Katharine Ross Biography

Katharine Ross is a well-known American film and stage actress. Check out this biography to know about her childhood, family life, achievements and fun facts about her life.

Quick Facts

Birthday: January 29, 1940

Nationality: American

Famous: Actresses American Women

Age: 80 Years, 80 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Also Known As: Katharine Juliet Ross

Born in: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States

Famous as: Actress

Height: 5'5" (165 cm), 5'5" Females


Spouse/Ex-: Conrad Hall, Gaetano Lisi, Joel Fabiani, John Marion Katharine Ross, Sam Elliott

father: Dudley Ross

U.S. State: California

City: Los Angeles

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Katharine Juliet Ross is a well known American film and stage actress. She first came to prominence with her role in 'The Graduate,' a comedy drama film for which she was nominated for an Oscar. Two years later, she appeared in the Oscar winning film 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid', which again was a huge success. Her role in the horror thriller 'The Stepford Wives' also earned her a lot of acclaim. Throughout her career she has also appeared in numerous TV shows in major as well guest roles, some of them being 'The Alfred Hitchcock Hour', 'Run for Your Life' and 'The Road West'. She was most recently seen in the American drama film 'The Hero'. Directed by Brett Haley, the film is about an aging actor dealing with a terminal illness. A multi-faceted personality, she is also a successful author. She has written several books for children, such as 'The Fuzzytail Friends' Great Egg Hunt' and 'Grover, Grover come on over!'

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Childhood and Early Life
  • Katharine Juliet Ross was born on 29th January 1940, in Hollywood, California, in the United States. Her mother’s name was Katharine Hall and her father was Dudley T. Ross. Her father worked in the Navy, because of which the family had to keep moving around to different places.
  • Later the family settled in Walnut Creek in California. Ross attended Las Lomas High School, from where she graduated in 1957. Then she went to the Diablo Valley College to pursue higher studies. It was during this time that she took part in her first onscreen work, which was a student film. Eventually she moved to San Francisco to pursue a full-time acting career.
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  • After working in a few stage productions, Katharine Ross made her first TV appearance in 1962, in the American legal drama 'Sam Benedict'. Her performance was appreciated and soon she appeared in other shows such as 'Arrest and Trial', 'The Virginian', 'Gunsmoke', and 'The Alfred Hitchhock Hour'.
  • In 1965, she made her film debut in the American civil war film 'Shenandoah'. The film was nominated for the Oscars. She next appeared in the 1966 film 'The Singing Nun' where she played a supporting role.
  • She came to prominence with her role in the 1967 American comedy-drama film 'The Graduate' where she played one of the main roles. The film was a commercial hit and also won an Oscar.
  • Two years later she appeared in 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,' playing one of the main roles. The film was a huge hit and won four Oscars. Ross' performance was also quite appreciated and she won the 'BAFTA Award for Best Actress'.
  • In 1969, she played another significant role in the film 'Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here'. The film, however, wasn't much of a commercial success.
  • After appearing in several other films in the early 1970s, she played a lead role in the 1975 American sci-fi horror thriller 'The Stepford Wives' which earned her much acclaim. Directed by Bryan Forbes, it gained the status of a cult film over the years.
  • The other films she appeared in over the years include 'Voyage of the Damned' (1976), 'The Swarm' (1978), and 'The Final Countdown' (1980).
  • Meanwhile Katharine Ross continued her work on television and appeared in several TV movies, such as 'Wanted: The Sundance Woman', (1976), 'Murder by Natural Causes' (1979), 'The Shadow Riders' (1982), and 'Secrets of a Mother and Daughter' (1983).
  • Though Ross has remained mostly inactive over the recent years, she appeared in the movie 'The Hero' in a significant role in 2017. Directed by Brett Haley, it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017. It received favorable reviews from critics.
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Major Works
  • ’The Graduate’, one of Katharine Ross’s most successful works, is an American comedy film based on a novel of the same name by Charles Webb. Directed by Mike Nichols, the film featured Ross in one of the main roles, along with actors Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, William Daniels and Murray Hamilton. The film revolved around a young guy who recently graduated from college but has no definite aim in life. The film was a huge success and it won the Academy Award for Best Director.
  • Ross played an important role in the 1969 film ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’. The story revolved around two adventurous outlaws who are on the run after a string of train robberies. The film was directed by George Roy Hill and included actors Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Strother Martin, Jeff Corey and Henry Jones alongside Ross. The film was commercially successful and received mostly positive reviews. It also won numerous awards including four Oscars.
  • The Stepford Wives’, another significant film of Ross’s career, was released in 1975. It was directed by Bryan Forbes. With Ross playing the lead role, the film also starred actors Paula Prentiss, Peter Masterson, Nannette Newman and Tina Louis. Even though the film wasn’t a huge success initially, it slowly gained a cult status over the years. It received mixed reviews from critics at the time of its release.
Awards & Achievements
  • For her performance in the 1967 film ‘The Graduate’, Katharine Ross earned the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘New Star of the Year- Actress’, and the ‘Laurel Award’ for ‘Female Supporting Performance’. She also won an Oscar nomination, as well as a nomination for the BAFTA Film Award.
  • She won the ‘BAFTA Award’ for ‘Best Actress’ for her roles in ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ and ‘Tell Them Willie Boy is Here’, both of which were released in 1969.
  • Her performance in ‘The Stepford Wives’ earned her the ‘Saturn Award’ for ‘Best Actress’ in 1975.
  • Her role in the 1976 film ‘Voyage of the Damned’ earned her a ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Supporting Actress’.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Katharine Ross has been married five times. Her first marriage to Joel Fabiani took place in 1960. They divorced after two years. She married John Marion in 1963. The marriage lasted for three years.
  • Her third marriage was to Conrad L. Hall in 1969. They divorced in 1974. From 1975 to 1979, she was married to Gaetano ‘Tom’ Lisi.
  • In 1984, she married Sam Elliot, with whom she co-starred in the film ‘The Legacy’. The same year, the couple had a daughter who was named Cleo Rose Elliot.

1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

  (Crime, Western, Biography, Drama)

2. The Graduate (1967)

  (Comedy, Drama)

3. Donnie Darko (2001)

  (Thriller, Sci-Fi, Drama)

4. Shenandoah (1965)

  (War, Western, Drama)

5. The Longest Hundred Miles (1967)

  (War, Drama)

6. The Final Countdown (1980)

  (Action, Sci-Fi)

7. The Stepford Wives (1975)

  (Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Horror)

8. Hellfighters (1968)

  (Adventure, Romance, Action, Drama)


Golden Globe Awards
1977 Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture Voyage of the Damned (1976)
1968 Most Promising Newcomer - Female The Graduate (1967)
BAFTA Awards
1971 Best Actress Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
1971 Best Actress Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969)

See the events in life of Katharine Ross in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Katharine Ross Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- August 21, 2017
Katharine Ross

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