Friday, October 31, 2014
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Katharine Ross, A Film Festival

While reading Gerald Kolpan's "Etta," an intriguing novel about Etta Place, the mystery woman who travelled with Butch and Sundance, I thought of the intriguing Katharine Ross who so memorably played Etta alongside Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the 1969 romp "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." Ross used her low forehead, curtain of hair, sensual underlip and intelligent inscrutability to great effect in a number of film classics, most famously "The Graduate" (1967), "BC&TSK," and "The Stepford Wives." She is one of those actors who communicated more without dialogue than with.

Katharine Ross, A Film Festival

Katharine Ross, circa 1967. She was America´s answer to Julie Christie: sensual, intelligent, enigmatic.
Katharine Ross, circa 1967. She was America's answer to Julie Christie: sensual, intelligent, enigmatic.

While reading Gerald Kolpan's "Etta," an intriguing novel about Etta Place, the mystery woman who travelled with Butch and Sundance, I thought of the intriguing Katharine Ross who so memorably played Etta alongside Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the 1969 romp "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." Ross used her low forehead, curtain of hair, sensual underlip and intelligent inscrutability to great effect in a number of film classics, most famously "The Graduate" (1967), "BC&TSK," and "The Stepford Wives." She is one of those actors who communicated more without dialogue than with.

Her fans -- and who is not? -- can enjoy a Ross triple-dip on April 18 when Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will show "Butch Cassidy," "The Graduate," and "Tell Them Willie Boy is Here " (1969), Abraham Polonsky's underknown film about a Paiute who kills in self-defense. The Native American is Robert Blake and Ross is his Paiute girlfriend. While Ross turned up on the evening soap opera "The Colbys" in the 1970s and was lately seen as Jake Gyllenhaal's shrink in "Donnie Darko," she is not a prolific actress. For 25 years she has been married to the gravel-voiced actor Sam Elliott.

My favorite Ross role is Etta. Yours?

Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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