Born in Tampa, Florida, she studied at Syracuse University, and later came to New York to study with William Herman, Stanley Sontag and Leo Resnick. She made her debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1958, as Leonora in Il trovatore, opposite Jussi Björling, Giulietta Simionato and Ettore Bastianini.
She went on singing at the opera houses of Boston, Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, Houston, Hartford, etc. In 1968, she appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York, in the American premiere of Verdi's Alzira, and made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1970, in the title role of Puccini's Turandot.
Ross also enjoyed a successful international career, appearing at La Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice, the opera houses of Bologna, Palermo, Florence, Verona, the Vienna State Opera, the Berlin State Opera, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, etc.
Ross was forced into retirement in 1979 due to illness.