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Jazz Icon and Actor Annie Ross Has Passed Away at 89

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Ross Passed Away on July 21, Four Days Before Her 90th Birthday

Jazz Icon and Actor Annie Ross Has Passed Away at 89

BroadwayWorld is saddened to report that jazz icon and actor Annie Ross has passed away at age 89. She died on July 21, four days before her 90th birthday.

Annie Ross was one of the founding members of jazz vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross.

Ross was born in Mitcham, London, and her family moved to New York when she was four years old. After arriving in the city, Ross won a contract with MGM through a children's radio contest and moved to Los Angeles where she appeared in Our Gang Follies of 1938, and played Judy Garland's character's sister in Presenting Lily Mars.

In 1952, Ross met Prestige Records owner Bob Weinstock, who asked her to write lyrics to a jazz solo in a similar way to King Pleasure, a practice that would later be known as vocalese. Ross presented him with "Twisted", a treatment of saxophonist Wardell Gray's 1949 composition of the same name, and the song was a hit.

Ross recorded seven albums with Lambert, Hendricks & Ross between 1957 and 1962.

Her film roles include Straight On till Morning (1972), Claire in Alfie Darling (1976), Diana Sharman in Funny Money (1983), Vera Webster in Superman III (1983), Mrs. Hazeltine in Throw Momma from the Train (1987), Rose Brooks in Witchery (1988), Loretta Cresswood in Pump Up the Volume (1990), Tess Trainer in Robert Altman's Short Cuts (1993), and Lydia in Blue Sky (1994). She also appeared as Granny Ruth in the horror films Basket Case 2 (1990) and Basket Case 3: The Progeny (1991).

On stage, Ross appeared in Cranks (1955; London and New York City), The Threepenny Opera (1972), The Seven Deadly Sins (1973) at the Royal Opera House, Kennedy's Children (1975) at Arts Theatre, London, Side by Side by Sondheim, and in the Joe Papp production of The Pirates of Penzance (1982).


Ross received the ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame award (2009), the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters' Award (2010), and the MAC Award for Lifetime Achievement (2011).


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