Whatever Happened To: The Cast Of "Rhoda”

Rhoda was the popular spin-off of the beloved Mary Tyler Moore Show that ran for five seasons on CBS from September 9, 1974, to December 9, 1978.

As Mary Richards' friend and neighbor on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda had been somewhat overweight, insecure in her relationships with men, and jealous of the trim Mary.

But in the fall of 1974, when it was decided that Rhoda (Valerie Harper) needed her own tv series, she returned home to New York City as a more attractive and self-confident person and met and fell in love with Joe Gerard who was the owner of the New York Wrecking Company...and divorced...and the father of a 10-year-old son.

Realizing she couldn't live with her parents Ida (Nancy Walker) and Martin (Harold Gould), Rhoda moved in with her sister Brenda (Julie Kavner), got a job as a window dresser for a department store, and in a special full-hour must watch tv telecast on October 28, 1974, Rhoda Morgenstern the husband-hunter, married Joe...and became Rhoda Gerard.

This was the basic premise of Rhoda, the popular spin-off of the beloved Mary Tyler Moore Show.

More than 53 million Americans tuned in to watch Rhoda frantically run around New York City in her wedding dress. At the time, only the I Love Lucy episode "Lucy Goes to the Hospital" had been seen by more viewers.

Rhoda was must-see television and just as popular as the sitcom in which is spun from. Valerie Harper was a STAR.  The first season won Golden Globe Awards for Best Comedy Series and Best Actress in a Comedy. Valerie Harper also won the Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Comedy that year.

When Rhoda kicked off in 1974, Harper was earning $25,000 and a percentage in the series, according to a People article from the time. The deal was in part to help make up for the measly salary she made when she started playing the character four years earlier. When she began on The Mary Tyler Moore ShowHarper pulled in just $700.

With Rhoda happily married, the comedy shifted to her chubby sister, Brenda, a bank teller with constant problems trying to get a boyfriend, sort of a younger version of the Rhoda who started on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970, but let's face it...the breakout star on the series was always the never seen Carlton The Doorman (Lorenzo Music).

After two years of stories about wedded bliss and a lot of head scarfs, the producers of Rhoda decided that a happily married couple was just not as funny as two single people trying to cope with the world. In order to create more flexibility in Rhoda's role, she and Joe divorced.

Newly single Rhoda was able to make new friends and again deal with the world of being single.

The 1977-1978 season brought another raft of changes. Rhoda found a new job working at the Doyle Costume Company, a run-down business struggling to survive. Jack Doyle (Kenneth McMillian) was the owner of the company and his assistant was Ramón (Rafael Campos).

Brenda had a new boyfriend in Benny Goodwin (Ray Buktenica) who replaced the infrequently seen Las Vegas musician Nick Lobo, played by Richard Masur, who had romanced her from 1975 to 1977 and Mother Ida had just returned from a year's traveling around the country selling Bounty..the quicker picker upper and directing Bruce Jenner and the Villiage People in Can't Stop The Music.

By the start of the last season, Ida too was single, having been deserted by Martin...cause what's better than two single sisters?  THREE single ladies in the city.  And although Rhoda won our hearts during its five-season run towards the end the magic was gone, and the show ended.

So what happened to the original cast?

As for Carlton the doorman...he became quite the pop culture phenomenon. He even got his own cartoon.

The animated pilot aimed to explore his life. However, despite winning an Emmy award in 1980, the show was not picked up as a series and aired only once.

And he recorded a record "Who Is It?" b/w "The Girl In 510" in 1975 where he "sings" "No strangers can enter on my watch — but they can when I'm on break." Listen HERE.  Remember nobody but your doorman can judge you.

Here is a fun fact.  On the show, it is said that Rhoda lives at 332 E. 64th Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, but in reality, the exterior shown onscreen sits at 332 E. 84th Street. Ah the magic of "Hollywood"

Rhoda was like the original Carrie Bradshaw setting clothing trends and creating a generation of women who wanted it all. Who would have thought that Rhoda would have outlived Mary?  Girl...looks like you made it after all. The cast of Rhoda...we ❤️ya

Whatever Happened To: The Cast Of "Rhoda” Whatever Happened To: The Cast Of "Rhoda” Reviewed by #IheartHollywood on December 15, 2018 Rating: 5

1 comment

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