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Beth Howland, Company's Original Amy, Dies at 74

The actress was known for her role as Vera Louise Gorman on the TV series Alice.

Beth Howland recording "Getting Married Today" in the documentary Original Cast Album: Company.

It was reported yesterday that Broadway veteran Beth Howland died on December 31, 2015, of lung cancer. She was 74. Her husband, actor Charles Kimbrough, refrained from announcing her death earlier in keeping with her wishes, which also included requests for no funeral or memorial service.

On television, Howland was best known as clumsy waitress Vera Louise Gorman on the sitcom Alice. She made her Broadway debut in 1959 as Lady Beth in Once Upon a Mattress, followed by roles in Bye Bye Birdie, High Spirits, Drat! The Cat!, Darling of the Day, and the original production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Company, in which she originated the role of Amy. She reprised the role, and her performance of Amy's signature song "Getting Married Today," for 1993 concert performances at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, California, and the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center. Howland also performed with the 1968 hit off-Broadway musical Your Own Thing, a musical version of Twelfth Night.

In addition to Alice, Howland's screen credits also include appearances on Mary Tyler Moore, Eight Is Enough, The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote, and a number of other TV series. She and actress Jennifer Warren also earned an Academy Award in 1989 as executive producers of the documentary You Don't Have to Die, about a 6-year-old boy's successful battle against cancer.

In addition to her husband, Howland is survived by daughter from her first marriage to Michael J. Pollard, Holly Howland.

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