Died: December 31, 2015 (at age 74)
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Elizabeth "Beth" Howland (May 28, 1941 - December 31, 2015) was an American actress. She worked on stage and television, and was best known for playing Vera Gorman in Alice, the sitcom inspired by the Martin Scorsese film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974).
Howland originated the role of Amy in the original Broadway cast of Stephen Sondheim's Company, in which she introduced the patter song "Getting Married Today".Howland was born on May 28, 1941, in Boston. At the age of 16, she left home and followed a dancer friend to New York City. After a time of struggling, Howland made her Broadway debut in 1959 as Lady Beth in the Carol Burnett musical Once Upon a Mattress, which transferred from off-Broadway. She went on to have roles in the musicals Bye Bye Birdie, High Spirits, Drat! The Cat! and Darling of the Day.
Howland can be seen dancing and singing in the chorus of Li'l Abner (1959) as Clem's wife, alongside future television star Valerie Harper. After appearing in Company, she left New York to relocate to California, where she made guest appearances on television series such as Love, American Style; Cannon; The Mary Tyler Moore Show (twice—once as Bert Convy's wife, once as a hook-up of Ted Bessell); Little House on the Prairie; Eight Is Enough and The Love Boat. For her work on Alice, Howland received four Golden Globe Award nominations. She later took on numerous telefilm roles, including You Can't Take It with You (as Essie) and A Caribbean Mystery.
She remained on Alice throughout its nine seasons. After the sitcom ended in 1985, Howland went into semi-retirement. She made occasional guest appearances (including Murder, She Wrote; Chicken Soup for the Soul; Sabrina the Teenage Witch; and The Tick) and starred in the ABC Afterschool Special, "Terrible Things My Mother Told Me".
From 1961 to 1969, Howland was married to character actor Michael J. Pollard, with whom she had a daughter.
In 2002 she married actor Charles Kimbrough, an actor of Broadway and Murphy Brown fame, and remained married to him until her death in 2015. Kimbrough and Howland had appeared together in Company.
Howland, who had been a smoker since she was a teenager until she finally quit in the early 2000's died of lung cancer on December 31, 2015, at age 74. Per her request, her death was not reported to the media and was not made public until May 24, 2016, four days before what would have been her 75th birthday. She was survived by her husband and her daughter from her first marriage.
|1959||Li'l Abner||Clem's wife||
|1974||Thunderbolt and Lightfoot||Vault Manager's Wife||
|1972||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Linda Foster||Episode: "Have I Found a Guy for You" (S 3:Ep 10)|
|1973||The Ted Bessell Show||Margaret||Made-for-TV-Movie directed by Bill Persky.|
|Love, American Style||Rita||Episode: "Love and Carmen Lopez/Love and the Cover/Love and the Cryin' Cowboy" (S 5:Ep 13)|
|1975||Cannon||Secretary||Episode: "Nightmare" (S 5:Ep 1)|
|The Rookies||Mrs. Ross||Episode: "Reading, Writing and Angel Dust" (S 4:Ep 2)|
|Bronk||June Kramer||Episode: "Echo of Danger" (S 1:Ep 4)|
|The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Joan||Episode: "Mary Richards Falls in Love" (S 6:Ep 11)|
|1976||Little House on the Prairie||Clerk||Episode: "The Pride of Walnut Grove" (S 2:Ep 14)|
|1976-85||Alice||Vera Louise Gorman||Contract role (202 episodes)|
|1977||Eight Is Enough||Mavis||Episode: "Is There a Doctor in the House?" (S 2:Ep 1)|
|1979||The Love Boat||Lee Noble||Episode: "Third Wheel/Grandmother's Day/Second String Mom" (S 2:Ep 27)|
|You Can't Take It with You||Essie Carmichael||Made-for-TV-Movie directed by Paul Bogart.|
|1980||The Wild Wacky Wonderful World of Winter||Stripper||Made-for-TV-Movie|
|1981||The Love Boat||Eloise Farnsworth||Episodes:
|1982||American Playhouse||Housewife||Episode: "Working" (S 1:Ep 14)|
|1983||The Love Boat||Jeannie Davis||Episodes:
|Captain Bernice Tobin||Episode: "Youth Takes a Holiday/Don't Leave Home Without It/Prisoner of Love" (S 7:Ep 4)|
|A Caribbean Mystery||Evelyn Hillingdon||Made-for-TV-Movie directed by Robert Michael Lewis.|
|1985||Comedy Factory||Kate Weston||Episode: "It Takes Two" (S 1:Ep 6)|
|1988||ABC Afterschool Special||Eleanor Flemming||Episode: "Terrible Things My Mother Told Me" (S 16:Ep 5)|
|You Can't Take It with You||Anita Briggs||Episode: "For Whom the Phone Rings" (S 1:Ep 14)|
|1993||Murder, She Wrote||Sandy Oates||Episode: "Lone Witness" (S 9:Ep 19)|
|1997||Sabrina the Teenage Witch||Mrs. Ericson||Episode: "Cat Showdown" (S 1:Ep 19)|
|2000||Chicken Soup for the Soul||Diane||Episode: "Thinking of You/Mama's Soup Pot/The Letter" (S 1:Ep 17)|
|Batman Beyond||Singer (voice)||Episode: "Out of the Past" (S 3:Ep 5)|
|2002||The Tick||Bea||Episode: "Arthur, Interrupted" (S 1:Ep 8)|
|As Told by Ginger||Dr. Leventhal||Episode: "And She Was Gone" (S 2:Ep 23)|