Ross Elliott, veteran character actor best remembered for his roles on such popular television series of the 1950s and 1960s as "I Love Lucy," "The Jack Benny Show" and "The Virginian," has died. He was 82.
Elliott died Thursday of cancer at the Motion Picture and Television Fund residence facility in Woodland Hills.
Elliott moved from stage to screen to television and from serious drama to comedy to Westerns. For Lucille Ball, he played the director of her classic commercial for "Vitameatavegamin" and earned a recurring role as Ricky Ricardo's agent on the series. He was also a frequent guest of Jack Benny and the comedy team of "Burns and Allen."
Elliott portrayed Sheriff Abbott for more than three years on the long-running 1960s Western series "The Virginian." He was a series regular on the soap opera "General Hospital."
A native New Yorker, Elliott began his acting career with Orson Welles' Mercury Theater, where he played roles in such stage productions as "Danton's Death" and "Five Kings," and performed in Welles' landmark radio program "War of the Worlds."
Serving in the Army during World War II, Elliott appeared around the world in Irving Berlin's "This Is the Army" and was in the 1943 motion picture version.
After touring with Walter Huston in the stage production of "Apple of His Eye," Elliott moved to Hollywood and turned his attention to motion pictures and his true metier, television.
Among his films were "Woman on the Run," "D-Day the Sixth of June," "Kelly's Heroes," "Skyjacked," "The Towering Inferno" and "Gable and Lombard."
Elliott's extensive television credits included appearances on "Gunsmoke," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "Perry Mason," "The Twilight Zone," "Zane Grey Theater," "Rawhide" and "Maverick."
He is survived by his wife, Sue; a sister, Shirley Frisch, and one niece.
Services are set for 1 p.m. Thursday at Mount Sinai Memorial Park.
The family has asked that memorial donations be made to the Motion Picture and Television Fund in Woodland Hills.