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Herbert Ross (May 13, 1927 – October 9, 2001) was an Americanmarker film director, producer, choreographer and actor.

Early life and career

Born Herbert David Ross in Brooklynmarker, New Yorkmarker, he made his stage debut as Third Witch with a touring company of Macbeth in 1942. His Broadwaymarker credits as a performer included Something for the Boys (1943), Laffing Room Only (1944), Beggar's Holiday (1946), and Look, Ma, I'm Dancin'! (1948). His choreography career began with the American Ballet Theatre in 1950; the following year he choreographed his first Broadway production, the Arthur Schwartz-Dorothy Fields musical adaptation of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

His first film assignment was as uncredited choreographer on Carmen Jones in 1954. He choreographed the dance numbers for the Cliff Richard films The Young Ones (1961) and Summer Holiday (1963). In 1968, Ross worked with Barbra Streisand as choreographer and director of musical numbers for the film Funny Girl. The following year, he made his motion picture directorial debut with a musical version of the classic Goodbye, Mr. Chips, starring Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark.

Career ascension

In 1975, Ross worked on the film adaptation of the Neil Simon play The Sunshine Boys, the first of several Simon play adaptations he directed. Two years later, he helmed the ballet-oriented drama The Turning Point, for which he won the Golden Globe and Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards for Best Director. He also earned a Academy Award nomination as Best Director, and earned another nomination for co-producing the film.

He had a huge hit with the film adaptation of Robert Harling's play Steel Magnolias, featuring Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts, and Shirley MacLaine, in 1989. His last film was in 1995, when he produced and directed Boys on the Side, with Whoopi Goldberg, Mary-Louise Parker and Drew Barrymore.

Personal life

He was married twice, the first time to ballerina Nora Kaye, who died of cancer in 1987 at the age of 67. His second marriage was to Lee Radziwill and ended in divorce in 2001.

Ross died of heart failure in 2001 in New York Citymarker and was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemeterymarker in Los Angelesmarker.

Additional Broadway credits

(As choreographer, unless otherwise noted)

Films as director


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