A general utilitarian player on TV and film, Ross Elliott provided clean-cut, reliable support for over four decades. Born Elliott Blum on June 18, 1917 in New York City, Ross grew up in the Bronx and began appearing in plays while a teenage at both summer camps and in high school. He attended New York's City College upon graduation pursing both law and appearing in the college's dramatic productions. Acting won out in the long run after he received his degree in 1937.
Following variety show and summer stock work, Elliott became a member of Orson Welles Mercury Theatre and played minor parts on Broadway in "Julius Caesar" (modern version), "The Shoemaker's Holiday" and "Danton's Death." He also was a part of the notorious "War of the Worlds" broadcast on radio in 1938. He also stage toured with Welles in "Five Kings". His career was interrupted by a tour of duty in the Army. Appearing in several of their touring show, one of the better known was "This Is the Army." He would also appearing in the Warner Brothers' film version of This Is the Army.
Elliott returned to professional acting following his honorable discharge and replaced Tom Ewell touring with Walter Huston in "Apple of His Eye". By 1947 he had relocated to Los Angeles and appeared in his first film The Burning Cross with a story involving the KKK. His four-decade career would include hundreds of movie and TV roles. His more visible clean-cut appearances occurred in the films Woman on the Run, Hot Lead, Woman in the Dark, Problem Girls, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Carolina Cannonball, Indestructible Man, Monster on the Campus. Of the scores of parts he played on TV, from the dramas ("Perry Mason", "Death Valley Days", "The Adventures of Superman", "Lassie", "The Twilight Zone", "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"' "Kung Fu", "The Mod Squad", "Dallas", "Little House on the Prairie", "The A-Team") to the comedies ("The Dick Van Dyke Show", "Leave It to Beaver", "Hazel", "Here's Lucy", "The Doris Day Show", "Phyllis"), Ross will be forever remembered as Lucy Ricardo's director in the classic Vitameatavegamin commercial episode of "I Love Lucy". In other "Lucy" episodes he often played Ricky's publicity agent. He also played Virgil Earp in several episodes of "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp", appeared frequently as a straight man for Jack Benny on his long-running TV show, and played Sheriff Abbott in many of "The Virginian" segments. After several detours, his career waned in the 1970s and he turned to real estate. His last film was a small role in the Chuck Norris film Scorpion. He died of cancer at age 82 on August 12, 1999, and was cremated.
Editor's Note: Ross Eliott's ashes were spread over a lake at his favorite Golf Course - Camarillo Springs G.C., in Camarillo, CA.
I'll be honest with you. I made some wrong turns. I made some career decisions and did some dumb things that cost me and sent me off-track...There were a few wrong turns, and there was a wrong turn or two that I won't go into. If I hadn't made them, my career would have had more lasting up-turns.
Mr. Baker (segment "An Unlocked Window")
Doctor - in Operating Room
Sgt. Rice / Rice
Captain Hill / Judge
Marvin Kates / Sheriff McKean / Sheriff / ...
Harry Grinnell / Supervisor / Harvey / ...
Deputy Chief #2
Conway / Grant Lucas / Lee
Sgt. Long (as Ross Elliot)
Sam Brodie / Arnold Sanders / John Jeffers / ...
Harvey Walters / Matthew / Watkins
Graham Carter / Ben McIntire / Greene / ...
Dr. Steven Clay
D.A. / Maurice Delaney
Dr. John Snyder
Captain (as Ross Elliot)
Commissioner Robert O'Neil
Samuel Cohen / Dr. Morton / Ben Ohrlich
Sheriff Mark Abbott / Sheriff Abbott / Sheriff
Fritz Allen (as Ross Elliot)
Chuck / Forest Service Supervisor / Joe Smith / ...
William Torrence / Attorney Avery / Norman Braddock / ...
Prof. Eliot Kramer / Hotel Detective / PIO McNally
Sheriff / Dr. Brandon
MP Major Bartoli
Al Saunders / Tom Wilson
Dr. Phil Ridley / Dr. Philip Nevins
Millard Wright / Roy Daniels
Freddie - Jack's TV Director / Fred / Director / ...
Doctor / Kramer
Deputy Earl Harrison
TV Executive (uncredited)
Special Agent Vernon Lockhart
Luke Bidwell / James Logan / Temple Houston
Bert Feller / Gil Joyner
Bix Thompson / Carl Myers
Mr. Adams / Ralph Carr
Corporal Harris / Collins / Jack Adams
Martin Rondell / Bill Garrison
Ernie Ransom / Reed Kingsley / Sam Wilson
USCG Lt. Dave Tulley / USCG Lt. Pete Gregory / USCG Commander Bill Brady / ...
Jim Lawton / Dr. Matt Conners
Father Pius / Bill Harmon / Bill Stevens / ...
Mr. Foster / Mr. Hyatt
Sheriff Barney Cagle / Dr. Mac
Sheriff Walt Devlin / Frank Donnelly
George Warren / Charlie Towne
Al Forester / Larry Blanchard
Colonel Dr. Barry (uncredited)
Walter Cummings / Bill Reade / Norman Dewitt
Police Sgt. Smith / Vincent Hurd
Sgt. Eddie Daniels
Brett Hudson / Bill Judson
George Hartley Beaumont
Cmdr. Howard W. Gilmore / Lt. A. W. Weaver / Irvin / ...
Ralph Stevens / Gordon
Detective Wes James / Johnny Henderson / Bob Milner / ...
Hode Bowers / Captain Carstairs
Liquor Store Owner
Bill Bridgeman / March
Zack Garson / Ralph Kerchum / James Otis / ...
Capt. Steven Craig USN
Brent Cameron / Howard
Garreaux / Jacques
Mr. Randolph / The Captain / Joe / ...
Ronnie Simpson / Jess Omega / Tony Beddoe / ...
Dr. Captain David Sherman
Hofer / Dr. Rogers / Bert Tolin
Sheriff Jack Driscoll
Security Agent Cal York
Frank / Rex Laird
Major / Charles Bowman
Ross, Publicity Agent / Publicity Man / Director
Mitch / Horster / Chuck Logan
Intelligence Div. Sergeant at Desk (uncredited)
Private George W. Davis
Pete Hardesty / Bob Hayden
Deputy Lawson / Jeff Hope
Father Tony Morello
Frank Carney / Jack Cramer
Corpse of Neal Emery (uncredited)
Norm - Laundryman Thug (uncredited)
Dr. Jim Haynes
Fanuche - Pirate (uncredited)
Irv - Henchman
Mr. Howard Palmer
Preble's First Officer (uncredited)
The Combative Striker
Officer in Magician Skit (as Sgt. Ross Elliot)