Richard Ross, a longtime TV writer-director-producer and guitarist with the popular L.A. band Dick and Jane Family Orchestra, died of natural causes at home in Los Angeles on Nov. 24. He was 70.
Ross and his wife, Jane Cantillon, led the punk-meets-cabaret-meets-folk band Dick and Jane Family Orchestra, which played a wide array of gigs around Los Angeles and in other cities over many years, often donating their services to charitable events. The orchestra was the house band for a decade’s worth of Silver Lake’s annual National Night Out happenings and the Howl-O-Ween Doggie Costume Pageants.
The Los Angeles Times described their humor-inflected, eclectic sound as a “fast-moving, hit-and-run musical spree that’s quite unlike anything else in pop music.”
Ross was nominated for Emmy and DVDX awards as a TV and film producer, director and writer, and worked extensively as a director on “Unsolved Mysteries.”
Among his writing and producing credits were “Diabolical Women,” “Untold Stories of the ER,” “Alien Encounters,” “Crimes of the Century,” “Ancient Aliens,” “Unusual Suspects,” “Forecasting the End” and “Dinosaur Revolution.”
L.A. City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell remembered Ross in a speech before the council adjourned for the holidays, saying of the Dick and Jane Orchestra, “They were always happy to step in and volunteer not just their immense talent but also their passion for music and people. When they were performing, the audience was guaranteed to have a riveting experience that was wryly funny, moving, and just grand fun, with special guest artists often joining in.”
He is survived by his wife, Jane and his stepdaughter, Genevieve.