Herbert Ross

Herbert Ross
Born Herbert David Ross
(1927-05-13)May 13, 1927
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died October 9, 2001(2001-10-09) (aged 74)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Resting place Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
Years active 1958–1995
Spouse(s) Nora Kaye
(1959–1987; her death)
Lee Radziwill
(1988–2001; divorced)

Herbert David Ross (May 13, 1927 – October 9, 2001) was an American actor, choreographer, director and producer who worked predominantly in the stage and film fields.

Life and career

Ross was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Martha (Grundfast) and Louis Chester Ross.[1] His stage debut came as "Third Witch" in a 1942 touring company of Macbeth. The next year brought his first Broadway performance credits with Something for the Boys. By 1950, he was a choreographer with the American Ballet Theatre and choreographed his first Broadway production, the Arthur Schwartz-Dorothy Fields musical adaptation of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Ross's first film assignment came as an uncredited choreographer on Carmen Jones (1954). In the UK, he choreographed The Young Ones (1961) and Summer Holiday (1963), both starring Cliff Richard. Later, he worked with Barbra Streisand as choreographer and director of musical numbers for Funny Girl (1968)

His film directorial debut came with the musical version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), made by MGM-British, with Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark. He went on to direct films involving ballet, such as The Turning Point (1977), Nijinsky (1980) and Dancers (1987). Other movies of critical acclaim followed in the 1970s and 1980s such as Neil Simon's adaptations of his own plays and film adaptations of Broadway productions through his last project, Boys on the Side (1995).

Personal life

He was widowed from his first wife the ballerina Nora Kaye, she succumbed to cancer in 1987 at 67. His second marriage in 1988 to Lee Radziwill, the younger sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, ended in divorce in 2001.[2]

Ross died from heart failure in New York City on October 9, 2001.[3] He was interred with Kaye in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.[4]


Play 1942 Macbeth actor (Third Witch) Debut (touring company)
Play 1943 Something for the Boys Debut (Broadway), music and lyrics by Cole Porter
Play 1944 Laffing Room Only
Play 1946 Beggar's Holiday
Play 1948 "Look, Ma, I'm Dancin'!"
Play 1950 American Ballet Theatre choreographer
Play 1951 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn choreographer Debut (Broadway production)
Film 1954 Carmen Jones choreographer, uncredited Debut (Film)
Film 1961 The Young Ones choreographer Cliff Richard
Film 1963 Summer Holiday choreographer Cliff Richard
Film 1968 Funny Girl choreographer musical numbers with Barbra Streisand
Film 1969 Goodbye, Mr. Chips director Debut (Film director), 2 Academy Award nominations.
Film 1970 The Owl and the Pussycat director Barbra Streisand
Film 1975 Funny Lady director 5 Academy Award nominations. Barbra Streisand
Film 1981 Pennies From Heaven director, producer 3 Academy Award nominations.
Film 1971 T.R. Baskin director Peter Hyams
Film 1975 The Sunshine Boys director 4 Academy Award nominations. The film won Best Supporting Actor.
Neil Simon's play
Film 1977 The Turning Point director, producer 11 Academy Award nominations, but no wins.
Ross won the Golden Globe Award for Best Director.
Film 1984 Footloose director 2 Academy Award nominations.
Play 1952 Three Wishes for Jamie choreographer Broadway
Play 1954 House of Flowers choreographer Broadway
Play 1958 The Body Beautiful choreographer Broadway
Play 1960 Finian's Rainbow choreographer Broadway, revival
Play 1961 The Gay Life choreographer Broadway
Play 1962 I Can Get It for You Wholesale choreographer Broadway
Play 1963 Tovarich choreographer Broadway
Play 1964 Anyone Can Whistle choreographer Broadway, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Play 1965 Do I Hear a Waltz? choreographer Broadway, music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Play 1965 Kelly director, choreographer Broadway
Play 1965 On a Clear Day You Can See Forever choreographer Broadway
Play 1965 The Apple Tree choreographer Broadway
Play 1977 Chapter Two director Neil Simon's play
Play 1980 I Ought to Be in Pictures director Broadway, Neil Simon's play
TV 1958 Wonderful Town director Debut (TV film)
Film 1972 Play It Again, Sam director Woody Allen
Film 1973 The Last of Sheila director, producer Debut (Film producer)
Film 1976 The Seven-Per-Cent Solution director, producer 2 Academy Award nominations.
Film 1977 The Goodbye Girl director 5 Academy Award nominations. The film won Best Actor.
Film 1978 California Suite director 3 Academy Award nominations. The film won Best Supporting Actress. Neil Simon's play
Film 1980 Nijinsky director
Film 1982 I Ought to Be in Pictures director, producer Neil Simon's play
Film 1983 Max Dugan Returns director, producer Neil Simon's play
Film 1984 Protocol director
Film 1987 The Secret of My Success director, producer
Film 1987 Dancers director
Film 1989 Steel Magnolias director 1 Academy Award nomination.
Biggest hit film.
Adaptation of Robert Harling's play (1987).
Film 1990 My Blue Heaven director, producer
Film 1991 True Colors director, producer
Film 1991 Soapdish executive producer Only film project he did not direct
Film 1993 Undercover Blues director
Film 1995 Boys on the Side director, producer Last film
The film was entered into the 19th Moscow International Film Festival.[5]


  1. http://www.filmreference.com/film/47/Herbert-Ross.html
  2. "Lee Bouvier Radziwill Weds Herbert Ross, Film Director". New York Times. September 24, 1988. Retrieved June 21, 2007. Lee Bouvier Radziwill (younger sister of the late former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis), and Herbert Ross were married yesterday evening at the bride's home in New York by Justice E. Leo Milonas of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, First Department. After the ceremony, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the sister of the bride, gave a dinner party for the couple at her home in New York. Rudolf Nureyev, the dancer and director of the Paris Opera Ballet, and John Taras, the associate director of American Ballet Theatre, attended the couple.
  3. Lyman, Rick. "Herbert Ross, Broadway Choreographer Turned Hollywood Director, Dies at 74" The new York Times, October 11, 2001
  4. "Herbert Ross (1925 - 2001)". Find a Grave. 20 July 2001.
  5. "19th Moscow International Film Festival (1995)". MIFF. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
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