Benjamin Ross Biography

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Birth Name: Benjamin Ross
Born: 1964
Birth Place: London, England, GB

Born in London in 1964, Ross received a Super-8 camera when he was about nine years old. Fascinated by the Hammer horror films, he also showed an interest in the macabre. While studying English at Oxford, he spent summers in the USA working in various production capacities on soft-core porn and low-budget horror films (like 1985's "The Toxic Avenger"). His Super-8 faux documentary short "Rent Boy" (1988), about a male prostitute in Picadilly Circus, earned him a scholarship to Columbia University's film program. While at Columbia, he wrote and directed the war comedy short "Three Believers" (1990). After returning to England, he made "My Little Eye" (1992) under the auspices of Channel 4's "Short and Curlies" which subsequently was shown at film festivals in New York and Chicago. Ross eventually met screenwriter Jeff Rawle who was working on his own biopic of Graham Young, the titular poisoner, and they decided to collaborate. The resulting film was screened at festivals to generally good notices but received only a limited theatrical release in the USA.

For his follow-up, Ross was tapped to helm the long-gestating "RKO 281" (HBO, 1999). Originally conceived as a feature film, this behind-the-scenes account of the filming of the 1941 classic "Citizen Kane" found a home on cable. Ross directed with a sure hand and elicited fine performances from a cast that included Liev Schreiber as Orson Welles, John Malkovich as Herman J. Mankiewicz, James Cromwell as William Randolph Hearst and Melanie Griffith as Marion Davies. "RKO 281" received critical acclaim and earned several Emmy nominations, including one for Ross' efforts.