Ross Petty (born in Winnipeg, Manitoba on August 29, 1946) is a Canadian actor and theatre producer. He is best known for his eponymous production company, which stages family theatre productions in the British pantomime tradition in Toronto every holiday season.
In Europe, he sang at Le Lido in Paris and appeared with Betty Grable in the London West End musical Belle Starr. In the United States, he made his Broadway debut in Arthur Kopit's Wings, created the role of Eddie Dorrance on All My Children, and co-starred with Ginger Rogers and Sid Caesar in a national tour of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes.
He appeared in the U.S. and Canada in the title role of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, directed by Hal Prince. His film and television credits include Extreme Measures with Gene Hackman and Hugh Grant, Perry Mason, Spenser: For Hire, Monk, Loving Friends and Perfect Couples, Forever Knight, E.N.G., Night Heat, Seeing Things, Hot Shots, All My Children, A Judgement in Stone, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Counterstrike, The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, Traders, F/X2 and Martha Inc: The Martha Stewart Story.
He has also done voices in several cartoon shows including X-Men, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, Bob and Margaret, Mythic Warriors: Guardians of the Legend, Bad Dog, Redwall, Mischief City, Ned's Newt, Jacob Two-Two, Monster Force, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Freaky Stories, Free Willy, Rupert, The Adventures of Tintin, Little Bear, Roboroach, Birdz, Pippi Longstocking and Rescue Heroes.
Since 1996, Ross Petty Productions have been producing what they call “Fractured Fairy Tale Musicals” at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre. The shows are firmly in the old English pantomime tradition, incorporating many of that style’s elements — broad comedy, winking asides that break the “fourth wall”, audience participation, and, of course, a man in a dress.
Petty had previously been involved since the early 1980s with pantomimes staged at the Royal Alexandra Theatre by British producer Paul Elliott[disambiguation needed] who imported traditional English pantos using a largely British cast with a few token Canadian actors. Petty began appearing in the shows in 1983 and became co-producer with Elliott in 1986 before launching his own version of the tradition a decade later. Unlike the Royal Alex pantos, Ross Petty Productions adapted the genre to the Canadian scene using original scripts and a Canadian cast as well as adaptations such as dropping the use of the principal boy while retaining the Pantomime dame and modernizing the form with the use of current, local and/or pop cultural references and satirical versions of popular music.
- 1996 — Robin Hood (Karen Kain, Frank Augustyn)
- 1997 — Jack and the Beanstalk (Heath Lamberts)
- 1998 — Aladdin (Ernie Coombs)
- 1999 — Cinderella (Juan Chioran)
- 2000 — Peter Pan (Sheila McCarthy)
- 2001 — Snow White (Graham Abbey)
- 2002 — Robin Hood (Rex Harrington)
- 2003 — Cinderella (Erin Davis, Don Harron)
- 2004 — Aladdin (Bret "The Hitman" Hart)
- 2005 — Snow White (Alan Frew, Sean Cullen, Ryan Malcolm, Gary Beals, Billy Klippert, Elena Juatco)
- 2006 — Aladdin (Bret "The Hitman" Hart)
- 2007 — Peter Pan (Kurt Browning)
- 2008 — Cinderella (Paula Brancati, Jake Epstein)
- 2009 — Robin Hood (Eva Avila, Jessica Holmes)
- 2010 — Beauty and the Beast (Jake Epstein, Melissa O'Neil, Jake Simons, Scott Thompson)
- 2011 — The Wizard of Oz (Elicia MacKenzie, Jessica Holmes)
- 2012 — Snow White (Graham Abbey, Eddie Glen, Melissa O'Neil)
- 2013 — The Little Mermaid (Dan Chameroy, Eddie Glen, Jordan Clark[disambiguation needed], Chilina Kennedy)
- 2014 — Cinderella (Danielle Wade, Dan Chameroy, Eddie Glen)
- Wheeler, Brad (2014-10-09). "Petty dances to his own tune". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved 2014-10-10.
- Aisle Say (ONT): ROBIN HOOD
- Karen Kain, Prima Ballerina | CBC Archives