie that brought their iconic characters back together again in later life. The first season of Rhoda was released on DVD on April 21, 2009 by Shout! Factory.

She was also nominated for a Golden Globe for New Star of the Year for her role in 1974s Freebie and The Bean. Harper was a guest star on The Muppet Show in 1976, its first season.

Harper returned to situation comedy in 1986 when she played family matriarch Valerie Hogan on the NBC series Valerie. Following a salary dispute with NBC and production company Lorimar in 1987, Harper was fired from the series at the end of its second season.Harper sued NBC and Lorimar for breach of contract. Her claims against NBC were dismissed, but the jury found that Lorimar had wrongfully fired her and awarded her $1.4 million plus 12.5 percent of the shows profits. The series continued without her with the explanation that her character had died off-screen. In 1987, it was initially renamed Valeries Family and then The Hogan Family, as Harper was replaced by actress Sandy Duncan, who played her sister-in-law Sandy Hogan NBC canceled The Hogan Family in 1990, but it was picked up by CBS for one more season.

Harper has worked almost exclusively in theater and television, but did have key supporting roles in Neil Simons Chapter Two in 1979 and Stanley Donens Blame It on Rio (1984) opposite Michael Caine. She has had roles in TV movies and guest spots on a number of series, including Melrose Place in 1998 and Sex and the City in 1999. Also in the 1990s, she advocated hormone replacement therapy for Eli Lilly and Company.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Harper was involved in the Womens Liberation Movement and was an advocate of the Equal Rights Amendment.[18]three children Kate (born 1974) and twins, Mollie and Peter (born 1984).[5] Following their divorce in 1989, she reverted to using Meredith Baxter. In 1995, she married actor and screenwriter Michael Blodgett; they were divorced in 2000. Baxter was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. Baxter was the guest speaker at the 2008 Southern Commencement for National University in La Jolla, California, and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the university.

In 2009, The National Enquirer reported that Baxter was seen on a lesbian cruise with a female friend. This led to speculation as to whether Baxter was a lesbian or simply enjoying the cruise as a platonic straight friend. On December 2, 2009, she came out as a lesbian during an interview with Matt Lauer on Today, and on the Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius-XM OutQ 102. She lives with her partner, Nancy Locke, a general contractor, with whom she has been since 2005. Baxter said she first realized she was a lesbian when she began her first same-sex relationship in 2002.

On December 17, 2009, TV Guide reported that Baxter would write a memoir. Broadway Books, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, had purchased the rights to Baxters as-yet-untitled and as-yet-unwritten life story. In the book, Baxter will present a fully realized portrait of her life as an actress, mother of five children, and grandmother, and will candidly discuss her fight with breast cancer, her 19 years of sobriety, entrepreneurship, and her decision to come out, a press release said. Her memoir, titled Untied, was published in 2011.


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TV Personalities like Valerie Harper have been at the forefront of entertainment for American households. The booking agents at Celebrity Talent Promotions can assist with Valerie Harper speaking engagements or appearances. We have years of experience in booking TV Personalities for keynote speeches and autograph signings. Hiring a TV Personality like Valerie Harper is not a hard process. Our agents can provide availability, fees and all costs associated in bringing out a successful TV Personality to your next corporate event. We can find Valerie Harpers agent to make this booking happen. A Valerie Harper appearance will add energy to your upcoming event and reward employees, customers and clients. Most likely, fans and corporations can find Valerie Harper's official website, charity involvement, Twitter account, representation, publicist and management info at www.Valerie Harper.com. If your company is interested in finding out booking fees and availability for hiring a speaker, celebrity or Valerie Harper for an appearance, autograph signing, endorsement or speaking engagement, call us at 1.888.752.3532 or fill out the booking form below.

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