|Bob Ross Quick Info|
|Height||6 ft 2 in|
|Date of Birth||October 29, 1942|
|Eye Color||Light Brown|
Bob Ross was an American painter, art instructor, and TV host, and post-mortem Internet personality, best known as the host and art instructor in his own TV series, The Joy of Painting, which spawned 31 seasons between 1983 and 1994. The only reason for the series’ end in 1994 at the height of his career was his private battle with lymphoma, a type of cancer, which he lost in July 1995. Bob became interested in art after he discovered a wet-on-wet painting technique while working as a bartender in his late teens. It was presented on TV in the form of a show named The Magic of Oil Painting (1974-1982), hosted by Bill Alexander, a German painter. The technique allowed him to create paintings in a timeframe of only about 30 minutes, which was very quick in comparison to other techniques of painting.
Bob’s signature paintings of mountains and the snow were based on the view at the Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, the United States, where he was stationed in the military. After the profits from selling his rapidly-created paintings exceeded those of his military salary, he quit the service in 1981 and started taking classes under Bill Alexander. In January 1983, he premiered his art instruction TV show, The Joy of Painting on PBS channel. Bob also swore that he would never yell again if he were to leave the military, which was why he chose to talk in a soft, gentle manner during his TV show. Long after his death, between 2015 and 2016, streams of the episodes of his TV show via Twitch and on Netflix went viral. This, in addition to the rise in popularity of ASMR, which his type of speaking and acting could be sorted under, Bob Ross became a post-mortem Internet personality.
Robert Norman Ross
Bob, Bust ’em up Bobby
Bob Ross was born on October 29, 1942.
Bob Ross died at the age of 52 on July 4, 1995, in Orlando, Florida, United States, from complications of lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, which he fought for several years. He was buried at the Woodlawn Memorial Park in Gotha, Florida, United States.
Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Bob Ross attended Elizabeth Forward High School in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, United States, and dropped out in 9th grade to start working as a carpenter alongside his father.
TV Host, Art Instructor, Painter, Post-Mortem Internet Personality
- Father – Jack Ross (Cherokee Carpenter)
- Mother – Ollie Ross (Waitress)
- Others – Jim Ross (Half-Brother)
Bob Ross’s legacy and intellectual property are maintained/protected by Bob Ross Inc. (Company) in the United States.
6 ft 2 in or 188 cm
85 kg or 187.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Bob Ross has dated –
- Vivian “Vicky” Patricia (Hill) Ridge (1965-1977) – Bob was married to Vivian for almost 12 years between May 28, 1965, and 1977. The two have a son named Steven Ross, who was an artist and Bob Ross-certified art instructor, and as such, appeared on camera during the very last episode of the 1st season of The Joy of Painting in 1983. He read questions presented by the viewers, while Bob painted and answered them one by one.
- Jane Ross (1977-1992) – From 1977 to 1992, Bob was married to his 2nd wife, Jane. The two had a son named Morgan Ross but their marriage ended after Jane’s unfortunate death from cancer in 1992. Bob dedicated the entire 20th season of his TV show to her memory.
- Lynda Lucille Freeman Brown (1995) – Only 2 months before his own death, Bob Ross married Lynda in 1995.
Race / Ethnicity
He has American and Cherokee ancestry.
Due to advancing age, his hair color had turned ‘Salt and Pepper.’
- Towering height
- Frizzy, curly haircut and unruly beard
- Gentle, encouraging voice
Best Known For
- Being an art instructor, author, and the host of his half-hour-format TV series, The Joy of Painting (1983-1994), which ran for 31 seasons
- Being one of the most widely recognized artists of the 1980s and the 1990s, a prominence that resurfaced again in the mid-2010s with the re-release of his TV show in the form of web series on Netflix, streams on Twitch, and popularity of ASMR
First TV Show
Bob Ross made his first TV show appearance as ‘Himself’ in the Mt. McKinley episode of the documentary family series, The Joy of Painting in January 1983.
Bob Ross Facts
- Due to an accident he suffered working as a carpenter with his dad, Bob had lost the tip of his left index finger. However, it didn’t alter the way he held the painting palette.
- His wooden palettes had to be sanded down lightly so they wouldn’t reflect the studio lighting on camera.
- His pet squirrels named Peapod The Pocket Squirrel and Squirrely Wirrelly Brown were featured on-camera during his painting sessions.
- Bob enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1961 and became a medical records technician. When he left the military in 1981, he had reached a rank of a master sergeant.
- Because his job in the military required him to yell, be mean, and tough, he swore he would never yell or even raise his voice for the rest of his life.
- Bob was not paid for his TV show, The Joy Of Painting (1983-1994). He used it as a promotion to sell his painting kits, personal art lessons, how-to guides, and other types of merchandise.
- Bob always wore a classic button-down shirt and jeans on camera. He believed it was a “timeless look”.
- He enjoyed listening to country music in particular.
- Bob always spoke as if he was addressing one viewer personally, instead of the entire audience.
- He typically painted 3 “copies” of every painting on the TV show. The 1st one he used to paint before the camera turned on and used it as a reference while painting the 2nd for his viewers, live. After the taping used to end, he would paint the 3rd painting with greater attention to detail and used it for promotional purposes in his printed books.
- Bob didn’t like the idea of his paintings being featured at a gallery or an art museum.
- Bob didn’t like the idea of having any signs of people in his art. However, at times he would paint chimneys on houses.
- His natural hair texture was straight. However, due to the lack of funds at the beginning of his TV career, he had no money to get it cut short weekly, a habit he had in the military. For that reason, he got it permed and later kept up the appearance of a frizzy, curly haircut as he feared the change would damage his brand.
- For the duration of his show, Bon painted more than 1k landscapes. He also personally believed that he created around more than 30k paintings in total during his career.
- Most of the original oil paintings that were featured on the TV were donated to charity after his death in 1995. Others were safely stored by the company that he founded, Bob Ross Inc.
- Bob liked to keep his life private and never spoke of any negative things publicly. He wanted his art to showcase the happiest moments only because according to him, “if you wanted bad stuff, you just had to turn on the news”.
- Despite not declining any interviews, there was only a handful he ever gave. The documentary that revealed the most about his life was Bob Ross: The Happy Painter, which aired on PBS in 2011.
- Bob was one of the 1st people known to trigger an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) in people through his work. His soft-spoken voice and the sounds of the painting brush touching the canvas were some of the triggers. The term came to worldwide prominence in the 2010s with the rise of the community built around it, particularly on YouTube, led by social media stars such as ASMR Darling and Gibi ASMR.
- Visit his official website @ bobross.com.
- Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, and YouTube.
Featured Image by haiden goggin / Flickr / CC BY-2.0