Valerie Harper

“My name is Rhoda Morgenstern. I was born in the Bronx, N.Y., in December 1941. I’ve always felt responsible for World War II.” went the voiceover at the start of the sitcom Rhoda, helpfully illustrating the average American’s complete ignorance of military history. Its star, Valerie Harper, may not have started any world wars but she certainly stopped a few dead pool successes over the past five years. 

Harper was most associated with the character of Rhoda, which she first played in a supporting role on The Mary Tyler Moore show before being so popular with viewers that she earned her own spin-off. Indeed, Rhoda remains the only TV show to have debuted at #1 on the ratings, and was such a sensation that it managed to easily beat Monday Night Football in the Nielsen numbers. 

Harper’s contribution to the world of deadpooling, however, came with her diagnosis with a rare brain cancer in 2013. She was immediately drafted by most of the big-name teams for 2014, and slightly less for 2015, and slightly less for 2016…. you can see where this is going. She was still popular enough to easily place on the Drop 40, however, and is our 7th hit there of the year. However, none of the leading pack selected her so the standings remain relatively unaffected.

Valerie Harper
August 22, 1939 – August 30, 2019
Died aged 80 (70 picks, 2 jokers)