Valerie Mahaffey in March 2012
Valerie Mahaffey (born June 16, 1953) is an American actress and producer . She won an Emmy Award for her work on Northern Exposure. She later won fame through her portrayal of extroverted and friendly but ultimately insane women on the television shows Wings, Desperate Housewives and Devious Maids.
Mahaffey was born in Sumatra, Indonesia, to a Canadian mother and a Texan father who met in New Brunswick, Canada. When Mahaffey was 16, the family moved to Houston, Texas, where she graduated from Austin High School. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 1975 and later made her Broadway debut in musical Rex.
Mahaffey was regular cast member in the soap opera The Doctors from 1979 to 1981, which earned her a nomination for Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1980. She starred in the film Women of Valor in 1986 and while the characters are fictitious, it portrayed women's roles in the Philippines during World War II.
As of the late 1980s, Mahaffey began acting in television comedies, like Newhart, Cheers, and Seinfeld. From 1992–1993, she starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom The Powers That Be and in the CBS sitcom Women of the House alongside Delta Burke in 1995. She played Tracy Milford in the 1995 film National Lampoon's Senior Trip and Jan Kempster in the 1997 film Jungle 2 Jungle. In 1999, she had a recurring role on ER. In 2003, she starred in the film Seabiscuit. In 2009, she appeared in seven episodes of United States of Tara. Her stage credits include Eastern Standard, Talking Heads, Top Girls, and Rex.
Mahaffey won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her performance as the chronic hypochondriac Eve in the CBS series Northern Exposure in 1992. Mahaffey was the only actor from the series to win an Emmy Award.
Mahaffey played Alma Hodge in season 3 of ABC comedy-drama series Desperate Housewives from 2006 to 2007. Mahaffey made guest appearances on Quantum Leap, L.A. Law, Ally McBeal, Judging Amy, The West Wing, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Frasier, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Private Practice, Boston Legal, Without a Trace, and Raising Hope. She appeared on Glee as the mother of Emma Pillsbury from 2011 to 2013. Mahaffey co-starred as Fran Horowitz in short-lived TNT medical drama Monday Mornings in 2013. From 2013 to 2015, she had a recurring role on Lifetime Television comedy-drama series Devious Maids as Olivia Rice.
In 2016, Mahaffey played supporting role as Diane Higgins in the biographical drama film Sully directed by Clint Eastwood. In 2017, she began appearing in a recurring role in the CBS comedy series Young Sheldon. From 2019 to 2020, Mahaffey had a recurring role as Lorna Harding, Christina Applegate' mother-in-law in the Netflix comedy-drama series Dead to Me.
|1977||Tell Me My Name||Alexandra/Sarah||Television film|
|1979–1981||The Doctors||Ashley Bennett||Nominated - Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1980)|
|1984||Tales of the Unexpected||Jane||Episode: "The Open Window"|
|1986||Mr. Bill's Real Life Adventures||Mrs. Bill|
|1986||The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket||Alice|
|1986||Fresno||Tiffany Kensington||TV mini-series|
|1986||Women of Valor||Lt. Katherine R. Grace||Television film|
|1987||Newhart||Jolene||Episode: "Love Letters in the Mud"|
|1987||Jack and Mike||Colleen||Episode: "Till Death Do Us Part"|
|1987||Her Secret Life||Becky|
|1989||Perry Mason: The Case of the Musical Murder||D.A. Barbara August||Television film|
|1989||Perry Mason: The Case of the All-Star Assassin||D.A. Barbara August||Television film|
|1990||An Enemy of the People||Mrs. Stockman||Television film|
|1990||Father Dowling Mysteries||Justine Hemmings||Episode: "The Solid Gold Headache Mystery"|
|1990||Quantum Leap||Mary Greely||Episode: "The Boogieman - October 31, 1964"|
|1991||Cheers||Valerie Hill||Episode: "Achilles Hill"|
|1991||The Young Riders||Lottie||Episode: "The Talisman"|
|1991||Baby Talk||Tammy Morrison||Episode: "One Night with Elliot"|
|1991||Seinfeld||Patrice||Episode: "The Truth"|
|1992||Till Death Us Do Part||Gail Bugliosi|
|1992||Dream On||Helen Harley||Episode: "Up All Night"|
|1992–1993||The Powers That Be||Caitlyn Van Horne||21 episodes|
|1993||They||Chris Samuels||Television film|
|1991–1994||Northern Exposure||Eve||5 episodes|
|1994||L.A. Law||Andrea Rossoff||Episode: "Cold Cuts"|
|1994||Witch Hunt||Trudy||Television film|
|1995||Women of the House||Jennifer Malone||6 episodes|
|1996||Senior Trip||Miss Tracy Milford|
|1993–1996||Wings||Sandy Cooper||3 episodes|
|1995–1996||The Client||Ellie Foltrigg||4 episodes|
|1996||Caroline in the City||Alicia Crawford-Lane||Episode: "Caroline and the Therapist"|
|1997||Jungle 2 Jungle||Jan Kempster|
|1997||George & Leo||Martha||Episode: "The Thanksgiving Show"|
|1999||Dinner at Fred's||Susan|
|1999||ER||Joi Abbott||4 episodes|
|2000||Love & Money||Gloria Barrell||Episode: "Guess Who's Paying for Dinner"|
|2000||Ally McBeal||Dr. Sally Muggins||Episode: "I Will Survive"|
|2001||That's My Bush!||Janet Rove||Episode: "Trapped in a Small Environment"|
|2001||Night Visions||Sally Osgoode||Episode: "Neighborhood Watch"|
|2001||After Amy||Virginia Hytner||Television film|
|2001||Judging Amy||Ms. Morlock||Episode: "The Unbearable Lightness of Being Family"|
|2001||The West Wing||Tawny Cryer, Appropriations Committee||Episode: "Gone Quiet"|
|2002||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Brook Thornburg||Episode: "Justice"|
|2002||Par 6||Pecan Hegelman|
|2003||Frasier||Peggy||Episode: "Maris Returns"|
|2004||Without a Trace||Bonnie Toland||Episode: "Shadows"|
|2005||Out of Practice||Barb||Episode: "...and I'll Cry If I Want to"|
|2006||Crumbs||Carolyn Pierce||Episode: "Friends in High Places"|
|2006||My First Wedding||Grace|
|2006||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Dora Pomerantz||Episode: "Happenstance"|
|2006–2007, 2012||Desperate Housewives||Alma Hodge||9 episodes|
|2007||Private Practice||Marilyn Sullivan||Episode: "In Which Charlotte Goes Down the Rabbit Hole"|
|2008||Boston Legal||Mary Winston||Episode: "Mad About You"|
|2008||A Previous Engagement||Grace|
|2009||United States of Tara||Dr. Ocean||7 episodes|
|2010||Better with You||Ariel||Episode: "Better with Road Joel"|
|2010||Hannah Montana||Ms. Jameson||Episode: "I'll Always Remember You"|
|2010||Raising Hope||Margine||Episode: "Meet the Grandparents"|
|2011||Jack and Jill||Bitsy Simmons|
|2012||If I Were You||Lydia|
|2012||The Exes||Anne||Episode: "He's Gotta Have It"|
|2011–2013||Glee||Rose Pillsbury||3 episodes|
|2013||Monday Mornings||Fran Horowitz||6 episodes|
|2013, 2015||Devious Maids||Olivia Rice||8 episodes|
|2013||Grey's Anatomy||Donna Kaufman||Episode: "Somebody That I Used to Know"|
|2014||Kirstie||Victoria||Episode: "The Dinner Party"|
|2014||Hart of Dixie||Mae||3 episodes|
|2015||Workaholics||Celeste||Episode: "Blood Drive"|
|2015||Impastor||Susie Kerry||Episode: "Honor Thy Boyfriend's Father and Mother"|
|2015||No Pay, Nudity||Lisa|
|2016||The Mindy Project||Juliet||Episode: "So You Think You Can Finance"|
|2017||The Man in the High Castle||Susan||Recurring role, 3 episodes|
|2017–present||Young Sheldon||Ms. MacElroy||Recurring role|
|2018||The Witch Files||Claire's mom|
|2019-present||Dead to Me||Lorna Harding||Recurring role, 6 episodes|
|2020||Big Sky||Helen Pergman|
|2020||French Exit||Mme. Reynard|
- "Valerie Mahaffey". Internet Broadway Database (The Broadway League). Archived from the original on August 30, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- Robertson, Nan (April 1, 1983). "Tigers or 'Top Girls,' Valerie Mahaffey Adapts". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
- "Hollywood Horns". The Alcalde. University of Texas. 88 (4): 38. March–April 2000.
- "1980 Emmy Winners & Nominees". Soap Opera Digest. New York City: American Media, Inc. Archived from the original on August 18, 2004. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- "Awards for "Northern Exposure" (1990)". Archived from the original on 2017-03-28. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
- "Valerie Mahaffey Credits". Tvguide.com. November 28, 2012. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- Glee Exclusive: Meet Emma's Parents Archived 2013-08-30 at WebCite, TV Guide
- Geoff Berkshire (February 4, 2013). "'Monday Mornings' review: David E. Kelley and Sanjay Gupta's medical drama off to a shaky start". Zap2It. Archived from the original on August 30, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Masaki, Lyle (July 5, 2013). "TV Marathons Jump the Shark and Does "Bunheads" Still have a Chance?". Thebacklot.com. Archived from the original on August 30, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- Shaffer, Claire; Shaffer, Claire (April 24, 2020). "A Murder Is Hidden, Hijinks Ensue in 'Dead to Me' Season 2 Trailer".
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