Historical records matching Jean Ross
About Jean Ross
Jean Iris Ross (1911-1973) was a British actress and writer. She was the model for the Sally Bowles character in the Berlin stories and novels of Christopher Isherwood.
Jean Ross was working as a nightclub singer in Weimar Germany in 1931 when she shared lodgings with Isherwood, becoming immortalised as the "divinely decadent" Sally Bowles in Isherwood's 1939 memoir Goodbye to Berlin. Sally Bowles has been played by Julie Harris in I Am a Camera, the 1951 adaptation of Goodbye to Berlin, and the 1955 film adaptation of the same name, Jill Haworth in the original 1966 Broadway production of Cabaret, Judi Dench in the original 1968 West End stage version of Cabaret and Liza Minnelli in Bob Fosse's 1972 film adaptation of the musical.
Ross was a lifelong Communist – and possibly, it has been suggested, an undercover agent for the Comintern, the international wing of Soviet Communism. According to Ross's daughter, Sarah Caudwell, she never liked her identification with Bowles, thinking that it was more reflective of Isherwood's flamboyant male friends. In addition to acting, Ross also wrote under the pseudonym "Peter Porcupine". She was married to Claud Cockburn, a left-wing journalist. They were divorced before 1940. Sarah Caudwell Cockburn was the only child of this marriage.
She died in Richmond, Surrey, in 1973, aged 62.
Portrayals in fiction
Imogen Poots played Ross in the 2011 television film Christopher and His Kind.