Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Jason Bateman: Paying tribute to his TV mom

The cast of "Valerie" with Jason Bateman
 and Valerie Bateman between
Danny Ponce and Jeremy Licht.
Remembering TV mama
Jason Bateman has been back in the spotlight lately with his latest movie "Identity Theft", but also for a comment he made a couple weeks ago that harkens back to a role he played in the 1980s.

Bateman played the eldest son David in the sitcom "Valerie" starring Valerie Harper. Recently, she announced she is suffering from brain cancer, and the following story appeared at:


Jason Bateman's touching message to Valerie HarperFollowing the news Wednesday that Valerie Harper was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, actor Jason Bateman provided ET with an exclusive message of support."Valerie is someone that I've learned a great deal from. Not just comedically but also in her ability to put whomever approached her, or worked with her, completely at ease with a laugh and an energy that's intoxicating," the "Identity Thief" star said in a statement to ET."My thoughts and love go out to her and her family," added Bateman, who played Harper's son on the 1980s sitcom "Valerie."

Familiar face, familiar name
It’s hard to believe that Jason Bateman and I are the same age. I basically grew up with him. It started with "It’s Your Move", a short-lived series where he played a teenage con man living a secret life from his hapless mother (played by Caren Kaye). Back then he was probably better known as the younger brother of Justine Bateman who played Mallory Keaton on "Family Ties". He had also played Ricky Stratton's (Rick Schroeder) conniving friend Derek on "Silver Spoons".

Bateman resurfaced in 1986 with the comedy "Valerie", where he played the eldest son of a family led by Valerie Harper, in her first major series since "Rhoda" was cancelled. The interesting thing about that show was a contract disagreement with Harper led to her departure. Sandy Duncan was cast as the new lead, and the name of the show changed to "Valerie's Family" then "The Hogan Family", then eventually the "Hogans".

He also played a role in "Necessary Roughness", one of my favourite football movies which starred Scott Bakula, who was playing Sam Beckett in "Quantum Leap" at the time.

It was not until "Arrested Development" that I reacquainted myself with Bateman, then "The Switch" and some of his other movies. A buddy of mine saw "Identify Thief" and just raved about it

One of these is not like the others
Jason Bateman managed to survive his life as a teenage star unlike some of the other teen stars of his era such as Gary Coleman and Dana Plato whose issues caught up with them in adulthood. Bateman too battled addiction but has managed to survive and prosper. He is married to Paul Anka's daughter Amanda, and they have two daughters. He has seemed to come out the other end of his problems.

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