A Tony-winning actor recognized for his role as the Cowardly Lion in The Wiz, Ted Ross' career was ironically kick-started when, at age 18, he went on an amateur-night contest with a striking rendition of "Under the Rainbow." Born in Zanesville, OH, Ross' family moved to Dayton when he was seven years old. Working as an emcee shortly before he entered the Air Force in the 1950s, the emerging talent continued to develop his skills upon discharge with appearances in The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars & Motor Kings (1976) and the filmed version of The Wiz (1978). Gaining increasing exposure as Bitterman in Arthur (1981) as well as the sequel, Ross was also active in television with roles in The Jeffersons, The Cosby Show, and A Different World. Suffering a debilitating stroke in 1998, Ross resided in a nursing home before ultimately passing away in early September 2002. He was 68.