- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 11, 2001

NEW YORK — Film director Herbert Ross, responsible for such hits as "Funny Girl" and Woody Allen's "Play it Again Sam," has died here at the age of 74.
Lenox Hill Hospital spokeswoman Zaida Lopez confirmed that Mr. Ross died in the hospital Tuesday after a long illness. No details were immediately available.
Mr. Ross, born May 13, 1927, in Brooklyn, N.Y., began a long and illustrious career as a dancer and choreographer, working on Broadway in the early 1950s.
He choreographed his first film, "Carmen Jones," an adaptation of Bizet's opus "Carmen" starring black actress Dorothy Dandridge, in 1954.
Mr. Ross was married to prima ballerina Nora Kaye until her 1987 death of cancer. He enjoyed a long collaboration with playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon, directing five of his feature films, including 1981's "I Ought to Be in Pictures," starring the late Walter Matthau.
Mr. Ross' fascination with dance was evident in many of his films, from 1975's "Funny Lady," starring Barbra Streisand, to the acclaimed study of the ballet world of "The Turning Point" in 1977.
Perhaps his biggest dance-related success was "Footloose" in 1974, starring John Lithgow and Kevin Bacon.
Mr. Ross, who also married and divorced Lee Radziwill, the sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, worked with some of Hollywood's biggest names, including Julia Roberts ("Steel Magnolias," 1989), Drew Barrymore ("Boys on the Side," 1995) and Steve Martin ("My Blue Heaven," 1990).
Mr. Ross' films collectively earned 44 Academy Award nominations, including one for best director for "The Turning Point."

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