Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Valerie Harper: Valerie Harper Is Still Adored for Her Portrayal of Rhoda Morgenstern on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, a Role That Won Her Four Emmy Awards. with Season 3 of MTM Released January 19 on DVD by Fox Home Entertainment, We Caught Up with Harper on Tour Playing Golda Meir in Golda's Balcony

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Valerie Harper: Valerie Harper Is Still Adored for Her Portrayal of Rhoda Morgenstern on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, a Role That Won Her Four Emmy Awards. with Season 3 of MTM Released January 19 on DVD by Fox Home Entertainment, We Caught Up with Harper on Tour Playing Golda Meir in Golda's Balcony

Article excerpt

Why do you think so many gays identify with Rhoda Morgenstern?

Rhoda was somewhat insecure but also very courageous. In Minneapolis she was an outsider; she was Jewish and a New Yorker. She was always chiding Mary about how straight she was. Rhoda had an artistic streak too--I mean, she was a window dresser, but she made the best of it. And her wardrobe was outrageous; she wore those big earrings and crazy outfits. She never wore beige.

When did you first know that gays associated with Rhoda?

Right from the start. One of the earliest interviews I did about Rhoda was with [late author and AIDS activist] Vito Russo, who came to my dressing room to talk with me for The Advocate. My manager, who was gay, said, "Are you sure you want to do an interview for the gay press?" And I said, "Of course!" Vito was lovely--he had a star quality himself. We lost him way too soon. I've always felt very strongly about human rights, for blacks, women, and gays. Our Constitution is about equality for all--that's got to mean something to all of us.

There's an episode in season 3 of The Mary Tyler Moore Show where Rhoda dates Phyllis's brother and Phyllis is horrified to think that he might fall for Rhoda. …

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