Valerie Harper: Jodie Sweetin Reveals How the Late Star Helped Start Her Career

Valerie Harper's death has led to wave of tributes, and Full House actress Jodie Sweetin is the latest to remember the beloved actress. Sweetin, 37, posted a photograph of the late Mary Tyler Moore Show actress and revealed that, without her, Sweetin would not be be the star she is today. Sweetin's big break was as a guest star on Harper' sitcom Valerie and was later cast on Full House as a result.

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"I’m sad to hear of the passing of Valerie Harper. She was a huge reason why I am able to do what I love, to this day," Sweetin said. "My very first television roll at 4 was on Valerie (later, The Hogan Family), playing the next door neighbor Mrs. Poole’s niece, Pamela. I did one episode of that show and from that, wound up a part of my Full House Family. I never auditioned, I was just incredibly fortunate. Many of those same people I met on Valerie are part of my family today and I still get the good fortune of creating and laughing with them.

"As I got older, I understood just what a brilliant comedienne and actress she was: Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda and more. She was hilarious."

She also tried to curb any possible backlash she could receive for turning Harper's death into an opportunity to talk about her own life. She clarified that she only wanted to express her gratitude for Harper essentially making her career possible.

"I rarely post about celeb deaths, and I hate the a—holes that make it about them," Sweetin said. "I’m really trying not to do that. I just know, whenever I hear Valerie Harper mentioned, I think of her and what a lucky, lucky chance I got at life, thanks to that name."


Harper died on Friday just days after turning 80 years old. Her cause of death was not released, but she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009 and brain cancer in 2013.

Photo Credit: Jesse Grant/WireImage // Noam Galai/Getty Images