Herbert Ross


Herbert David Ross (May 13, 1927 – October 9, 2001) was an American actor, choreographer, director and producer who worked predominantly in theater and film. He was nominated for two Academy Awards and a Tony Award. He did choreography on such films as Otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones (1954), with Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge, and Pearl Bailey; Sidney J. Furie’s The Young Ones (1961), with Cliff Richard, Robert Morley, and Carole Gray; Peter Yates’s Summer Holiday (1963), with Richard, Lauri Peters, David Kossoff, and Ron Moody; Mike Nichols’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), with Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, and Sandy Dennis; and William Wyler’s Funny Girl (1968), with Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford, Anne Francis, Walter Pidgeon, Lee Allen and Mae Questel. He made his directorial debut on Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), with Peter O’Toole, Petula Clark, Michael Redgrave, Siân Phillips, and Alison Leggatt.

Films in the early 70s include The Owl and the Pussycat (1970), with Streisand, Segal, Robert Klein, and Allen Garfield; T.R. Baskin (1971), with Candice Bergen, Peter Boyle, Marcia Rodd, and James Caan; Play It Again, Sam (1972), with Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Jerry Lacy, and Susan Anspach; The Last Shiela (1973), with Richard Benjamin, Dyan Cannon, James Coburn, Joan Hackett, James Mason, Ian McShane, and Raquel Welch; The Sunshine Boys (1975), with Walter Matthau, George Burns, Benjamin, Lee Meredith, F. Murray Abraham, Rosetta LeNoire, Howard Hesseman, and Ron Rifkin; Funny Lady (1975), with Streisand, Caan, Roddy McDowall, Ben Vereen, Carol Welles, and Sharif.

Ross received Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Picture for The Turning Point (1977), with Anne Bancroft, Shirley MacLaine, Tom Skerritt, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Leslie Browne, Martha Scott, Marshall Thompson, and Anthony Zerbe. Other films in the late 70s include The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976), with Nicol Williamson, Robert Duvall, Alan Arkin, Georgia Brown, Samantha Eggar, Charles Gray, Jeremy Kemp, Joel Grey, Laurence Olivier, and Vanessa Redgrave; The Goodbye Girl (1977), with Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings, and Paul Benedict; and California Suite (1978), with Alan Alda, Michael Caine, Bill Cosby, Jane Fonda, Matthau, Elaine May, Richard Pryor, and Maggie Smith.

Films in the early 80s include Nijinsky (1980), with Alan Bates, Leslie Browne, George De La Peña, Alan Badel, Colin Blakely, and Carla Fracci; Pennies from Heaven (1981), Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Christopher Walken, and Jessica Harper; I Ought to Be in Pictures (1982), with Matthau, Ann-Margret, Dinah Manoff, Lance Guest, Eugene Butler, David Faustino, Martin Ferrero, and Michael Dudikoff; Max Dugan Returns (1983), with Mason, Jason Robards, Donald Sutherland, and Matthew Broderick; Footloose (1984), with Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, Diane Wiest, John Lithgow, Chris Penn, and Sarah Jessica Parker; and Protocol (1984), with Goldie Hawn, Chris Sarandon, Richard Romanus, Andre Gregory, Cliff DeYoung, Ed Begley Jr., Kenneth Mars, and Jean Smart.

Films in the late 80s include The Secret to My Success (1987), with Michael J. Fox, Helen Slater, Richard Jordan, Margaret Whitton, and Fred Gwynne; Dancers (1987), with Baryshnikov, Alessandra Ferri, Leslie Browne, Thomas Rall, Lynn Seymour, Victor Barbee, Julie Kent, and Mariangela Melato; and Steel Magnolias (1989), with Sally Field, Dolly Parton, MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, Julia Roberts, Tom Skerritt, Dylan McDermott, Kevin J. O’Connor, and Sam Shepard.

Films in the 90s include My Blue Heaven (1990), with Martin, Rick Moranis, Joan Cusack, Carol Kane, William Hickey, Daniel Stern, and Colleen Camp; True Colors (1991), with John Cusack, James Spader, Imogen Stubbs, Mandy Patinkin, and Richard Widmark; Undercover Blues (1993), with Kathleen Turner, Dennis Quaid, Fiona Shaw, Stanley Tucci, Larry Miller, Park Overall, and Tom Arnold; and Boys on the Side (1995), with Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Barrymore, Mary-Louise Parker, Matthew McConaughey, James Remar, and Estelle Parsons. He also executive produced Michael Hoffman’s Soapdish (1991), with Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey Jr., Elisabeth Shue, Goldberg, Cathy Moriarty, Teri Hatcher, Garry Marshall, Kathy Najimy, and Carrie Fisher.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Carmen Jones (1954) – directed by Otto Preminger – uncredited choreographer
  • Wonderful Town (1958) – co-directed with Mel Ferber – TV movie
  • The Young Ones (1961) – directed by Sidney J. Furie – choreographer
  • Summer Holiday (1963) – directed by Peter Yates – choreographer
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) – directed by Mike Nichols – uncredited choreography
  • Doctor Doolittle (1967) – directed by Richard Fleischer – uncredited choreographer
  • Funny Girl (1968) – directed by William Wyler – choreographer
  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)
  • The Owl and the Pussycat (1970)
  • T.R. Baskin (1971)
  • Play It Again, Sam (1972)
  • The Last of Sheila (1973)
  • The Sunshine Boys (1975)
  • Funny Lady (1975)
  • The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976)
  • The Turning Point (1977)
  • The Goodbye Girl (1977)
  • California Suite (1978)
  • Nijinsky (1980)
  • Pennies from Heaven (1981)
  • I Ought to Be in Pictures (1982)
  • Max Doogan Returns (1983)
  • Footloose (1984)
  • Protocol (1984)
  • The Secret of My Success (1987)
  • Dancers (1987)
  • Steel Magnolias (1989)
  • My Blue Heaven (1990)
  • True Colors (1991)
  • Soapdish (1991) – directed by Michael Hoffman – executive producer
  • Undercover Blues (1993)
  • Boys on the Side (1995)