Beth Howland

Beth Howland Headshot


Birth Name: Elizabeth Howland

Birth Date: May 28, 1941

Death Date: December 31, 2015

Birth Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Beth Howland, born in Boston on May 28, 1941, was an American actress who began her career at the age of 16. After graduating high school in Boston, she left for New York in order to perform in Broadway shows. She landed her debut role as a replacement for the character of Lady Beth in the musical "Once Upon a Mattress" (1959) and appeared as a dancer in "Bye Bye Birdie" (1960).

There, she met her first husband, fellow actor Michael J. Pollard. The two were married from 1961 to 1969, and had one daughter, actress Holly Howland. Howland also appeared in an uncredited role in "Li'l Abner" (1959), her feature film debut. She continued to appear in Broadway shows such as "Your Own Thing" (1968) and Stephen Sondheim's "Company" (1970), the latter being her breakout and most fondly remembered stage performance; she also met her second husband, actor Charles Kimbrough, in the "Company" cast.

After her run on "Company," however, Howland moved to Los Angeles to begin a career in television after she had appeared on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS, 1970-77) in 1972. After a succession of guest star spots, she secured the role of the jumpy and innocent Vera Louise Gorman on sitcom "Alice" (CBS, 1976-1985), her most widely known performance. Upon the show's end in 1985, Howland entered semi-retirement, appearing briefly in the years following on shows like "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (ABC, 1996-2003) and "The Tick" (Fox, 2001-02).

Howland died on December 31, 2015 of lung cancer, but her death was not disclosed to the public until four months later in accordance with her final wishes.

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