Robin Claire Ross was born to Barbara and Walter “Buddy” Wilkinson in New York City on August 21, 1954. Her spiritual and physical beauty were recognized early in life, and by the first grade she appeared on two, New York-area children’s television shows, “Romper Room”, and “The Jewish Fourth R.” She attended Taft and Columbus High Schools in the Bronx, and went on to Hunter College.
After early jobs in the retail and service industry, she found a passion in acting, and enjoyed a successful career in commercial acting, as well as appearing in some films and theatre productions. After moving to Philadelphia in 1973, a highlight of her commercial acting career was her appearance in an often-featured Super Bowl commercial. She also appeared in many billboard and other advertisement venues throughout the Philadelphia and mid-Atlantic region. She made an appearance in the famous courtroom scene of the highly-acclaimed feature film Philadelphia, starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington; she appeared in Clint Eastwood’s In The Line of Fire as well. Later in her acting career, she would play the lead role as Anita Hill in an off-Broadway theatre production, to very positive reviews.
Robin’s strongest and enduring passions, however, were her faith, and her family. Her life experiences in New York and Philadelphia, and later in life in San Diego and the Los Angeles area, were consistently anchored to activities in church and spirituality. In San Diego, she provided great support to legendary civil rights leader Reverend Dr. George Walker Smith of Christ United Presbyterian Church, as they operated “The Catfish Club”, a Friday luncheon at the church which provided a venue for civic meetings and conversations on themes of social justice. She also served on the Board of the Center for Community Solutions, an organization dedicated to the prevention of community and domestic violence. After moving to Los Angeles in the year 2000, she later became engaged with St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Altadena, helping to lead the Altar Guild, and hosting a weekly “Centering Prayer” group for many years. She practiced the art of meditative and contemplative prayer in her daily life.
Robin loved simple pursuits: enjoying spiritual readings and the scripture; spending quality time with her daughter Savannah with horses or at equestrian events; a glass of wine or a cup of tea with one of her “sister friends” in conversation; sitting on Hawaii’s Ko Olina beach watching the waves come in; or just sitting on her backyard deck listening to the birds in Altadena.
She leaves behind a loving, close-knit family: her husband of 23 years Robert K. Ross; Julius, her son from her first marriage to George Carey; daughter Savannah, who is about to head off to college; stepson Drew and stepdaughter Lindsay, along with grandson Gabriel; her loving parents Barbara and “Buddy”; and her brothers “Chet” and Morgan, with whom she enjoyed strong and powerful bonds.
After a two-year battle with breast cancer, Robin Claire Ross passed away peacefully in her home on April 30, 2020. Her star and spirit will continue to shine for us all.