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March 17, 2009

Dick Ross, 1918 - 2009

Last week, we reported that Robert E.A. Lee, producer of the Oscar-nominated films Martin Luther (1953) and A Time for Burning (1966), had passed away. This week, he was joined by another major player in the Christian films of that era.

Dan Wooding of the Assist News Service reports that Dick Ross, director of several Billy Graham films between the early 1950s and mid 1960s, passed away on Saturday at the age of 90.

In addition to his work for Graham, Ross also produced the film version of The Cross and the Switchblade (1970), starring Pat Boone as David Wilkerson (you might have heard that name in the news again recently) and Erik Estrada as Nicky Cruz.

But it was the Graham films -- and the studio that made them -- that are arguably Ross's greatest legacy. Click here for an article we ran four years ago on the history of Billy Graham movies; it touches on Ross's role at the beginning of that venture, and on the people to whom he passed the torch after directing The Restless Ones (1965), a movie about juvenile delinquents, teen pregnancy and other social issues that was also the first Billy Graham movie to be shown in regular theatres.

Related Tags: billy graham, cross and the switchblade, restless ones


Remembering fondly Dick Ross, a great mentor and friend who passed away March l4th, 2009.
Author Gloria Waldron Hukle, Averill Park, New York