September 08, 2019

What We Know about Richard Schaal, 'Mary Tyler Moore Show's Valerie Harper’s First Husband

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Richard Schaal and Valerie Harper got married in 1964 and stayed together until their divorce nearly 14 years later.

Schaal was an actor and writer, known for "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," which he co-starred alongside Harper. The star also wrote for the series.

Richard Schaal, circa 1970s | Photo: Wikimedia Commons


In the hit sitcom, he played four different characters — Howard Arnell, his brother Paul, Chuckles the Clown and Dino.

The movie "Slaughterhouse-Five" and the TV series "Phyllis" also helped him shot to stardom.

Schaal additionally starred on "The Bob Newhart Show," where he showed up in three different episodes as Don Fezler, Don Livingston, and Chuck Brock.

Schaal was married three times. After his union to Lois Treacy ended, he was married to Harper in 1964.

No cause of death was given. He was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.


Valerie Harper in 2007 | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The two stayed together for almost 14 years and had a peaceable split in 1978.

Later in life, Schaal wedded a third time to wife Tasha Brittain in 1980. But they divorced nine years later.


With Treacy, he had one child — Wendy Schaal, who went into showbiz like her legendary dad.

In the late 1990s, Schaal used a motorized wheelchair in his work after undergoing spinal surgery.

He lived and worked in Tampa Bay, Florida, where he established and coordinated an improvisational cabaret theater, during the 2000s. 


In November 2014, Schaal passed away in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. He was 86. His passing was declared by Wendy. 

No cause of death was given. He was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.

Schaal was born in May 1928, in Chicago Illinois. Prior to joining Second City, the Windy City's infamous comedy group, in 1962, he worked in construction.

After decades of work in the film and TV industry, he got a lifetime achievement award from the Chicago Improv Festival in 2010.