Ross Elliott

For the Australian journalist and politician, see Ross Mewburn Elliott.
Ross Elliott
Born (1917-06-18)June 18, 1917
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Died August 12, 1999(1999-08-12) (aged 82)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1938–1986
Spouse(s) Esther Susan Melling (1954–1999) (his death)

Ross Elliott (June 18, 1917 – August 12, 1999) was an American television and film character actor. He began his acting career in the Mercury Theatre, where he performed in The War of the Worlds, Orson Welles' famed radio program.

Early years

Elliott was born Elliott Blum in New York City. While at City College of New York, he participated in the college's dramatic society; its activities diverted him from becoming a lawyer.[1]


Elliott's Broadway credits include The Shoemaker's Holiday (1938), Danton's Tod (1938), Morning Star (1940), This Is the Army (1942), and Apple of His Eye (1946).[2]

Film career

After serving in World War II, he moved to Hollywood and appeared in films including Woman on the Run, D-Day the Sixth of June, Kelly's Heroes, Skyjacked and The Towering Inferno.

Military service

Elliott joined the United States Army on August 4, 1941. Much of his time there was spent in "soldier-casts of various touring shows."[1]


Throughout his career, Elliott appeared in more than 100 television programs, including the recurring role of crewman Cort Ryker on the syndicated The Blue Angels (1960–1961), starring Dennis Cross and Don Gordon. Elliott appeared 59 times in a recurring role as Sheriff Abbott on NBC's western series, The Virginian. He was cast as Virgil Earp in four episodes in 1958 and 1959 of The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, with Hugh O'Brian in the title role of Wyatt Earp, Virgil's younger brother.

In 1958, Elliott played Reverend Kilgore in the episode "The Lord Will Provide" on The Texan, with Rory Calhoun and Ellen Corby.[3] Later that year he played murder victim and title character George Hartley Beaumont in the Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Corresponding Corpse."

On December 26, 1959, he was cast as the historical lawyer Temple Houston in the episode "The Reluctant Gun" of Death Valley Days, with host Stanley Andrews. This appearance was nearly four years before Jeffrey Hunter played Temple Houston in the short-lived series Temple Houston.[4] Elliott portrayed Colonel Parker in the 1960 episode "Chain of Command" of Colt .45.[5]

From 1962 to 1963, he was cast as Marty Rhodes in four episodes of the NBC legal drama Sam Benedict, starring Edmond O'Brien. From 1963 to 1965, Elliott played Lee Baldwin on the ABC Daytime soap opera General Hospital.[6][7]

Elliott appeared in 11 episodes of The Jack Benny Program[8] as director Freddie. His other television appearances included Burns and Allen, The Twilight Zone, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Adventures of Superman, The Lone Ranger, Pony Express, The Rifleman, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Lassie, Leave It to Beaver, Hazel, The Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Dragnet, Adam-12, Emergency!, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Little House on the Prairie.

Elliott may be best remembered for having portrayed the television director in the classic episode "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" of I Love Lucy, in which Lucy Ricardo advertises Vitameatavegamin,[9] a tonic that is 23% alcohol.


Ross died of cancer on August 12. He was 82. He is survived by his wife Sue and sister Shirley Frisch.

Selected filmography


  1. 1 2 Weaver, Tom (April 2016). "The Sci-Fi Stalwarts". Classic Images (490): 20–22.
  2. "Ross Elliott". Playbill Vault. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  3. "The Texan". Classic Television Archive. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  4. ""The Reluctant Gun", Death Valley Days, December 26, 1959". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  5. "Colt .45". Retrieved December 22, 2012.
  6. List of General Hospital cast members
  7. List of General Hospital characters
  8. The Jack Benny Program
  9. "Ross Elliott". Toledo Blade. Ohio, Toledo. Times-Post News Service. August 17, 1999. p. 17. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
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