Annie Ross, jazz singer turned actor, dies at 89 in New York

Entertainment

FILE – In this Aug. 19, 1963, file photo, British jazz singer Annie Ross, right, and actor Sean Lynch are covered with confetti after their marriage in London. Ross, who rose to fame as a jazz singer in the 1950s, struggled with personal problems in the ’60s, faded from the spotlight in the ’70s, re-emerged as a successful character actress in the ’80s and finished her career as a cabaret mainstay, died Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at her home in New York. She was 89. Her death was confirmed by her former manager, Jim Coleman. (AP Photo/Dear, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Annie Ross, a popular jazz singer in the 1950s before crossing over into a successful film career, has died. She was 89.

Ross’ manager, Jim Coleman, told the Washington Post that the entertainer died Tuesday at her home in New York, four days before her 90th birthday. She had battled emphysema and heart disease.

Ross rose to fame as the lead vocalist of one of jazz’s most well-respected groups, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. The trio became known for the 1952 hit “Twisted,” a tune by saxophonist Wardell Gray and written by Ross.

A decade later, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross went on to win a Grammy Award for the album “High Flying.”

Despite the success, Ross decided to leave the group while feuding with group member Jon Hendricks while she battled heroin addiction.

Ross eventually cleaned up her life, married English actor Sean Lynch and ran a nightclub for a short stint in London. But around 1975, she declared bankruptcy, lost her home and divorced Lynch, who soon died in a car crash.

While Ross struggled to find work as a singer, she turned her attention to acting. She appeared in plays such as “A View From the Bridge” along with the musical production “The Pirates of Penzance.”

Ross broke through as a familiar face in the 1979 film “Yanks,” which led to other roles. She appeared as a villain in “Superman III,” a writing student in “Throw Momma From the Train” and an aging jazz singer in Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts,” which helped revive her career.

Ross ultimately reinvented herself as a witty cabaret singer. Despite her transition, she received the Jazz Master honor from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2010.

In 2014, Ross released the album “To Lady With Love,” a tribute to Billie Holiday. She often performed at the Metropolitan Room until the venue closed in 2017.

LATEST STORIES

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Click Below to set up your cable box

Download our news app

App Store Link
Google Play Link
Early Voting Locations

Coronavirus Outbreak

More Coronavirus Outbreak

Classroom Progress Report

More Classroom Progress Report