Who is Katharine Ross?
Katharine Ross is an American Academy Award-nominated actress, perhaps best remembered as Elaine Robinson in the film “The Graduate” (1967), and as Etta Place in the film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969), in addition to many other roles that she’s had during her career.
Katharine Ross Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education
Katharine Juliet Ross was born on 29 January 1940, in Los Angeles, California, USA, the daughter of Dudley Tying Ross and Katherine Mullen.
Katharine attended Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, California, where she developed an interest in the performing arts – she was involved in the drama club and appeared in several school plays. After matriculating from high school, she attended Santa Rosa Junior College, where she continued to study drama and theater. However, she left after a year there and transferred to San Francisco State University, from where she graduated with a degree in theater arts, then joined the Actors Workshop, where she spent the next three years.
Katharine made her professional acting debut in 1962 in the play “The Balcony”, in which she appeared nude onstage. The same year, she was cast as Teresa Parelli in the TV legal-drama series “Sam Benedict” in an episode called “A Split Week in San Quentin”.
Before securing her breakthrough performance in “The Graduate”, Katharine featured in a few productions she moved to Los Angeles and appeared in several TV series, including “Gunsmoke”, “The Virginian”, and others, while in 1965, she made her film debut with a role in the drama “Shenadoah”.
“The Graduate” and Rise to Prominence
In 1967, Katharine won the role of Elaine in the American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols and also starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft. The film is based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Charles Webb, about Benjamin Braddock (Hoffman), a recent college graduate who is seduced by an older woman, Mrs Robinson played by Bancroft, and subsequently falls in love with her daughter, Elaine, portrayed by Katharine.
Ross’s performance in “The Graduate” was widely praised and helped establish her as a rising star in Hollywood. Her chemistry with co-star Dustin Hoffman was particularly notable, and the two actors went on to become close friends off-screen. Ross received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film. The film is now a cult classic, backed up by a soundtrack performed by the classic duo Simon & Garfunkel.
Two years later, Katharine starred as Etta Place in the western “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, co-starring Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy; Katharine’s character is a schoolteacher who becomes romantically involved with the Sundance Kid, played by Robert Redford, and for which she won the BAFTA for Best Actress.
Before the decade ended, Katharine also starred in the Western drama film “Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here,” co-starring again with Robert Redford, and directed by Abraham Polonsky. The film tells the story of Willie Boy, a Paiute Indian who kills a man in self-defense and goes on the run with Lola, his girlfriend. The two are pursued by a determined sheriff, played by Redford, who is determined to bring Willie Boy to justice; this earned her a second BAFTA.
In the 1972 film “They Only Kill Their Masters”, Katharine played the role of Lola, co-starring with James Garner and directed by James Goldstone. The film is a mystery thriller that follows a small town sheriff (Garner) as he investigates a mysterious death that may be linked to a local dog training school.
Three years later, Katharine played the role of Joanna Eberhart in the award-winning science fiction horror film “The Stepford Wives”, directed by Bryan Forbes. In the film, Joanna and her husband move to the seemingly perfect town of Stepford, where they discover that the women are all submissive, obedient housewives who have been replaced by robots created by their husbands.
Despite not playing the lead role, Ross’s performance in “The Stepford Wives” was widely praised and earned her a Saturn Award for Best Actress. The film was based on the novel of the same name by Ira Levin, and has since become a cult classic of the horror genre.
The following year, she starred as Mira Houser in the drama film “Voyage of the Damned”. Directed by Stuart Rosenberg, it tells the story of the MS St. Louis, a ship carrying Jewish refugees from Germany to Cuba in 1939. When the Cuban government refuses to allow the refugees to disembark, the passengers are left stranded at sea and must navigate a harrowing journey as they seek a safe haven. Katharine received wide praise for her work, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture.
In 1978 she starred in the supernatural horror film “The Legacy” alongside Sam Elliott, and directed by Richard Marquand. The film tells the story of a group of wealthy individuals who gather at a secluded English estate only to find themselves targeted by a mysterious and malevolent force.
Ross played the role of Ann Kurth Hill in the 1981 television film “Murder in Texas” directed by William Hale. The film is based on the true story of a surgeon accused of killing his own wife, Joan Robinson Hill, and the subsequent hunt by Joan’s father, Ash, for truth, trying to prove his daughter was killed, co-starring Andy Griffith, Farrah Fawcett and Barry Corbin, among others.
Throughout the ’80s, Katharine featured in a number of television films. These include “The Shadow Riders” (1982), “Wait Until Dark” (1983), and “Red Headed Stranger”. Moreover, she portrayed Francesca Scott Colby, mother of “Dynasty” crossover character Jeff Colby in the soap opera “The Colbys” (1985-1987).
With the start of the ’90s, Katharine went into semi-retirement, appearing in only a few projects as she wanted to focus more on her life with Elliott and her personal life overall.
In 1991 she starred with Sam Elliott and Brian Corbin in the Western drama film “Conagher”, while in 1997, she was Rose in Maureen Foley’s drama film “Home Before Dark”.
To speak further of her accomplishments, in 2001 she was Donnie’s therapist in the cult classic “Donnie Darko”, and in 2017 appeared in Brett Haley’s romantic western-drama film “The Hero”, starring Sam Elliott as an aging movie star.
Her most recent on-screen appearance was in the comedy film “Attachments”, which tells the love story between a computer-illiterate senior citizen named Eileen Roth and a millennial IT nerd named Josh. Eileen needs to learn how to use a computer to communicate with her granddaughter, and Josh helps her along the way. Despite their differences, the two form an unexpected attachment in this funny love story.
#HappyBirthday to Katharine Ross (80)
her top 10 films:
10. The Longest Hundred Miles
8. Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here
7. Voyage of the Damned
6. The Hero
4. The Stepford Wives
3. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
2. The Graduate
1. Donnie Darko#EttaPlace pic.twitter.com/NkUz65MWFT
— Stephen Gibbons (@Gibboanxious) January 29, 2020
According to sources, Katharine Ross’s net worth is estimated at $20 million, as of early 2023.
Personal Life, Marriage, Husband, Children
Katharine has been married five times. Her first husband was her college sweetheart Joel Fabiani, but they were married only from 1960 until 1962.
Two years later, she married John Marion, but they divorced in 1967. From 1969 until 1973, she was married to three-time Oscar-winner Conrad Hall.
Katharine was married to Gaetano’ Tom’ Lisi from 1974 until 1979, then began dating Sam Elliott in the same year. They married in May 1984, a few months before she would give birth to their daughter and her only child, Cleo Rose Elliott, and are still together.
Appearance and Vital Statistics
Katharine Ross has dark brown hair and light brown eyes. She stands at a height of 5ft 5ins (1.66m), while she weighs approximately 130lbs (58kgs). Her vital statistics are 34-25-35, and her bra size is 38B.