Katharine Juliet Ross rose to prominence with her role in “The Graduate,” alongside Dustin Hoffman. Her performance garnered her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress and a Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year.

“The Graduate” enjoyed significant success, grossing $104.9 million in the United States and Canada, making it the highest-grossing film of 1967. The ending of the film remains iconic, with Benjamin (played by Hoffman) rescuing Elaine (portrayed by Ross) from her wedding, leading to an unexpected conclusion as they sit on a city bus with enigmatic expressions.

Reflecting on the scene that propelled her to stardom, Ross shared, “You’re always told you just keep going in a scene until the director says ‘cut.’ Well, Mike didn’t say it for the longest time. We ran out of dialogue, but the camera kept rolling. What do I think? I think Elaine got off at the next stop.”

“Dustin Hoffman was this New York stage actor. He looked like he had rolled out from below a rock, he was so pale. He just desired to get back to some enjoy off-Broadway he was doing. Although we finished up having to know and like just about every other, what I imagined that first day was, ‘Oh my God — this guy is dressed all in black, and he is white as a sheet,'” Ross recalled in an interview with the Houston Chronicle.

“You know Dustin’s just one-time roommate Gene Hackman was solid as my father. I never know just what the offer was, but he bowed out.”

Ross made her professional acting debut in 1962 with a TV role in “Sam Benedict” and her film debut alongside James Stewart in “Shenandoah.”

At the beginning of her illustrious and successful career, Ross appeared in several films, including “Hellfighters,” “Fools,” “The Final Countdown,” “A Climate for Killing,” and many more. However, being an actor in the ’60s wasn’t easy.

“I remember doing a screen test for the only film that Samuel Goldwyn Jr. ever directed: ‘The Young Lovers.’ It was to star Peter Fonda, but he was not available to do the screen test with me, so they brought in Chad Everett. He didn’t know that the role was cast, and he was putting everything he had into the screen test.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth. I went through a series of sessions with a hairdresser to get my look the way Sam wanted it. When they were done, they had hacked off all of my hair. And they wound up casting someone else,” she once shared with Variety. “I’ll tell you what was great about it,” she continued.

“It was a time when the old studio system was in its dying throes, and they were just starting to try new methods, and the little $1 million budget films were being seen as the way to go. And that did turn out to be the progenitor of a great new era that eventually became the indie film movement.”