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Katharine Ross Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (5)  | Trivia (17)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameKatharine Juliet Ross
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Katharine Juliet Ross was born on January 29, 1940 in Hollywood, California, to Katharine W. (Hall) and Dudley T. Ross. Her father, who also worked for the Associated Press, was away in the US Navy when she was born. His navy career shuttled the family around to Virginia, then Palo Alto, and finally to Walnut Creek, outside of San Francisco, where Ross grew up. Katharine's ancestry includes Scottish, German, Channel Islander (Guernsey), and English.

Ross graduated from Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek in 1957 and attended Diablo Valley College in the Bay Area, where she took part in her first onscreen work in a student film. Moving to San Francisco, into an apartment on Stockton Street above a grocery store, she began her acting career as an understudy in Actor's Workshop productions, and was soon auditioning for roles.

Work came quickly for Ross, at first mainly in television westerns, and indeed Westerns would make up the majority of her best-known work, her natural beauty being a strong asset in that genre. Her first film role was in the Civil War era Shenandoah (1965) starring James Stewart. Ross's career as a leading actress began in earnest in 1967, with her strong turn co-starring with James Caan and Simone Signoret in Games (1967), and with The Graduate (1967). Ross's performance as Elaine earned her a Supporting Actress Oscar nomination.

A disappointing, formulaic John Wayne vehicle, Hellfighters (1968), followed but she soon returned to form with two films with Robert Redford. As Etta Place in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Ross was part of the most memorable scene from that hit film, precariously perched barefoot on the bumper of that newfangled contraption, the bicycle, as Paul Newman's Butch Cassidy takes her for a ride. The compelling Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969) was less of a box office success but more highly regarded by the critics, and Ross won a BAFTA Award for her work as Lola, a Paiute Indian who flees with her boyfriend, played by Robert Blake, after he kills her father in self-defense.

Swept up into a whirlwind of fame, widely idealized as the symbol of beauty for the Woodstock generation, Ross had accomplished so much so quickly that it seemed her entire career had happened almost all at once, in that frenzy of activity between 1967 and 1969. Sure enough, there followed a long dry spell in which she was mostly cast in forgettable roles; her next strong film wasn't for another six years. In The Stepford Wives (1975), an intriguing black comedy-cum-horror film, Ross plays a independent, free-spirited wife newly relocated to a suburb where the other wives all seem to be just a little too perfect, too submissive; it was arguably her strongest performance to date, but Stepford Wives would prove to be but a temporary resurgence for Ross, and her work in the decade and a half to follow would include such star-studded duds as The Betsy (1978), and a return to TV, including a part in primetime soap opera The Colbys (1985). Along the way, however, Ross found love. After four failed marriages, she met her present husband Sam Elliott, while working on The Legacy (1978). The two actors married in 1984, and in the same year had a daughter, Cleo.

In 1991, Ross and Elliott adapted the Louis L'Amour novel, Conagher (1991), for television in a remarkably affecting Western tale which showcases both actors' remarkable talents. Ross continues to take roles on occasion and, as usual, her work is strong -- something that was sometimes overlooked in her youth due to her famous beauty. For instance, Ross turned up in Donnie Darko (2001), in a solid performance as Donnie's psychiatrist.

Ross and Elliott live on their ranchito in Malibu.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Larry-115

Spouse (5)

Sam Elliott (1 May 1984 - present) ( 1 child)
Gaetano Lisi (19 August 1974 - 31 December 1979) ( divorced)
Conrad L. Hall (1969 - 1974) ( divorced)
John Marion (2 May 1964 - 1967) ( divorced)
Joel Fabiani (28 February 1960 - 1962) ( divorced)

Trivia (17)

Also an accomplished children's book author, who has written the books "Little Ballerina" and "My Favorite Things".
Her favorite fragrance is "Rive Gauche", by Yves Saint-Laurent.
Gave birth to her daughter, Cleo Rose Elliott, with Sam Elliott, on 17 September 1984.
Her father was in the Navy when she was born.
Has lived in Malibu, CA since the late 1960s.
Has remained good friends with Dustin Hoffman, her co-star from The Graduate (1967).
Was only 8 years younger than Anne Bancroft, who played her mother in The Graduate (1967).
Was at one point going to star in The Public Eye (1972).
Both she and husband Sam Elliott appeared in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), although they had no scenes together and did not meet until 1978. Elliott had a bit part as a card player in the opening scene, while Ross portrayed Etta Place, the female lead role, alongside male leads Robert Redford and Paul Newman.
Katharine Ross (born January 1940) is only 10 years and 5 months younger than Vera Miles (born August 1929), who portrayed her mother in Hellfighters (1968).
Arguably the three best known roles of her career were consecutive roles in consecutive years, The Graduate (1967), Hellfighters (1968), and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).
Former stepmother of cinematographer Conrad W. Hall, Kate Hall and Naia Hall.
Ross married cinematographer Conrad L. Hall the year Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969) were released. Both movies featured Ross and were filmed by Hall. Ross would later marry Sam Elliott who made his feature debut in 'Butch Cassidy'.
Turned down Jacqueline Bisset's roles in Bullitt (1968) and Airport (1970).
Her paternal great-grandfather, Finlay Ross, was from Inverness-shire, Scotland, and her paternal great-grandmother, Marguerite Le Cocq Houguez, was from Guernsey in the Channel Islands. Katharine's ancestry also includes English, German, and other Scottish roots. Some of her recent ancestors were Canadian.
For her work in Voyage of the Damned (1976), she's one of only 4 actresses to win the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a motion picture without receiving an Oscar nomination for the same performance. The other 3 are, in chronological order: Katy Jurado in High Noon (1952), Hermione Gingold in Gigi (1958) and Karen Black in The Great Gatsby (1974).
Changed her published birthdate from January 29, 1940 to January 29, 1943 when she debuted. The mainstream press didn't start reporting her age accurately until the 2010s.

Personal Quotes (2)

[in 1974, about a film she shot in France, Le hasard et la violence (1974)] What the hell, I got a trip to the French Riviera out of it. It was shot in Nice. I have no idea how good it is. I spoke English and [Yves Montand] spoke French and the whole thing was dubbed.
[on meeting 'The Graduate" co-star, Dustin Hoffman] He looked about three feet tall. He was so dead serious, so humorless, so unkempt. [I thought] this is going to be a disaster.

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