Colonel Ross is a fictional character in the Harry Palmer series of novels by Len Deighton and the film adaptations of the books where he was portrayed by New Zealand actor Guy Doleman. A senior officer in British military intelligence Ross oversees a department whose activities are similar to those of MI6. His first name is not revealed.
He was introduced in the Ipcress File when he led his department's efforts to recover leading scientists and ultimately expose a traitor in British intelligence. Due to his tendency to play his cards close to his chest, the hero Harry Palmer wrongly comes to suspect that it is Ross who is the traitor. Palmer soon realises his mistake, and shoots the real traitor Major Dalby. When Palmer complains to Ross that he has been using him, Ross coolly replies that is what he is being paid for.
In Funeral in Berlin he is shown to be a keen gardener. Briefing Palmer about his impending mission in Berlin while attending to his large suburban garden. His ruthless side is further revealed during this affair, when Palmer becomes aware that Ross has been sheltering a former Nazi and forcing him to work for British intelligence by means of blackmail. When the German ceases to be of use to Ross, and threatens British interests, he orders Palmer to kill him.
Ross is portrayed as an old-school military officer, fond of his London Gentleman's Club. He is both brilliant and duplicitous. He generally resorts to blackmail to achieve his goals, such as threatening to have Palmer returned to the military prison which he had had him prematurely released from. He uses Machiavellian methods to achieve his ends, which generally involve not telling things to his subordinates, something which frustrates Palmer. He is happily married and lives with his wife in a large house in the London suburbs.