Katharine Ross

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Katharine Ross
Katharine Ross 1967 photo with cat.jpg
Ross in 1967
Born
Katharine Juliet Ross

(1940-01-29) January 29, 1940 (age 80)
OccupationActress, author
Years active1962–present
Spouse(s)
(
m. 1960; div. 1962)

John Marion
(
m. 1964; div. 1967)

(
m. 1969; div. 1974)

Gaetano Lisi
(
m. 1974; div. 1979)

(
m. 1984)
Children1

Katharine Juliet Ross (born January 29, 1940)[1] is an American film, stage, and television actress. Her accolades include one Academy Award nomination, one BAFTA Award, and two Golden Globe Awards. A native of Los Angeles, Ross spent most of her early life in the San Francisco Bay area. After attending Santa Rosa Junior College for one year, Ross joined The Actors Workshop in San Francisco, and began appearing in theatrical productions.

Ross made her film debut in the Civil War-themed drama Shenandoah (1965), and had supporting parts in the comedies Mister Buddwing (1965) and The Singing Nun (1966) before being cast in Curtis Harrington's Games (1967), a thriller co-starring James Caan and Simone Signoret. At Signoret's recommendation, Ross was cast as Elaine Robinson in Mike Nichols' comedy-drama The Graduate (1967), which saw her receive significant critical acclaim, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, a BAFTA nomination, and Golden Globe win for New Star of the Year. She garnered further acclaim for her roles in two 1969 western films: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, for both of which she won the BAFTA Award for Best Actress.

In the 1970s, Ross had a leading role in the horror film The Stepford Wives (1975), for which she won the Saturn Award for Best Actress, and won her second Golden Globe Award for her performance in the drama Voyage of the Damned (1976). Other roles during this period included in disaster film The Swarm (1976), the supernatural horror film The Legacy (1978), and the science fiction film The Final Countdown (1980). Ross spent the majority of the 1980s appearing in a number of television films, including Murder in Texas (1981) and The Shadow Riders (1982), and later starred on the network series The Colbys from 1985 to 1987.

Ross spent the majority of the 1990s in semiretirement, though she returned to film with a supporting part in Richard Kelly's cult film Donnie Darko (2001). In 2016, she provided a voice role for the animated comedy series American Dad!, and in 2017 starred in the comedy The Hero, opposite her husband, Sam Elliott.

Biography[edit]

1940–1958: Early life[edit]

Ross was born in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, California on January 29, 1940,[a] when her father, Dudley Ross (1906–1991), was in the Navy.[6] He had also worked for the Associated Press.[7] Ross's mother, Katherine Mullen (1909–1993), was originally from Indiana. Her family later settled in Walnut Creek, California, east of San Francisco, and she graduated from Las Lomas High School in 1957.

Ross was a keen horse rider in her youth[8] and was friends with Casey Tibbs, a rodeo rider.[9]

1957–1966: Career beginnings[edit]

Ross with Lee Majors in an episode of The Big Valley, 1965

She studied at Santa Rosa Junior College for one year (1957–1958)[10] where she was introduced to acting via a production of The King and I. She dropped out of the course and moved to San Francisco to study acting.[8]

She joined The Actors Workshop and was with them for three years (1959–1962)[11] For one role in Jean Genet's The Balcony she appeared nude on stage.[11]

In 1960, Ross married her first husband, actor Joel Fabiani, though the marriage lasted only two years before ending in divorce.[11]

She subsequently married John Marion in 1964.[12] This same year, she was cast by John Houseman as Cordelia in a stage production of King Lear.[13][14]

While at the Workshop, she began acting in television series in Los Angeles to earn extra money.[8] She was brought to Hollywood by Metro, dropped, then picked up by Universal.[15]

Ross unsuccessfully auditioned for West Side Story (1961).[16] Her first television role was in Sam Benedict in 1962.[17][18]

She was picked up by agent Wally Hiller,[19] and in 1964, Ross appeared in episodes of Kraft Suspense Theatre, The Lieutenant, Arrest and Trial, The Virginian, The Great Adventure, Ben Casey, Mr. Novak, Wagon Train, Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, Run for Your Life, Gunsmoke, and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour ("Dividing Wall", 1963) as well as playing the love interest of Heath Barkley opposite Lee Majors on The Big Valley (Season 1, Episode 7-"Winner Loses All"). She screen tested for The Young Lovers."[20]

Ross made her first film, Shenandoah (1965) playing the daughter-in-law of James Stewart. She returned to guest starring on shows like The Loner, The Wild Wild West, and The Road West. MGM put her in an unsold TV pilot about bible stories. She signed a long term deal with Universal, who called her an "American Samantha Eggar".[21]

"I didn't want a contract in the movies but a lot of people convinced me it was a good thing to do," she later said.[22]

MGM borrowed her for supporting parts in The Singing Nun (1966) and Mister Buddwing (1966).[17]

1967–1971: Mainstream breakthrough[edit]

Ross in Games (1967)

At Universal, Ross starred in a television film with Doug McClure, The Longest Hundred Miles (1967),[8][22] then co-starred in Curtis Harrington's psychological thriller, Games (1967) with Simone Signoret and James Caan, which she later called "terrible".[23] Some time in 1967, Ross divorced her second husband, Marion.[12]

Ross's breakthrough role was as Elaine Robinson in Mike Nichols' comedy-drama film The Graduate (1967), opposite Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft. She had been recommended to director Nichols by Signoret. This part, in which Ross plays a young woman who elopes with a young man who had an affair with her mother, earned Ross an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress,[24] and won her a Golden Globe Award as New Star of the Year. Commenting on her critical accolades at the time, Ross said, "I'm not a movie star...that system is dying and I'd like to help it along."[8]

She later said at this time "I got sent everything in town but Universal wouldn't loan me out."[22] After eight months she was in Hellfighters (1968) playing the daughter of John Wayne who romances Jim Hutton.

Ross was cast as a Native American woman in Universal's western film Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969), starring Robert Redford.[25] In August 1968, she signed a new contract with Universal to make two films a year for seven years.[26] She turned down several roles (including Jacqueline Bisset's role in Bullitt[27]) before accepting the part of Etta Place in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), co-starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, which was another massive commercial hit.[28] She was paid $175,000 for her performance in the film.[29] For her roles in both Tell Them Willie Boy is Here and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Ross won the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress.[30] After completing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Ross married the film's cinematographer, three-time Oscar-winner Conrad Hall.[31]

She was dropped by Universal in the spring of 1969, for refusing to play a stewardess in Airport, another role that went to Jacqueline Bisset.[15] She eventually got out of her Universal contract. However this meant later on she lost out to Tuesday Weld on a film she really wanted to do, an adaptation of Play It as It Lays, because it was a Universal production.[22] Instead, she had a starring role in the drama Fools (1970) opposite Jason Robards.

1972–1979: Semi-retirement subsequent films[edit]

Ross dropped out of Hollywood for a while after marrying Conrad Hall.[22] She occasionally acted, appearing in Get to Know Your Rabbit (1972), They Only Kill Their Masters (1972) with James Garner and Chance and Violence (1974) with Yves Montand. She turned down several more roles,[31] including a part in The Towering Inferno.[32] In 1973, Ross and Hall separated and subsequently divorced.[33]

Preferring stage acting, Ross returned to the small playhouses in Los Angeles for much of the 1970s.[31] "I'm aware that I have the reputation of being difficult," she later said.[34]

One of her best-known roles came in 1975's film The Stepford Wives, for which she replaced Tuesday Weld at the last moment and won the Saturn Award for Best Actress.[35] She married Gaetano "Tom" Lisi after making the film; they met when he was a chauffeur and technician on the set.[36][37]

She reprised the role of Etta Place in a 1976 ABC television film, Wanted: The Sundance Woman, a sequel to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.[28] Ross subsequently appeared in the drama film Voyage of the Damned (1977), about a doomed ocean liner, which earned her her second Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.[38] She was also in The Betsy (1978) and the disaster film The Swarm (1978). Next, Ross co-starred opposite Sam Elliott in the supernatural horror film The Legacy (1978), playing a woman who finds herself subject to an ancestral curse at an English estate. Ross had previously worked with Elliott on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but were reacquainted on the set, and began dating soon after, eventually marrying in May 1984, four months before the birth of their only child, daughter Cleo Rose Elliott.[39][40]

1979–1989: Television work[edit]

After divorcing Lisi in 1979,[36] Ross starred in several television movies,[41] including Murder by Natural Causes in 1979 with Hal Holbrook, Barry Bostwick and Richard Anderson, Rodeo Girl in 1980,[42] Murder in Texas (1981) and Marian Rose White (1982).[27] She had a support role in The Final Countdown (1980) and Wrong Is Right (1982) but focused largely on television films: The Shadow Riders (1982), a remake of Wait Until Dark (1983), Travis McGee (1982) with Elliot, Secrets of a Mother and Daughter (1983), Red Headed Stranger (1986), and Houston: The Legend of Texas (1986) with Elliot.[43]

She had a role in the 1980s television series The Colbys opposite Charlton Heston as Francesca Scott Colby.[44]

1990–present: Later career[edit]

Ross wrote and starred in Conagher (1991) alongside husband Sam Elliott and was in A Climate for Killing (1991), and Home Before Dark (1997).[45]

She played Donnie's therapist in the 2001 film Donnie Darko.[46] She was in Don't Let Go (2002), and Capital City (2004) and played Carly Schroeder's grandmother in the 2006 independent film Eye of the Dolphin. She was also in Slip, Tumble & Slide (2015).

In 2017, she appeared as Sam Elliott's former wife in The Hero, in which he played an aging Western star.

Ross has established herself as an author, publishing several children's books.

In January 2015 she appeared at the Malibu Playhouse in the first of a series titled A Conversation With, interviewed by Steven Gaydos.[16][19] That February, she appeared with her husband Sam Elliott in Love Letters, also at the Malibu Playhouse.[20]

Filmography[edit]

Accolades[edit]

Institution Category Year Nominated work(s) Result Ref.
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress 1967 The Graduate Nominated [47]
British Academy Film Awards Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles 1969 Nominated [48]
Best Actress in a Leading Role 1971 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
& Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here
Won [30]
Golden Globe Awards New Star of the Year – Actress 1967 The Graduate Won [49]
Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture 1976 Voyage of the Damned Won [49]
Laurel Awards Best Supporting Actress 1967 The Graduate Won
Saturn Awards Best Actress 1975 The Stepford Wives Won

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ While some sources cite Ross's birth year as 1942 or 1943,[2][3][4] the California Birth Index lists her birth date as January 29, 1940.[5] This birth year is corroborated by Chase's Calendar of Events.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Chase's 2015, p. 106.
  2. ^ "Katharine Ross". Fandango.
  3. ^ Yoshikawa, Takashi (February 1, 2008). "The Chinese Birthday Book: How to Use the Secrets of Ki-ology to Find Love, Happiness and Success". Weiser Books – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Katharine Ross". British Film Institute.
  5. ^ "Katharine Juliet Ross, Born 01/29/1940 in Los Angeles County". California Birth Index. State of California Vitals and Statistics. Archived from the original on March 29, 2016.
  6. ^ "Kentucky New Era - Google News Archive Search".
  7. ^ Amory, Cleveland (April 8, 1977). "Katharine Ross has always wanted to play an Indian". The Modesto Bee. Modesto, California. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d e De Paolo, Ronald (March 1, 1968). "Sudden Stardom of the 'Graduate Girl'". Life – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Bradford, Jack (June 18, 1968). "Off the Grapevine". Toledo Blade. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  10. ^ Monaco 1991, p. 466.
  11. ^ a b c Gold, Herbert (2002). "When San Francisco Was Cool". In James O'Reilly; Larry Habegger; Sean O'Reilly (eds.). Travelers' Tales San Francisco: True Stories. Travelers' Tales. p. 30. ISBN 1-885211-85-6.
  12. ^ a b Carvajal, Edduin (October 26, 2018). "Story of love between Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross, who had 4 husbands before". Amo Mama. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020.
  13. ^ Houseman, John (1984). Final Dress. Simon & Schuster. p. 263. ISBN 0-671-42032-1.
  14. ^ Schumach, Murray (May 22, 1964). "Hollywood 'Lear' lures Carnovsky; Actor Blacklisted in '51 to Play Title Role at U.C.L.A." The New York Times. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  15. ^ a b Champlin, Charles (June 7, 1969). "Katherine Ross: Post-Graduate". The Tuscaloosa News. Tuscaloosa, Alabama – via Google News.
  16. ^ a b Guldimann, Suzanne (January 12, 2015). "Actress Katharine Ross kicks off interview series at Malibu Playhouse". Malibu Surfside News. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  17. ^ a b Kleiner, Dick (March 25, 1965). "Katherine, or a Rossy Future". Times Daily. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  18. ^ Champlin, Charles (January 22, 1968). "The Graduate's Girl Friend". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. p. C19.
  19. ^ a b Tallal, Jimy (January 15, 2015). "Playhouse Series Kicks Off with Katharine Ross". The Malibu Times. Malibu, California. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  20. ^ a b Gaydos, Steven (February 5, 2015). "Katharine Ross Looks Back on Being a Young TV Star in the '60s". Variety. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  21. ^ Ross, Katharine; Champlin, Charles (October 26, 1966). "A Seedling in Lotusland". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. p. D1.
  22. ^ a b c d e Reed, Rex (July 30, 1972). "Katharine Ross: A Sensitive Talent: Katharine Ross: Sensitive Talent". The Washington Post. p. F1.
  23. ^ Dutton, Walt (January 20, 1967). "One Actress Who Shall Not Return". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. p. C12.
  24. ^ Haber, Joyce (September 6, 1968). "Katharine Ross Lands Role in Public Eye". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Florida – via Google News.
  25. ^ Legge, Charles (September 22, 2009). "Hitching a ride to infamy". Daily Mail. on BNET. Retrieved August 12, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ Martin, Betty (August 16, 1968). "New Deal for Katharine Ross". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. p. F11.
  27. ^ a b Graham, Sheila (February 26, 1969). "Katharine Jacqueline Stars on No. 2 Choice". The Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – via Google News.
  28. ^ a b Andreychuk 1997, p. 142.
  29. ^ Haber, Joyce (July 20, 1975). "Katharine Ross: She's Still a Puzzlement". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. p. T27.
  30. ^ a b "Film: Actress in 1971". British Academy Film Awards. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020.
  31. ^ a b c Monaco, Paul (2003). The sixties, 1960–1969. University of California Press. p. 135. ISBN 0-520-23804-4.
  32. ^ Mann, Roderick (March 29, 1981). "Katharine Ross seeking post-"Graduate" honors". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington – via Google News.
  33. ^ Haber, Joyce (March 19, 1973). "Katharine Moves, Horses and All". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  34. ^ Josephson, Nancy (February 20, 1977). "Katharine Ross graduates to a renewed movie career". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. p. D3.
  35. ^ "Past Saturn Awards". Saturn Awards. The Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy & Horror Films. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2010.
  36. ^ a b Beck, Marilyn (March 18, 1975). "Hollywood Closeup". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  37. ^ Brown, Vivian (January 26, 1977). "Old-fashioned and lucky in films". The Free Lance-Star. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  38. ^ Kleiner, Dick (March 14, 1977). "Katharine Ross – Talent, Luck Gets Actress Parts She Wants". The Sumter Daily Item. Sumter, South Carolina – via Google News.
  39. ^ "Katharine Ross". People. May 4, 1992. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  40. ^ Magruder, Melonie (December 31, 2008). "Straight from her heart". The Malibu Times. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  41. ^ Lewis, Dan (June 6, 1981). "Katharine Ross graduates to TV-movies". Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  42. ^ Beck, Marilyn (September 16, 1980). "Marilyn Beck's Hollywood". Tri City Herald. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  43. ^ Smith, Cecil (September 11, 1980). "A Ride on the Wilde Side For 'Rodeo Girl' Ross". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. p. G1.
  44. ^ UPI (August 23, 1985). "Katharine Ross gets role in 'Dynasty II'". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  45. ^ Ross' Western Grit Actress Views Her Louis L'Amour Character on TNT as a True Pioneer: [Home Edition] King, Susan. Los Angeles Times June 30, 1991: 3.
  46. ^ O'Hehir, Andrew (October 30, 2001). "Donnie Darko". Salon. Archived from the original on September 9, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  47. ^ "1967 Academy Awards® Winners and History". Filmsite.org. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020.
  48. ^ "Film: Most Promising Newcomer To Leading Film Roles in 1969". British Academy Film Awards. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020.
  49. ^ a b "Katharine Ross". Golden Globe Awards. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020.

Sources[edit]

  • Andreychuk, Ed (1997). The Golden Corral: A Roundup of Magnificent Western Films. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0393-4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Chase's Editors (2015). Chase's Calendar of Events 2016: The Ultimate Go-to Guide for Special Days, Weeks and Months (59th ed.). Lanham, Maryland: Bernan Press. ISBN 978-1-598-88808-9.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Monaco, James (1991). The Encyclopedia of Film. Perigree Books. ISBN 978-0-399-51604-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External links[edit]