Stanley Ralph Ross

Writer / Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-and-a-half hour interview, Stanley Ralph Ross (1935-2000) talks in detail about writing for television shows, including Mr. Roberts, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Batman, The Monkees, Columbo, Wonder Woman, and All in the Family. He discusses winning an Emmy Award for writing an episode of All in the Family. Ross also speaks about the creation of The Electric Company. He recounts writing several made-for-television movies, such as Coffee, Tea, or Me, as well as appearing in the 1976 true crime drama about Charles Manson, Helter Skelter. Dan Pasternack conducted the interview on February 11, 1998 in Beverly Hills, CA.

"Never give up. That's the key. That's it. Just remember that if you get rejected, wait awhile. They'll get fired. They rotate the rascals."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Stanley Ralph Ross on being a creative consultant for Helter Skelter
Stanley Ralph Ross on having trouble with ABC Standards & Practices over a Batman script involving "Catwoman," then played by Eartha Kitt
Stanley Ralph Ross on the catchphrases of Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on his early experience with television, and on Milton Berle
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing the stage musical "Chaplin," starring Anthony Newley
Stanley Ralph Ross on Bob Arbogast
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his early interest in books; on his early experience with television, and on Milton Berle
On his early interest in music, and on working along side Sammy Davis, Jr.; on meeting Ernie Kovacs, and on what he wanted to do after he graduated from high school
On moving to Los Angeles in 1956 and working at the post office; on making a record with Bob Arbogast

Chapter 2

On working as a copywriter for various ad agencies in Los Angeles; on being a tour guide for Universal Studios; on writing promotional copy for the ABC series Combat!, and on the experience of being at ABC studios
On being hired to write for the comedy series Mister Roberts, and later for Batman; on starting a music publishing company; on becoming in-demand as a writer after being hired to write for Batman
On writing the Batman episode "The Lady and the Tiger,", which introduced "Catwoman"; on having trouble with ABC Standards & Practices over a Batman script involving "Catwoman"; on the campy tone of Batman
On the producers of Batman, including Bill Dozier; on Adam West as "Batman" and Burt Ward as "Robin" on Batman, and on the guest villains of the show; on the regular supporting cast of Batman

Chapter 3

On the catchphrases of Batman; on the process of creating an episode of Batman; on writing the "Catwoman" episodes of Batman, and on Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt as "Catwoman"
On actors making script suggestions; on multiple actors playing the same villain on Batman, and on Frank Sinatra wanting to play "The Joker"; on various characters he created for Batman, including "The Siren," played by Joan Collins
On the directors of Batman; on being on the set of Batman, and on the scheduling of the show; on Batman going from airing twice a week to once a week
On the Batman episode "Come Back, Shame"; on writing an episode of That Girl; on the popularity of Batman

Chapter 4

On the development of The Electric Company; on writing an episode of All in the Family for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award, and on working with Norman Lear; on writing Columbo, and on working with Peter Falk as "Columbo"
On writing for and appearing on Banacek; on writing for a The Mod Squad episode guest-starring Louis Gossett, Jr.; on writing for Love, American Style, and on juggling writing for several shows at once
On working on Bill Cosby's show Cos; on writing for That's My Mama, starring Clifton Davis; on writing the third pilot for Wonder Woman, starring Lynda Carter and Lyle Wagonner

Chapter 5

On deciding to leave shows after he writes the pilot; on developing Monster Squad and Challenge of the Sexes; on providing voiceover for Super Friends at the behest of Joseph Barbera
On the process of doing voiceover; on providing voiceover for Superman, Rambo, and Inspector Gadget; on being a creative consultant for Helter Skelter
On creating The Kallikaks; on having an issue with one of the actors and Standards & Practices on The Kallikaks

Chapter 6

On writing Three on a Date, directed by Bill Bixby; on writing Murder at the Mardi Gras, starring David Groh and Didi Conn; on writing the movie Coffee, Tea, or Me?
On writing Sky Heist and producing For the Love of It, directed by Hal Kanter; on writing the stage musical "Chaplin," starring Anthony Newley; on writing "The Motion Picture Guide"
On his then-current projects; on career highlights and regrets; on advice to aspiring writers; on the then-future of television

Chapter 7

On various personalities he's worked with throughout his career, including Milton Berle, Danny Thomas, and Sheldon Leonard
On various personalities he's worked with throughout his career, including Norman Lear and Della Reese

Chapter 8

On b-roll pictures from his career- in a recording studio at age 22; with Bob Arbogast; at the house where he grew up in Coney Island; with Joseph Barbera and William Hanna; with Brenda Vacarro; with Milton Berle; in a sound booth doing "Babe II"; at his daughter's wedding
Shows

All in the Family

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing an episode of All in the Family for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award, and on working with Norman Lear

Banacek

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing for and appearing on Banacek

Batman

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Stanley Ralph Ross on being hired to write for the comedy series Mister Roberts, and later for Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on becoming in-demand as a writer after being hired to write for Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing the Batman episode "The Lady and the Tiger," which introduced "Catwoman"
Stanley Ralph Ross on having trouble with ABC Standards & Practices over a Batman script involving "Catwoman," then played by Eartha Kitt
Stanley Ralph Ross on the campy tone of Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on the producers of Batman, including Bill Dozier
Stanley Ralph Ross on Adam West as "Batman" and Burt Ward as "Robin" on Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on the guest villains on Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on the regular supporting cast of Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on the catchphrases of Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on the process of creating an episode of Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing the "Catwoman" episodes of Batman, and on Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt as "Catwoman"
Stanley Ralph Ross on multiple actors playing the same villain on Batman, and on Frank Sinatra wanting to play "The Joker"
Stanley Ralph Ross on various characters he created for Batman, including "The Siren," played by Joan Collins
Stanley Ralph Ross on the directors of Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on being on the set of Batman, and on the scheduling of the show
Stanley Ralph Ross on Batman going from airing twice a week to once a week
Stanley Ralph Ross on the Batman episode "Come Back, Shame"
Stanley Ralph Ross on the popularity of Batman

Celebrity Challenge of the Sexes

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Stanley Ralph Ross on developing Celebrity Challenge of the Sexes

Coffee, Tea, or Me?

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing the movie Coffee, Tea, or Me?

Columbo

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing Columbo, and on working with Peter Falk as "Columbo"

Combat!

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing promotional copy for the ABC series Combat!, and on the experience of being at ABC studios

Cos

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Stanley Ralph Ross on working on Bill Cosby's show Cos

Electric Company, The

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Stanley Ralph Ross on the development of The Electric Company

For the Love of It

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Stanley Ralph Ross on looping Tom Bosley's voice for For the Love of It

Helter Skelter

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Stanley Ralph Ross on being a creative consultant for and appearing in Helter Skelter

Inspector Gadget

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Stanley Ralph Ross on providing voiceover for Superman, Rambo, and Inspector Gadget

Kallikaks, The

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Stanley Ralph Ross on creating The Kallikaks
Stanley Ralph Ross on having an issue with one of the actors and Standards & Practices on The Kallikaks

Love, American Style

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing for Love, American Style, and on juggling writing for several shows at once

Mod Squad, The

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing for a The Mod Squad episode guest-starring Louis Gossett, Jr.

Monster Squad

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Stanley Ralph Ross on developing Monster Squad

Murder at the Mardi Gras

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing Murder at the Mardi Gras, starring David Groh and Didi Conn

Sky Heist

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing Sky Heist and producing For the Love of It, directed by Hal Kanter

Super Friends

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Stanley Ralph Ross on providing voiceover for Super Friends at the behest of Joe Barbera

That Girl

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing an episode of That Girl

That's My Mama

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing for That's My Mama, starring Clifton Davis

Three on a Date

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing Three on a Date, directed by Bill Bixby

Wonder Woman

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing the third pilot for Wonder Woman, starring Lynda Carter and Lyle Wagonner
Topics

Advice

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Stanley Ralph Ross on advice to aspiring writers

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Stanley Ralph Ross on having trouble with ABC Standards & Practices over a Batman script involving "Catwoman," then played by Eartha Kitt
Stanley Ralph Ross on having an issue with one of the actors and Standards & Practices on The Kallikaks

Characters & Catchphrases

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Stanley Ralph Ross on Adam West as "Batman" and Burt Ward as "Robin" on Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing the Batman episode "The Lady and the Tiger," which introduced "Catwoman"
Stanley Ralph Ross on the catch phrases of Batman

Emmy Awards

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing an episode of All in the Family for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award, and on working with Norman Lear

First Big Break

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Stanley Ralph Ross on becoming in-demand as a writer after being hired to write for Batman

Pivotal Career Moments

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Stanley Ralph Ross on becoming in-demand as a writer after being hired to write for Batman

Pop Culture

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Stanley Ralph Ross on Adam West as "Batman" and Burt Ward as "Robin" on Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing the Batman episode "The Lady and the Tiger," which introduced "Catwoman"
Stanley Ralph Ross on the catch phrases of Batman

Television Industry

View Topic
Stanley Ralph Ross on having trouble with ABC Standards & Practices over a Batman script involving "Catwoman," then played by Eartha Kitt
Stanley Ralph Ross on having an issue with one of the actors and Standards & Practices on The Kallikaks
Stanley Ralph Ross on advice to aspiring writers
Stanley Ralph Ross on the then-future of television
Professions

Actor

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Stanley Ralph Ross on actors making script suggestions

Performers

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Stanley Ralph Ross on actors making script suggestions
Stanley Ralph Ross on the process of doing voiceover

Voiceover

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Stanley Ralph Ross on the process of doing voiceover

Writers

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Stanley Ralph Ross on his career as a freelance writer
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing pilots
Stanley Ralph Ross on deciding to leave shows after he writes the pilot
Stanley Ralph Ross on advice to aspiring writers
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing the third pilot for Wonder Woman

Children's Programming

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Stanley Ralph Ross on the development of The Electric Company
Stanley Ralph Ross on providing voiceover for Super Friends
Stanley Ralph Ross on providing voiceover for Superman, Rambo, and Inspector Gadget

Comedy Series

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing for Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing for Batman
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing an episode of That Girl
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing an episode of All in the Family for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing for Love, American Style
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing for Cos
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing for That's My Mama
Stanley Ralph Ross on developing Monster Squad

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing Columbo
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing for and appearing on Banacek
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing for a The Mod Squad episode guest-starring Louis Gossett, Jr.

Game Shows

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Stanley Ralph Ross on developing Challenge of the Sexes

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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Stanley Ralph Ross on being a creative consultant for and appearing in Helter Skelter
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing Three on a Date, directed by Bill Bixby
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing Murder at the Mardi Gras, starring David Groh and Didi Conn
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing Sky Heist and producing For the Love of It, directed by Hal Kanter
People

Danny Arnold

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Stanley Ralph Ross on Danny Arnold

William Asher

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing songs for Allan Sherman, and on writing the feature "Beach Party," directed by William Asher

Joseph Barbera

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Stanley Ralph Ross on providing voiceover for Super Friends at the behest of Joseph Barbera

Milton Berle

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Stanley Ralph Ross on his friendship with Milton Berle
Stanley Ralph Ross on working with Milton Berle

Bill Bixby

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing Three on a Date, directed by Bill Bixby

Lynda Carter

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing the third pilot for Wonder Woman, starring Lynda Carter and Lyle Wagonner

Joan Collins

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Stanley Ralph Ross on various characters he created for Batman, including "The Siren" played by Joan Collins

Bill Cosby

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Stanley Ralph Ross on working on Bill Cosby's show Cos
Stanley Ralph Ross on Bill Cosby

Bob Cummings

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Stanley Ralph Ross on Bob Cummings

Bill Dozier

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Stanley Ralph Ross on the producers of Batman, including Bill Dozier

Peter Falk

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing Columbo, and on working with Peter Falk as "Columbo"

Louis Gossett, Jr.

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing for a The Mod Squad episode guest-starring Louis Gossett, Jr.

Hal Kanter

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing Sky Heist and producing For the Love of It, directed by Hal Kanter

Eartha Kitt

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Stanley Ralph Ross on having trouble with ABC Standards & Practices over a Batman script involving "Catwoman," then played by Eartha Kitt
Stanley Ralph Ross on writing the "Catwoman" episodes of Batman and on Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt as "Catwoman"

James Komack

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Stanley Ralph Ross on James Komack

Ernie Kovacs

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Stanley Ralph Ross on meeting Ernie Kovacs, and on what he wanted to do after he graduated high school

Norman Lear

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing an episode of All in the Family for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award, and on working with Norman Lear
Stanley Ralph Ross on Norman Lear

Sheldon Leonard

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Stanley Ralph Ross on Sheldon Leonard

Julie Newmar

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing the "Catwoman" episodes of Batman, and on Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt as "Catwoman"

Don Nicholl

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Stanley Ralph Ross on Don Nicholl

Carroll O'Connor

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Stanley Ralph Ross on Carroll O'Connor

Della Reese

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Stanley Ralph Ross on Della Reese

Debbie Reynolds

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Stanley Ralph Ross on Debbie Reynolds

Allan Sherman

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Stanley Ralph Ross on writing songs for Allan Sherman, and on writing the feature "Beach Party," directed by William Asher

Frank Sinatra

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Stanley Ralph Ross on multiple actors playing the same villain on Batman, and on Frank Sinatra wanting to play "The Joker"

Danny Thomas

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Stanley Ralph Ross on Danny Thomas

Marlo Thomas

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Stanley Ralph Ross on Marlo Thomas

Jonathan Winters

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Stanley Ralph Ross on Jonathan Winters

Jane Wyman

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Stanley Ralph Ross on Jane Wyman

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