Actress Beth Howland dies; played waitress on TV show ‘Alice’

CNN —  

Actress Beth Howland, best known for her role on the television comedy “Alice,” has died, said her husband, Charles Kimbrough. She was 74.

Howland died December 31 in Santa Monica, California, Kimbrough said, declining to provide further details to CNN.

Kimbrough told The New York Times he didn’t announce her death out of respect for her wishes, noting that she didn’t want a funeral or memorial service. He said the cause of death was lung cancer.

From 1976 to 1985, Howland played the “ditsy but lovable” Vera Louise Gorman, one of three waitress characters on “Alice,” a sitcom set in a diner in Phoenix, according to the Internet Movie Database.

Howland also appeared in “A Caribbean Mystery” and “You Can’t Take It with You.”

Howland was born in Boston and appeared on the Broadway stage in the 1960s and early 1970s, most notably as Amy in Stephen Sondheim’s “Company.” In that role, she sang the tongue-twisting showstopper “Getting Married Today,” IMDb said.

The IMDb said she had one daughter with her former husband, actor Michael J. Pollard.

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CNN’s Stella Chan contributed to this report.