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Stefanie Powers ‘Looped’ Into Role Once Played By Ailing Valerie Harper

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Stefanie Powers as Talluhlah Bankhead
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Actress Stefanie Powers is in Baltimore this month starring in “Looped” at the Hippodrome. Even though it’s a comedy, it’s emotional for the actress because she took over for Valerie Harper, who was just diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

Mary Bubala reports Powers only had two weeks to prepare for the starring role in “Looped.”

The role of Tallulah Bankhead was originally played by Harper, but she pulled out after getting news she had an inoperable brain tumor with just months to live.

Powers says it was Harper who wanted her to fill the role.

“I jumped in with both feet with very short amount of rehearsal time to fill some very large boots that she left me,” Powers said.

Cancer had already connected the two actresses years ago.

“Both of us had had the same surgery for lung cancer, at the same time, with the same doctor, in the same hospital, about a week apart four years ago,” Power said.

While Harper is beloved for her role as Rhoda in the 1970s “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” Powers is well known for her role as Mrs. H. in the 1980s “Hart to Hart.”

In her latest role, Powers may channel Tallulah Bankhead so well because she was actually in the 1965 movie with the actress in which “Looped” is based.

“It feels comfortable for me to slip into her skin and assume things that I remember of her with regard to her body language,” Powers said.

“Looped” will be at the Hippodrome through March 17. Tickets are still available.

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