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|Also Known As:||Sgt. Ross Elliott||Died:|
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From auspicious beginnings as a member of Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre troupe, Ross Elliott appeared in over 200 roles in his nearly half-century career. He made a living of captivating performances, but none quite reached the fervor caused by the infamous 1938 radio broadcast of H.G. Wells's "The War of the Worlds," to which he lent his voice. In 1952, he memorably appeared on the benchmark sitcom "I Love Lucy." Elliott's episode, "Lucy Does a TV Commercial," became an instant classic among fans. He played a director tasked with seeing the hapless character through an advertisement for the tongue-twisting elixir "Vitameatavegamin," which, unbeknownst to either party, contained 23% alcohol. The episode consistently ranks among all-time series favorites. Elliott elsewhere made an impression as stalwart Sheriff Mark Abbott on 60 episodes of the long-running TV Western "The Virginian," and played attorney Lee Baldwin for two years on daytime soap "General Hospital." Although his television success was unmatched by his involvement in other mediums, Elliott played strong supporting roles in several films, including an intrepid reporter in the '50s creature feature "Tarantula," which also featured a young Clint Eastwood in an uncredited role. Elliott played a policeman toward the end of his career in the Paul Newman/Steve McQueen disaster flick, "The Towering Inferno."
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