Katharine Ross is a popular film and television actress best known to audiences for her iconic role in the classic film The Graduate. In that 1967 masterpiece from director Mike Nichols, Katharine played the character of Elaine Robinson. And who ended up stealing Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin Braddock’s affection away from her seductive mother, played by Anne Bancroft. Though Katharine’s role as Elaine in The Graduate remains her most iconic, the actress is still working today and has appeared in well over twenty films. She also looks great at the age of 82, though nothing beats pictures of the star in her prime. Join Facts Verse to see vintage photos of Katharine Ross that are still irresistible today.
Katharine Ross’ Early Life
Katharine Ross was born in Hollywood, California, on January 29, 1940. The future star’s father became a reporter working for the Associated Press during her childhood. Though he was a commander in the United States Navy at the time of her birth. Though Katharine was born in Hollywood, her family moved to Virginia while she was still very young and lived there for a time before moving back to California. And settling down in Walnut Creek, which is a city just outside of San Francisco. It was here that Katharine came of age, graduating from a local high school in 1957.
Following her high-school graduation, Katharine Ross went on to attend Diablo Valley College, located in the city of Pleasant Hill, California. It was while attending this college that Katharine took her very first role in a film. Though it was merely a student film. Katharine also began acting in some amateur productions around this time by way of the Actor’s Workshop. And married her first husband in 1960. That first husband was a college sweetheart by the name of Joel Fabiani. And Katharine married four times since.
During Katharine’s early career, it said that the actress appeared nude several times on the stage. However, once she transitioned to Hollywood, she became slightly less willing to take her clothes on. The actress has appeared nude on film at least a couple times in her career. However, with one of her more iconic nude appearances being in the 1978 feature The Betsy. Following her early appearances on the stage, Katharine received a bit of a break when she cast to play a small role in an episode of the NBC legal drama Sam Benedict. Katharine’s appearance on the show came in 1962. And roles on such notable programs as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Gunsmoke would shortly follow.
How Katharine Ross Became a Hollywood Star
After receiving a variety of notable television roles, Katharine finally received her first role on the big screen with an appearance in the 1965 civil-war movie Shenandoah. The film starred Hollywood legend James Stewart in the leading role, and became a modest box-office success. It would only be a few years after this big-screen debut that Katharine would receive the role that would go on to make her a star. That role, of course, would be the role of Elaine Robinson in the 1967 classic The Graduate, alongside Dustin Hoffman.
The Graduate not only turned Katharine Ross into a star, but it also turned her into somewhat of a sex symbol. In the film, Katharine played the aforementioned character of Elaine Robinson, whose mother attempts to seduce Dustin Hoffman’s character of Benjamin Braddock. Elaine’s mother is Mrs. Robinson, as portrayed by notable actress Anne Bancroft. Of course, Mrs. Robinson ends up being overall unsuccessful in her attempts to win over the affections of Benjamin. And with Benjamin choosing her daughter instead.
While audiences loved the film for it’s plot and performances, there was also the fact of the matter that the film featured several original songs from folk duo Simon and Garfunkel that have arguably grown to be even more iconic than the film itself. With those songs including “Mrs. Robinson” and “The Sound of Silence”. Katharine Ross’ character ended up winning the affection of Benjamin Braddock. And Katharine herself ended up winning the affection of the audience.
While Katharine Ross’ role in The Graduate arguably remains her most iconic. The actress continued working afterwards and is still working today! Following The Graduate, another notable role came Katharine’s way in 1969. And when she cast as the titular character of the Sundance Kid’s girlfriend in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Of course, Robert Redford played the character of the Sundance Kid. And the actor made another great on-screen love interest for Katharine after Dustin Hoffman. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
Katharine Played the Sundance Kid’s Girlfriend
By the time that Katharine Ross received her role as the titular character of the Sundance Kid’s girlfriend in 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The actress had already been married and divorced two times. Katharine’s first husband was the aforementioned college sweetheart by the name of Joel Fabiani. And whom she married in the year of 1960 and then divorced only a short time later, in 1962. Following Katharine’s divorce from her first husband, she went on to marry second husband John Marion in 1964.
This marriage wasn’t all that much more successful than Katharine’s first, with her marriage to John only lasting until 1967. Around the time of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’s release, Katharine entered into a marriage with third husband Conrad Hall. This marriage prompted Katharine to enter into a period of semi-retirement. This came in spite of the fact that the actress being offered roles left and right due to her recent starring turns in such notable films.
If Katharine Ross hadn’t entered into this period of semi-retirement following her entrance into her marriage with third husband Conrad Hall. The actress might’ve went on to become a bigger star than she is known as today. However, this period of semi-retirement ended up halting a lot of the career momentum that the actress had been building up until that point. She still appeared in a few notable works during this period of semi-retirement. And with one of those works being 1974’s Chance and Violence. The film saw her starring alongside notable Italian-French star Yves Montand.
Katharine Ross went on to divorce from third husband Conrad Hall in 1976. She returned to the entertainment industry full-force by the end of the decade. In 1975, she won a Saturn Award for Best Actress thanks to her appearance in the cult-classic science-fiction film The Stepford Wives. Katharine’s role in the picture is arguably her third most popular to this day. And there are some who consider it to be even more iconic than her previous roles in the pictures The Graduate and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid! The actress hasn’t gotten much awards recognition in her lifetime, so her Saturn Award is notable.
She Appeared in the Remake of Wait Until Dark
In 1976, Katharine Ross reprised her Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid role in the film’s women-centric sequel. And which was called Wanted: The Sundance Women. In 1980, she joined the cast of the 1980 film The Final Countdown. It which also starred such notable Hollywood luminaries as Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen. Despite this notable appearance on the big screen at the start of the decade, Katharine became best known for her roles in made-for-television features over the course of the ensuing 1980s. One of the more notable of the many made-for-television features that Katharine starred in over the course of the decade was the 1982 remake of Wait Until Dark. And in which she was cast in the role that had been initially popularized by Audrey Hepburn.
In 1984, Katharine Ross married fifth husband Sam Elliott, and the two are still together to this day! This makes Katharine’s marriage to Sam the most successful of her five marriages by far. Following Katharine’s divorce from Conrad Hall and before her marriage to Sam Elliott, Katharine had married a fourth time. Katharine’s fourth husband was a man by the name of Gaetano Lisi. And whom she had met while he was working as a chauffeur on The Stepford Wives. Katharine and Gaetano went on to tie the knot in 1974, but divorced before the 1970s were up. With four marriages under her belt, it’s a wonder that Katharine’s marriage to Sam has been so successful! The two have been together for nearly four decades. And first came into contact with each other on the set of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Sam Elliott was too shy to talk to Katharine on the set of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, as Sam was far from being the big star at the time that he would go on to be. When the two became reacquainted on the set of 1978’s The Legacy, they were much more equal in terms of celebrity status and Sam wasn’t quite as shy about letting Katharine know he how felt about her. She was still married to her fourth husband at the time. Though she would divorce from him a year later and then move on officially to Sam.
Katharine Found Success with Her Fifth Marriage!
She and Sam Elliott had a child the same year that they got married, with that child being named Cleo. In 2011, Katharine accused the now-adult Cleo of attempting to murder her with a pair of scissors. And which prompted the actress to get a restraining order against her own daughter. Thankfully, it appears that Katharine and her daughter have been able to put these troubles behind them. And as they appeared together at the 2019 Academy Awards.
In recent years, Katharine has branched out into writing children’s books. And has even returned to the stage alongside her husband. Katharine and Sam have starred in a few theatrical productions together, including a production of Love Letters in 2015. Some of Katharine’s more recent work on film includes a notable appearance in the 2001 cult classic Donnie Darko. And in which she played the titular character’s therapist. A more recent appearance was in the 2019 comedy Attachments. With all of the contributions that the actress had made to the entertainment industry, she is worth $5 million today. The actress is also still turning heads with her rare public appearances at the age of 82.
Katharine Ross remains best known for her roles in The Graduate, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and The Stepford Wives. But those are only three of the many, many films that she has appeared in over the course of her career. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Katharine Ross was said to have made several nude appearances on the stage before the start of her Hollywood career. And that she was married four times before finally finding success in her love life with fifth husband Sam Elliott? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!