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HARPER--Robert Francis, died after a brave fight with cancer, on January 23, 2020 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, with his wife Sascha Noorthoorn van der Kruyff at his side. Born in New York City on May 19, 1951, the fourth son of Eugene and Muriel (nee Drumgoole) Harper, he had a long career on stage, screen, and television, including, among many credits, in the Broadway premiere of Arthur Miller's "American Clock," in Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America," Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry," George Romero's "Creepshow," Mike Newell's "Amazing Grace and Chuck," and Michael Mann's "The Insider," and as a regular or featured star in the TV series "Frank's Place, "Philly," "L.A. Law," "Roseanne," "Murphy Brown," and "Gilmore Girls." He was a longtime member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. In addition to his wife, he is survived by brothers, Eugene, James, Gerard, Daniel and his sister, Mary Harper Hagan, and predeceased by brothers, Lawrence, Thomas, and William. Also surviving are 15 nieces and nephews and five grand-nieces and nephews. He graduated from Mater Dei High School (now Prep) in Middletown, NJ and Rutgers College in New Brunswick, NJ, at which he delivered the commencement address at University College in 2007. A memorial service will be held in New Jersey at a later date. Contributions in his memory may be made to Mater Dei Prep's performing arts programs, c/o Mater Dei Prep, 538 Church Street, Middletown, NJ 07748 or

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Published in New York Times on Jan. 30, 2020.
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14 entries
June 30, 2020
My father Bill Collins was best friends with Mr. Harper growing up. My father always spoke very fondly of him and had great memories. He was so proud of the fact "Bobby" as he called him was a Hollywood actor and every single time he was on tv, my dad pointed him out. Every. Single. Time. Mr. Harper had written to me after my father's passing and was very gracious and had nothing but kind words to say about my dad. I hope they are both celebrating the wonderful things they are both remembered for and my prayers and condolences are with your family through your loss.
Tim Collins
June 30, 2020
I just found out of Bobby's passing. He was a great guy and best friend to my husband, Billy Collins who passed also. I am so sorry for your loss! Ginny Collins
Virginia E Collins
June 30, 2020
Bobby, I know God has welcomed you into his kingdom happily. Thank you for being there when Bill passed away. I'm so sadden to learn of your passing. May God bless your family and keep them strong. Give my brother a hug for me. Rest easy.
Janet Collins
April 23, 2020
So sorry to hear of Bob's passing. My condolences to his large and loving family and his many friends. I knew and acted with Bob at Rutgers in Neil Cuthbert's The Soft Touch and Othello. He was an exceptionally talented and generous actor. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to work with and learn from him.
Mike Folie
March 13, 2020
I knew Robert in high school and enjoyed following his career. I was a freshman and he took me aside and coached me for my one line in Camelot . I always appreciated that gesture and he was an amazing King Arthur!! RIP Bob!
Peter Fierro
February 24, 2020
Eternal Affection Arrangement- BASKET INCLUDED
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February 6, 2020
I am sad that Robert has left us although I never met him in person. I knew of him through his wife, Sascha Harper Noorthoorn van der Kruyff. In fact I have not met Sascha in person either, only online through texts and emails; the 21st century equivalent of pen pals.

Whether online or in the flesh, friendship, sharing and caring forge the same close bonds.

My deepest sympathy for Robert's passing.
David Kane
February 5, 2020
Bob was a student at Rutgers University of Thomas F. Van Laan's. Professor Van Laan directed him in several plays at Rutgers. Bob and Sascha became close friends of Tom and me and we shared many happy times together. He will be sadly missed.
Charlotte ErkelVan Laan
February 5, 2020
You've always been one of my favorite clients and a dear friend. I loved going to piano concerts and theater and movies during Christmas. I've missed seeing you but I've always been glad to know that you had someone you love in Sasha.

Rest easy, my friend
James Weissenbach
February 3, 2020
Bob, like all the Harpers, belonged from timeless time in God's Camelot.
With family, friends and especially Mater Dei alums, I mourn... and then rise to give a standing ovation to my irrepressible student of long and long ago.
Sister Christina (Maryrose) Pecoraro
February 3, 2020
Bob was in the spotlight for Camelot and the King and I in high school. I was content to be the operator of the spotlight for the rehearsals and the performances, so I got to see him and hear him sing a lot.
Frank Cerra
February 2, 2020
You will be missed Robert, but the craft of your art and the legacy of your humanity will endure. We will remember you with a smile. Sascha's life is forever lifted for having known you. Let us all strive to honor your memory and the goodness that you leave behind.
Gordon Shaffer
February 1, 2020
We could have used more seasons of "Franks Place" and Robert as Bubba, an awesome role. I sent Robert a request years back for an autograph and Robert sent me the coolest "Franks Place" ball cap, which I still prize today. I know what it means to miss New Orleans and sure I will miss Robert.
Victor Wadsworth
January 31, 2020
You'll always be my favorite King Arthur, Bob. Now that you're with the angels, you're truly free to Run, Boy, Run! With love and gratitude for having known you. XO
Kathleen Weckenman
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