Beth Howland passed away December 31st of last year, but her death was not announced until yesterday, in keeping with the wishes of her family.
She played Amy in the original Broadway production of Sondheim’s “Company”, and had a slew of other roles. Ms. Howland was perhaps most famous as Vera on “Alice”.
Unlike many actors, Ms. Howland had never worked as a waitress. “But I just kept sitting around coffee shops and watching how it’s done, and now I can carry four dinners,” she told Knight Newspapers.
I kind of wonder if she was typecast after “Alice”: the obit says she worked “sporadically”.
She had small guest roles on “Eight Is Enough,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and “The Tick.”
She and the actress Jennifer Warren were the executive producers of the documentary “You Don’t Have to Die,” about a 6-year-old boy’s successful battle against cancer. It won an Academy Award in 1989 for best short-subject documentary.
(Wouldn’t “After Alice” be a great idea for a new TV series? Linda Lavin is still alive: she could have taken over the diner from Mel. Polly Holliday is still alive, too: she could be working the counter, and then you cast someone to play Vera’s daughter, who works as a waitress…Hollywood types, you know where to reach me.)
The AV Club is reporting the passing of Burt Kwouk, who sounds like a very cool and interesting guy. He was in three Bond films, but is perhaps best known as Cato in the Peter Sellers “Pink Panther” movies. (Edited to add: NYT obit.)
“They were always a lot of fun because after a while I got to know Cato quite well and I liked Cato because he never argued with me and he never borrowed money from me. I liked playing Cato quite a lot,” he said of the role in a 2011 interview with the BBC.
Not exactly obits, but worth noting in my opnion: both Bubba Smith and Dave Mirra have been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.