RIP

Heartbreak Valerie Harper Took To The Grave

Divorce and movie letdowns haunted the funny lady.

Smiling Valerie Harper Wearing Scarf with Red Silk Jacket
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Heroic Valerie Harper lost her long battle with brain cancer at age 80 late last month on August 30th, but the beloved TV icon lived more than six years past the paltry three months doctors told her she had left in 2013!

Still, her inspiring life wasn’t without secret heartbreak and disappointments!

Her 14-year marriage to her “best friend” — fellow comic actor Richard Schaal — crashed and burned in 1978 after they worked together on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda. Sadly, after their split Valerie admitted she “still loved” Schaal.

Valerie Harper with her husband, actor Richard (Dick) Schaal in 1978

Valerie Harper with her husband, actor Richard “Dick” Schaal in 1978. Photo: Shutterstock

But the sitcom queen said her co-star and good friend Mary Tyler Moore helped her through the difficult time.

Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper filming scenes from their upcoming TV movie "Mary & Rhoda" in 1999

Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie filming scenes from their TV movie “Mary & Rhoda” in 1999 in 1999. Photo: InStar Images

“She taught me to divorce,” Valerie said of Mary, who left two husbands herself before her 2017 death.

But the plucky brunette finally found happiness in a second marriage to Tony Cacciotti in 1987, and the two adopted a daughter, Cristina, now 36.

Valerie with her husband, producer and actor Tony Cacciotti, in 1988

Valerie with her husband, producer and actor Tony Cacciotti, in 1988. Photo: Shutterstock

In addition to her personal struggles, Valerie also had haunting career regrets.

Though she was a massive TV star, sources said she was frustrated by her lack of a bigger movie career — despite Golden Globe nominations for Freebie and the Bean in 1975 and Chapter Two, five years later.

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