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|Also Known As:||Herbert David Ross||Died:||October 9, 2001|
|Born:||May 13, 1927||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Brooklyn, New York, USA||Profession:||Director ... director producer dancer choreographer actor|
Choreographer-director-producer Herbert Ross was best known for elevating the role of dance in film and for his ability to elicit exceptional performances out of such leading ladies as Barbara Streisand, Shirley MacLaine, Anne Bancroft and Julia Roberts. Receiving his start as a Broadway performer and choreographer with the American Ballet Theater, Ross later staged dozens of musical sequences for such films as "Carmen Jones" (1954). Although he was one of Broadway's top choreographers - notably crafting Streisand's show-stopping number in 1963's "I Can Get It for You Wholesale" - Ross yearned to direct films, a goal he achieved with "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1969). He began to hit his stride as a director alongside rising megastars like Streisand in "The Owl and the Pussycat" (1970) and Woody Allen in "Play it Again, Sam" (1972). Shortly thereafter, he began his prolific working relationship with playwright Neil Simon on "The Sunshine Boys" (1975). At the height of his career, Ross utilized his knowledge of ballet for "The Turning Point" (1977) and reteamed with Simon on "The Goodbye Girl" (1977) to win both critical acclaim and box office gold. Less successful were risky endeavors like the Depression-era Steve Martin musical-fantasy "Pennies from Heaven" (1981). Ross still had a few more cards up his sleeve, though, as the hits "Footloose" (1984) and "Steel Magnolias" (1989) triumphantly capped off a remarkable career. Whether crafting a spectacular dance number or directing a heartfelt romance, Ross' sole ambition to entertain an audience was unwavering.
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