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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Remembering Beth Howland 1941 - 2015

Actress Beth Howland died on December 31, 2015, at age 74, but in keeping with her wishes, her death was not announced until this week. She was best known for her role as waitress Vera Louise Gorman in the 1976-85 CBS sitcom, Alice, and she received four Golden Globe nominations for her performance.

Howland also originated the role of Amy in the 1970 Stephen Sondheim musical, Company. Her other Broadway credits include Once Upon a Mattress, Bye Bye Birdie, High Spirits, Drat! The Cat! and Darling of the Day. She also appeared in the 1959 film, Li'l Abner, and played Jean Stapleton's daughter in the 1979 CBS adaptation of the play, You Can't Take It with You.

From 2002 until her death, she was married to actor Charles Kimbrough (who also appeared in the original Broadway production of Company as well as CBS's Murphy Brown).

Below you can watch Beth Howland sing "Getting Married Today" during the 1970 recording session of Company's cast album, meet guest star Telly Savalas in a 1979 episode of Alice, and perform with Gary Sandy (at 1:45) during the 36th Annual Tony Awards in 1982.


joel65913 said...

Man this year is just unremitting in the hits being taken by notables. I know she died on the last day of last year but since her passing is just being announced now it counts for this year.

Had no idea she was married to Jim Dial. What an interesting match up. I recently watched the '59 version of Li'l Abner, VERY much a filmed stage show, and saw in the credits that she, Valerie Harper and Donna Douglas were in small parts so I assumed they might be hard to spot. Donna was but both she and Valerie were quite easy to spot actually in the same group of singers (the wives) in most of their scenes. It lead me to wonder how Val was getting on with her health issues never realizing that Beth Howland was gone. I wasn't a faithful Alice watcher but she played the jumpy Vera well.

Marc Harshbarger said...

Thanks for your comment, Joel! Check out Valerie Harper's Facebook page for recent photos of her - she looks great: