Bass, a graduate of Morningside High School in Inglewood, California, was an enthusiast of the martial arts. As a teenager, he became a judo champion, meeting Gene LeBell who introduced him to the stunt industry in Hollywood. 
Bass made a career in movies and television in a variety of genres working with Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, and John Wayne. He taught martial arts and weapons handling to Geena Davis, Michael Douglas, Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, and Kathleen Turner. Bass appeared in TV commercials and TV series such as Fantasy Island, McGyver, Mission: Impossible, Star Trek: The Original Series, The A-Team, and The Twilight Zone.
Bass also championed safer working conditions for the stunt industry, especially after his then fiancee and Melanie Griffith's best friend, Heidi von Beltz was forever paralyzed performing a stunt in 1980 for Cannonball Run.
At the time of his death, Bobby Bass was married to Norma Collins. He had two children from his first marriage, and four grandchildren therefrom. He had four step-children, and six grandchildren therefrom. He suffered from Parkinson's Disease until his death in Los Angeles.