Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Beth Howland, R. I. P.

Beth Howland, Accident-Prone Waitress From the Sitcom ‘Alice,’ Dies at 74: Beth Howland, who made high anxiety an art form as the ditsy, accident-prone waitress Vera Louise Gorman on the 1970s and ’80s sitcom “Alice,” died on Dec. 31, 2015, in Santa Monica, Calif., her husband said on Tuesday. He had refrained from announcing her death earlier in keeping with her wishes. She was 74.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.


Deb said...

Reading that obituary was like a trip through my young adulthood: all those 1970s & 1980s tv references (including Burt Convy!).

And I've got to figure that's one of the longest gaps between a death and the announcement of said death that we've ever seen in celebrity obits.

/RIP, Vera.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Can't believe she was married to Michael J. Pollard.

She was great in COMPANY. No one has come close (in the 6 other productions we've seen!) to her doing the insanely fast patter song "Getting Married Today."

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

We saw Bert Convy opposite Anita Gillette in the original Broadway production of CABARET, by the way.

Deb said...

I know this is probably the dumbest urban legend evah, but years ago I heard that Burt Convy was Question Mark of Question Mark & the Mysterians who did "96 Tears". Seems rather unlikely.

And based on the obit, I couldn't tell if Michael J. Pollard was her first husband and therefore father of Holly Howland or if Howland was the last name of Beth's first husband and she kept his name after the divorce. Obit was unclear.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

According to Wikipedia, she was married to Pollard from 1961-69 and had one child with him. She was 19 when she married him, her first marriage.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

No Bert Convy:

Formation and "96 Tears"[edit]
The band members were children of migrant farmers, traveling to Michigan to pick crops and returning to their homes in Texas when the harvest was complete. After the automobile boom in Michigan opened new opportunities for employment, the families moved to Bay City, Michigan. The original trio, consisting of Larry Borjas (guitar), Robert Martinez (drums), and Bobby Balderrama (lead guitar), encountered one another and were motivated by surf rock musical acts Link Wray and Duane Eddy to form a group in 1962.[6] The band played locally with the same line-up until the influence of The British Invasion with groups stressing lead vocals and dynamic stage performances. Martinez suggested the services of his older brother, Rudy Martinez, an aspiring singer and dancer.

Deb said...

And thus dieth another of ye olde urban myths.

Todd Mason said...

Even with his ever-present shades, ? didn't look like a Convy so much as a Martinez.