Katharine Ross Biography

(Actress and Author Known for Her Films: ‘The Stepford Wives’ and ‘Voyage of the Damned’)

Birthday: January 29, 1940 (Aquarius)

Born In: Los Angeles, California, United States

Katharine Juliet Ross is a well-known American film, TV, and stage actress. She first came into prominence with her role in 'The Graduate,' a comedy drama film, for which she was nominated for an ‘Oscar.’ In 1969, 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 critical acclaim. Over the course of her career, she appeared in numerous TV shows, playing major as well as guest roles. Some of these shows include 'The Alfred Hitchcock Hour,' 'Run for Your Life,' and 'The Road West.' In 2017, she was 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!'

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Katharine Juliet Ross

Age: 84 Years, 84 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Sam Elliott (m. 1984), Conrad Hall (m. 1969-1975), Gaetano Lisi (m. 1974-1979), Joel Fabiani (m. 1960-1962), John Marion (m. 1964-1967)

father: Dudley Ross

children: Cleo Cole Elliott

Born Country: United States

Actresses American Women

Notable Alumni: Santa Rosa Junior College, Las Lomas High School

U.S. State: California

City: Los Angeles

More Facts

education: Santa Rosa Junior College, Las Lomas High School

Childhood and Early Life

�Katharine Juliet Ross was born on 29th January 1940, in Hollywood, California, United States, to Katharine Hall and Dudley T. Ross. Her father worked in the Navy, because of which the family had to keep moving to different places.

Later, the family settled in Walnut Creek in California. Ross attended ‘Las Lomas High School’ from where she graduated in 1957. She then went to ‘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.

Continue Reading Below

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 she soon appeared in other shows, such as 'Arrest and Trial,' 'The Virginian,' 'Gunsmoke,' and 'The Alfred Hitchcock 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 into 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 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 the 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.

Over the years, she appeared in several other films, such as '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).

She also voiced characters in an animated sitcom titled ‘American Dad’ in 2016.

Continue Reading Below

She appeared in the 2017 movie 'The Hero' in a significant role. Directed by Brett Haley, it premiered at the ‘Sundance Film Festival’ in January 2017. It received favorable reviews from critics.

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 like Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, William Daniels, and Murray Hamilton. The film revolved around a young guy who has no definite aim in life after graduating from college. 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 like Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Strother Martin, Jeff Corey, and Henry Jones. 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 like Paula Prentiss, Peter Masterson, Nannette Newman, and Tina Louis. Even though the film wasn’t a huge success initially, it eventually gained a cult status. 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.’ She also received the ‘Laurel Award’ for ‘Female Supporting Performance.’ She won an ‘Oscar’ nomination as well as a nomination for the ‘BAFTA Film Award.’

She won the ‘BAFTA Awards’ 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 1964. The marriage lasted three years.

Her third marriage was to Conrad L. Hall in 1969. They divorced in 1974. From 1974 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 whom they named Cleo Rose Elliot.

Katharine Ross Movies

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 Stepford Wives (1975)

  (Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Horror)

7. The Final Countdown (1980)

  (Action, Sci-Fi)

8. Hellfighters (1968)

  (Adventure, Romance, Action, Drama)

9. Games (1967)


10. Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969)

  (Western, 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

People Also Viewed

Sydney Sweeney Biography
Sydney Sweeney
Emma Stone Biography
Emma Stone
Amanda Bynes Biography
Amanda Bynes
Dakota Johnson Biography
Dakota Johnson
Lady Gaga Biography
Lady Gaga
Jennifer Lopez Biography
Jennifer Lopez
Eva Mendes Biography
Eva Mendes