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Beth Howland, Vera From Sitcom ‘Alice,’ Dies at 74

Actress died of lung cancer in December, husband says

Beth Howland, who played ditzy, high-strung waitress Vera Louise Gorman on the sitcom “Alice,” has died, the New York Times reports. She was 74.

According to Howland’s husband, actor Charles Kimbrough, the actress died on Dec. 31 in Santa Monica, California, though he withheld the announcement of her death per her request.

Kimbrough said that Howland died of lung cancer.

Howland played Gorman from 1976 to 1985 in the CBS sitcom, which was based on the 1974 film “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.” Valerie Curtin played the role of Vera in the film.

The series also starred Linda Lavin in the title role, Polly Holliday as sassy waitress Flo and Vic Tayback as gruff diner owner Mel.

Born May 28, 1941, in Boston, Howland performed in stage productions including “Once Upon a Mattress” and “Bye Bye Birdie” before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in television. She appeared on series such as “Love, American Style,” “Cannon” and “The Rookies” prior to being cast on “Alice.”

Following her run on “Alice” Howland appeared in guest roles on shows such as “Eight Is Enough” and “Little House on the Prairie.”