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Sandy Duncan Announced As New Female Lead For ‘Valerie’

August 13, 1987

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Actress Sandy Duncan will take over the lead in the TV series ″Valerie,″ replacing Valerie Harper after her salary agreement with producer Lorimar- Telepi ctures fell apart, the studio said Wednesday.

″She’s off the show,″ Lorimar spokesman Barry Stagg said of Miss Harper. ″We thought we had resolved our differences, but we were unable to work things out.″

Also gone from the NBC-TV show is Miss Harper’s husband, co-executive producer Tony Cacciotti, Stagg said.

A telephone call to a number given as a contact for Miss Harper was answered by a woman who said it was a wrong number. Miss Harper has refused comment during the dispute with Lorimar.

Miss Harper refused to show up for work July 27, demanding a higher salary, according to Lorimar. At least one show was shot with her character, the wife of an airline pilot, away from home on a visit.

On Aug. 4, Lorimar announced that Miss Harper had returned to work along with Cacciotti after reaching an agreement with the production company. Stagg earlier had characterized her pay as one of the highest in television. That would indicate that it was in excess of $100,000 a week.

The revised show will feature Miss Duncan portraying Sandy Hogan, the sister of pilot Mike Hogan, who moves into the Hogan household to take over the care of her three nephews. The other characters will remain the same, with Mike Hogan played by Josh Taylor and the boys by Jason Bateman, Danny Ponce, and Jeremy Licht.

Lorimar has said that even if Miss Harper were replaced, it would not change the name of the ″Valerie″ show.

Shooting will resume Aug. 31, said Stagg, after ″taking a two-week hiatus to rewrite and rework,″ he said.

Stagg refused to comment on whether any negotiations were still possible with Miss Harper, and refused to say how Lorimar’s decision to replace her might affect any legal action against her.

Lorimar had filed a Los Angeles Superior Court suit seeking an injunction to enjoin Miss Harper from working anywhere else during the remaining four years of her six-year contract. There was no word on whether that suit had been dismissed.

Miss Duncan has starred in motion pictures, television and the Broadway stage, including her performance in ″My One and Only″ with Tommy Tune, which also went on tour. She was nominated for a Tony for her roles in ″The Boy Friend,″ ″Peter Pan″ and ″The Canterbury Tales.″

She starred in ″The Sandy Duncan Show″ and ″Funny Face″ television series, and in the mini-series ″Roots.″ She received Emmy nominations for ″Funny Face″ and ″Roots.″

In motion pictures, she starred in several Walt Disney films as well as Neil Simon’s ″The Star-Spangled Girl.″

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