Beth Howland was an American actress, best known for her role as Vera Louise Gorman on the sitcom “Alice,” which aired from 1976 to 1985. Born on May 28, 1941, in Boston, Massachusetts, Howland began her career in entertainment as a stage actress. She made her Broadway debut in “Bye Bye Birdie” in 1960 and was part of the original cast of Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Company” in 1970.
Howland’s portrayal of Vera on “Alice” earned her widespread recognition. The character was known for being somewhat scatterbrained but lovable, and her performance was a key part of the show’s success. The sitcom was based on the 1974 film “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” directed by Martin Scorsese, although the tone of the TV series was more comedic and lighthearted compared to the film.
In addition to her work on “Alice,” Howland appeared in various other television shows and movies, both during and after the sitcom’s run. However, it was her role as Vera that remained her most iconic.
Beth Howland was also known for her work in theater, both on and off-Broadway. Her stage presence was noted for its vibrancy and emotional depth, which she brought into her television roles as well.
Despite her success, Howland maintained a relatively low profile in Hollywood. She was known for valuing her privacy and keeping her personal life out of the spotlight.
Beth Howland passed away on December 31, 2015, at the age of 74. Her legacy in television, particularly her role in “Alice,” continues to be remembered by fans and colleagues in the entertainment industry.