Beth Howland, perhaps best known for playing Vera on the sitcom Alice, died on December 31 2015 at the age of 74. The cause was lung cancer. Her death was not made public until May per her request.
Beth Howland was born on May 28 1941 in Boston, Massachusetts. She made her debut on Broadway in 1959 in the play Once Upon a Mattress. That same year she made her film debut in an uncredited role as Clem's wife in Li'l Abner. In 1960 she appeared in Bye Bye Birdie. During the Sixties she appeared on Broadway in High Spirits, Drat! The Cat!, and Darling of the Day.
In the Seventies Miss Howland appeared on Broadway in Company. In the Seventies she made her television debut in an episode of Love, American Style. She guest starred on Cannon, The Rookies, Bronk, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Little House on the Prairie before being cast as Vera on Alice. Vera was neurotic and a bit scattered brained, as well as clumsy. The show proved very popular, and Beth Howland played Vera for the whole of its nine year run. While still appearing on Alice, she guest starred on The Love Boat. She also appeared in the film Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.
In the Eighties Beth Howland guest starred on American Playhouse, The Love Boat, Comedy Factory, and You Can't Take It With You. In the Nineties she appeared on Murder, She Wrote; Sabrina the Teenage Witch; and Chicken Soup for the Soul. She was a guest voice on Batman Beyond. She appeared on Broadway in a revival of Company. In the Naughts she guest starred on The Tick and As Told By Ginger.