Stanley Ralph Ross, prolific writer, producer and actor in film and TV, died March 16 in Los Angeles of lung cancer. He was 64.
Ross was first and foremost a writer. He penned more than 250 TV shows, including many episodes of “Batman,” “The Monkees,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “Banacek,” “Columbo,” “The Bill Cosby Show” and “Love, American Style.”
TV movie credits included “Coffee, Tea or Me?,” “Gold of the Amazon Women,” “For the Love of It” and “Three on a Date.”
He created, developed and consulted on seven TV series: “Wonder Woman,” “The Challenge of the Sexes,” “The Electric Company,” “That’s My Mama,” “The Kallikaks,” “Wishbone” and “The Monster Squad.”
Ross co-authored with Jay Robert Nash and published “The Motion Picture Guide,” a 17-volume encyclopedia of reviews and data on virtually every film ever made to the time of publication. Eventually purchased by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., it now forms the basis for Microsoft’s CD “CineMania” as well as its own CD-ROM for News America.
Ross also served as the video critic for “P.M. Magazine” for several years.
As a film documentarian, he contributed to “The Making of ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ ” for which he garnered the Film Advisory Board award. He also co-produced the feature “Carlo’s Wake.”
His legit endeavors included the co-penning of the book, music and lyrics for the musical “Chaplin” (which starred Anthony Newley) at the Dorothy Chandler Music Center in L.A. and at Houston’s Theater Under the Stars.
Ross’ musical biography “Gilbert Versus Sullivan” was produced in Pasadena in April 1995. His original mystery “Joust,” presented in Scotland, was recently optioned by a New York producer.
As a character actor, he appeared in more than 100 TV programs. He had a recurring role on “Falcon Crest” and was also a regular on “Superior Court,” “Family Medical Center” and “Crosstown.”
He lent his voice to hundreds of TV commercials and children’s animated TV shows, including “The SuperFriends,” “Rambo,” “The Paw Paws,” “Red Planet Mars,” “Superman” and “The Inhumanoids.”
Feature credits included “Sleeper,” “Tony Rome,” “Flight of the Phoenix,” “John Goldfarb, Please Come Home,” “Babe: Pig in the City” and “Burn, Hollywood Burn.”
Ross taught at UCLA for many years and for the past seven years taught comedy writing in the Cinema School at USC.
He was active in numerous charities including Share, the Thalians, the Society of Singers, Nosotros, the Museum of Broadcasting, the Save-a-Heart Foundation, the Save-a-Life Organization and UNICEF.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Neila, three children and a granddaughter.