Actress Beth Howland, who played Vera on 'Alice,' dies at 74 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Actress Beth Howland, who played Vera on 'Alice,' dies at 74

Posted: Updated:
This 1984 file photo shows actress Beth Howland. Howland, who was best known for her role as a ditzy waitress Vera Louise Gorman on the 1970s and '80s CBS sitcom "Alice" died Dec. 31, 2016 in Santa Monica, Calif. This 1984 file photo shows actress Beth Howland. Howland, who was best known for her role as a ditzy waitress Vera Louise Gorman on the 1970s and '80s CBS sitcom "Alice" died Dec. 31, 2016 in Santa Monica, Calif.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Beth Howland, the actress best known for her role as a ditzy waitress on the 1970s and '80s CBS sitcom "Alice," has died. She was 74.

Her husband, actor Charles Kimbrough, told The Associated Press that Howland died Dec. 31 of lung cancer in Santa Monica, California. He said there had been no announcement, funeral or memorial service because that's how she wanted it.

"That was her choice," he said.

Howland was born May 28, 1941, in Boston. At 16, she landed a role on Broadway alongside Dick Van Dyke in "Bye Bye Birdie." CBS later noticed Howland on stage in the 1970 production of "Company" and brought her to Hollywood for a bit part on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

Small roles on "The Love Boat" and "Little House on the Prairie" followed and a major break came when she was cast as Vera Louise Gorman on "Alice," a comedy set in an Arizona greasy spoon diner based on the 1974 Martin Scorsese film, "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore."

Howland earned four Golden Globe nominations during the comedy's 1976-85 run for her performance as the naive Vera. Howland described herself in a 1979 AP profile as "very shy" and said she saw something of herself in the character.

"I'm a little naive sometimes but not as much as Vera. I guess I'm really a cynic," she said.

After "Alice" ended, Howland largely disappeared from television acting, aside from bit parts on series including "Murder, She Wrote" and "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch."

Howland created Tiger Rose Productions with actress Jennifer Warren. The company produced "You Don't Have to Die," a 1988 HBO documentary about a boy's battle against cancer that won an Academy Award for best short-subject documentary.

Howland is survived by a daughter from her previous marriage to actor Michael J. Pollard.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • Billionaire Boys Club's Joe Hunt seeks cut in life sentence

    Billionaire Boys Club's Joe Hunt seeks cut in life sentence

    Monday, October 22 2018 3:25 PM EDT2018-10-22 19:25:07 GMT
    Tuesday, October 23 2018 2:56 AM EDT2018-10-23 06:56:34 GMT
    The founder of the infamous Billionaire Boys Club who is serving a life sentence for murder is appealing to California Gov. Jerry Brown for a chance at freedom. 
    The founder of the infamous Billionaire Boys Club who is serving a life sentence for murder is appealing to California Gov. Jerry Brown for a chance at freedom. 
  • PBS docuseries 'Native America' recreates cultures pre-1492

    PBS docuseries 'Native America' recreates cultures pre-1492

    Monday, October 22 2018 2:55 PM EDT2018-10-22 18:55:18 GMT
    Tuesday, October 23 2018 1:57 AM EDT2018-10-23 05:57:01 GMT
    (Providence Pictures/PBS via AP). This image released by Providence Pictures shows an ancient kiva in Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Culture National Historical Park, northern New Mexico. The location is featured in a new four-part PBS docuseries, “Native Amer...(Providence Pictures/PBS via AP). This image released by Providence Pictures shows an ancient kiva in Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Culture National Historical Park, northern New Mexico. The location is featured in a new four-part PBS docuseries, “Native Amer...
    A new four-part PBS docuseries entitled "Native America" seeks to recreate a world in the Americas generations prior to the arrival of Europeans. 
    A new four-part PBS docuseries entitled "Native America" seeks to recreate a world in the Americas generations prior to the arrival of Europeans. 
  • Rowling, Tolkien, Austen novels vie for bragging rights

    Rowling, Tolkien, Austen novels vie for bragging rights

    Monday, October 22 2018 1:35 PM EDT2018-10-22 17:35:01 GMT
    Tuesday, October 23 2018 1:56 AM EDT2018-10-23 05:56:32 GMT
    (AP Photo). This combination photo shows J.R.R. Tolkien, author of "The Lord of the Rings," series in 1967, left, and J. K. Rowling, author of the "Harry Potter" series at  the "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" Broadway opening in New York on April 2...(AP Photo). This combination photo shows J.R.R. Tolkien, author of "The Lord of the Rings," series in 1967, left, and J. K. Rowling, author of the "Harry Potter" series at the "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" Broadway opening in New York on April 2...
    A six-month effort to find America's best-loved novel is coming to end, with works by J.K. Rowling and Jane Austen among the top contenders. 
    A six-month effort to find America's best-loved novel is coming to end, with works by J.K. Rowling and Jane Austen among the top contenders. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.