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Katharine Ross Played Elaine in "The Graduate." See Her Now at 82.

It's been 55 years since her breakout role.

One of the most famous shots in film history is the one of Dustin Hoffman and Katharine Ross, as Benjamin Braddock and Elaine Robinson, riding off on a bus together at the end of The Graduate. Those roles were the breakout performances for both actors, and Ross went on to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress and to win the Golden Globe for New Star of the Year. Since appearing in The Graduate, Ross has had lengthy career in entertainment and appeared in a movie as recently as 2019. And she's worked alongside her husband, who is also a famous actor. Read on to learn about Ross' life today at age 82.

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She's still acting.

Katharine Ross on the set of "Le Hasard et la violence" in 1973
Gilbert GIRIBALDI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

In addition to The Graduate, Ross is also known for roles in films including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, The Stepford Wives, and Village of the Damned. She also starred in the Dynasty spinoff The Colbys in the '80s.

Ross' career slowed down significantly in the '90s. But some of her movies since the turn of the century include 2001's Donnie Darko, 2002's Don't Let Go, The Hero in 2017, and Attachments in 2019.

She's worked alongside her famous husband.

Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross at the 2019 Oscars
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Ross has been married to actor Sam Elliot since 1984, and they have worked together several times. "My wife, Katharine Ross, and I both worked on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but I didn't dare try to talk to her then," Elliot told AARP in 2015. "She was the leading lady. I was a shadow on the wall, a glorified extra in a bar scene. It wasn't until we made The Legacy [in 1978] that we actually interacted."

Since then, they've also appeared together in a theater performance of Love Letters in 2015 and in the movie The Hero in 2017.

"We've always enjoyed working together," Ross told Red Carpet Report at the premiere of The Hero. "We met working, and we've done maybe five things together. And then this was the first time in quite a while that we've worked together. It's fun." She added, laughing, "It's easier than real life."

She's written children's books.

Katharine Ross at "The Chainsaw Artist" Gallery Event in 2019
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Ross has written a number of children's books, including The Little Ballerina and The Little Quiet Book, according to TV Guide.

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She's a mom.

Katharine Ross, Sam Elliott, and Cleo Rose Elliot at the premiere of "A Star Is Born" in 2018
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Elliot and Ross have one daughter, Cleo Rose Elliot, who was born in 1984. Ross and Cleo made headlines in 2011, when Ross filed for a restraining order against Cleo, claiming she attacked her with scissors, as reported by People. It appears that their relationship has improved since then, as Ross and Cleo have been photographed together at events and were interviewed together in 2017.

She's reflected on her time as an up-and-coming actor.

Katharine Ross at a 50th anniversary screening of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" at the 2019 Plaza Classic Film Festival
Rick Kern/Getty Images

In a 2015 interview with Variety, Ross talked about what it was like when she was getting her start on TV in the '60s. After telling a story about the negative aspect of being an unknown—for one potential role, she had to get her hair cut off, but then still didn't get the part—she explained what she did like about that part of her life.

"I'll tell you what was great about it," she said. "It was a time when the old studio system was in its dying throes and they were just starting to try new approaches and the little $1 million budget films were being seen as the way to go. And that did turn out to be the progenitor of a great new era that eventually became the indie film movement."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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