Katharine Ross: The Young 'Graduate' Star Who Was 'Too Pretty,' Then And Now

By | July 21, 2020

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Left: Katharine Ross in 'The Graduate.' Right: Ross and Paul Newman in 'Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.' Source: IMDB

With appearances in The Graduate (1967) and Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969), Katharine Ross emerged as a versatile girl-next-door actress adept at comedy and drama. Her filmography stretches back to the '50s, when she established herself as a television actress, and her late-'60s heyday (which also included 1968's Hellfighters and 1969's Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here) propelled her career through the '70s with The Stepford Wives (1975) and The Swarm (1978). Ross, who turned 80 in 2020, has continued to act and do voice work in the 2000s and 2010s. 

Ross' Hollywood success story was certainly helped along by her looks, although her cover-girl beauty may have lost her a few roles. "I find it embarrassing and disgusting to ask to do a part and be told I'm too pretty," she once remarked. "How can I answer that?" It helps to have support in life, which she gets from her husband of 36 years, actor Sam Elliott.

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It took a few tries but this beauty found her beast. (bestofcomicbooks)

Katharine Ross burst onto the scene in ‘67 alongside Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate. The role earned her an Oscar nomination, a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer, and catapulted her past the smaller roles she previously played in such films as Shenandoah” and Mister Buddwing. Creating chemistry with Hoffman also gave her a chance to shine in two 1969 westerns, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, which together won her the BAFTA Award for Best Actress. Ross can also lay claim to perhaps the most successful celebrity relationship in history. She and Sam Elliot met in London on the set of The Legacy in ‘78 and to this day enjoy 36 years and counting of loving matrimony.