Beth Howland Alice Vera Dead

Alice's Vera, Beth Howland, Dead at 74

Beth Howland, who is fondly remembered as high-strung waitress Vera on the 1970s/80s CBS sitcom Alice, died on Dec. 31 at the age of 74, following a battle with lung cancer. Howland’s husband, Murphy Brown vet Charles Kimbrough, told the New York Times that he refrained from announcing her death earlier, in keeping with her wishes.

Howland won the role of Vera Louise Gorman (which was played by Valerie Cutin in the 1974 Martin Scorsese film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) after a Warner Bros. TV exec saw her play anxious bride-to-be Amy in Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical Company.

Prior to Alice, which would run for nine seasons, Howland’s TV credits included appearances on The Mary Tyler More Show, Love, American Style and The Rookies. After hanging up her Mel’s Diner apron, she went on to guest on shows such as Murder, She Wrote, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and The Tick.

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

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17 Comments
  1. GuessWhat says:

    A delayed RIP to you, Beth. Loved ALICE and Vera. =(

    • Dorothy says:

      just as Micheal responded I am amazed that any body able to get paid $4334 in 4 weeks on the internet continued/,,, http;/www.55easyline.c

  2. HUH? says:

    She passed on 12/31 but it is only now being reported?

  3. LT says:

    Loved her and that show! RIP

  4. Antoinette says:

    Awwwwww!! :( Dingy…I loved that show…But didnt realize that she was only 74..wow

  5. Danny says:

    A nicely written tribute. However, as someone who just lost a close family member, I wish TV Line would refrain from headlines like Alice’s Vera, Beth Howland, DEAD at 74. I know it wasn’t all caps, but it sounds so … cold. Perhaps “passes away” or “dies.” Just one reader’s thoughtful perspective. Thanks.

  6. jdt1505 says:

    I’ll always remember her from our high school days at Mt. St. Joseph’s Academy in Brighton. Sister Gretchen recognized her talent back then. We were all so proud of her success and a big fan of ALICE. My deepest sympathies to her family. Rest in peace, Beth.

  7. Brian says:

    Loved Vera.

    RIP

  8. Her song, “Another hundred people” in Company was a show stopper. Really a very talented and versatile actress. Alice was good comedy with an excellent cast that had backgrounds more grounded in drama than comedy, but they still made it work. I did not know that she was married to Charles Kimbrough–a favorite of mine from Murphy Brown (the anti-Ted Baxter).

    • Kim W. R. says:

      “Another Hundred People” was not originated by Ms. Howland. It was originally sung by Pamela Myers. Her song was “Getting Married Today” as Amy.

  9. AnnieM says:

    I still think of her every time straws get spilled. Vera was such a sweet character.

  10. “Alice”is one of the funniest sitcoms ever and Ms.Holland is one of the big reasons that it was so good.She was also fantastic in “Company”.