Clarinda Ross grew up in Boone, North Carolina where both her parents were college professors at Appalachian State University.
Clarinda’s father, the late Dr. Carl A. Ross, Jr., was chairman of the Appalachian Studies Department at ASU and respected historian, and her mother, Charlotte, is a renowned storyteller of the Appalachian region. Through her parents, Miss Ross knows a vast number of accomplished southern writers.
Ms. Ross graduated from Appalachian State with a B.A. in theatre. Clarinda furthered her studies at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta and at the Conservatory program at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. She has worked at many major regional theatres including The Alley Theatre (Houston), and spent four years as a leading lady with the Atlanta Shakespeare Company. Her first feature film was Blue Sky with Tommy Lee Jones and Jessica Lange directed by the late great Tony Richardson. Other film credits include Fluke with Matthew Modine and Eric Stoltz, The Sky Is Falling and View From The Top with Gwyneth Paltrow. Her television appearances include: Judging Amy, E.R., Drew Carey, The Client, The District, In The Heat of The Night, I’ll Fly Away, and several movies of the week, most notably the Emmy award-winning Stolen Babies with Mary Tyler Moore.
Ms. Ross received an individual artist grant from the NEA at age 23 and developed her first one-woman play, From My Grandmother’s Grandmother Unto Me, based on her southern ancestors. Grandmother was a runaway hit at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, and represented the U.S.A. in two Cultural Olympiads; Lillehammer, Norway in 1994 and Atlanta in 1996. Clarinda also starred in the movie version of Grandmother, for PBS directed by John David Allen.
Her latest play, Spit Like a Big Girl deals with growing up southern, the death of her father and raising her mentally disabled daughter. Spit Like a Big Girl will premiere in 2009 at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, CA. Ms. Ross is on the National Council of Actors’ Equity Association. She has three children, Clara, Frank, and Gus and is married to the actor, Googy Gress. She and her family divide their time between North Carolina and Santa Monica, California.