Wednesday, May 1, 2013

TVXOHOF, 05/2013 - RHODA!

"My name is Rhoda Morgenstern. I was born in the Bronx, New York in December, 1941. I've always felt responsible for World War II. The first thing I remember liking that liked me back was food. I had a bad puberty; it lasted 17 years. I'm a high school graduate. I went to art school. My entrance exam was on a book of matches. I decided to move out of the house when I was 24; my mother still refers to this as the time I ran away from home. Eventually I ran to Minneapolis, where it's cold, and I figured I'd keep better. Now I'm back in Manhattan. New York, this is your last chance!"


Rhoda Morganstern has been eligible for membership in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame since 2000, with the TV reunion movie "Mary and Rhoda" debuted.  It wasn't very good, and that coming from a devoted fan of the characters.  Nevertheless it gave Rhoda that final qualification for entry.

91 episodes of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'

110 episodes of 'Rhoda'

The TV movie "Mary and Rhoda"

But she's been one of those many characters I kept putting off for inclusion, figuring I'd get around to it someday.  Meanwhile somebody else would come along that was more interesting to write about, somebody who would knock my socks off... if I was wearing any at the time.

And then came the news........

March 6 (Reuters) - Actress Valerie Harper best
known as wise-cracking neighbor Rhoda Morgenstern on
television's "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," has been diagnosed
with terminal brain cancer, People magazine reported on

Doctors told Harper, 73, on Jan. 15 that she had as little
as three months left to live after a battery of tests revealed
she has leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, according to People. The
rare condition occurs when cancer cells spread into the
fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain.

Soon after the news became public, Ms. Harper appeared on TV to discuss her situation.  Had it been just about anyone else, I would have typed "her dire situation."  But basically her message was:

"I don't think of dying. I think of being here now."

So that's what I want to do.  I want to celebrate Rhoda Morgenstern while Valerie Harper is still with us (not that she's going to see this.)  The character was too full of life, ready to burst through our TV screens, and doesn't deserve some maudlin tribute after she's gone.

So here's to Rhoda Morgenstern.  To be exact, here's to Rhoda Morgenstern Gerard Rousseau.  Rhoda is the May Queen for 2013 in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.


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