British-American actress and jazz singer Annie Ross who starred in The Wicker Man and Superman III dies aged 89
- The performer passed away on Tuesday at her home in New York at the age of 89
- She died from emphysema and heart disease, said her manager Jim Coleman
- Performer became a jazz singer after touring Europe and turned talents to acting
British-American actress and Jazz singer Annie Ross who starred in The Wicker Man and Superman III has died aged 89.
The performer passed away at her home in Manhattan, New York, on Tuesday as a result of emphysema and heart disease, according to her manager Jim Coleman.
Born in Surrey in 1930, Annie’s parents John and Mary Short took her to Los Angeles when she was just aged four.
Annie Ross, above, passed away at her home in Manhattan, New York on Tuesday as a result of emphysema and heart disease, according to her manager Jim Coleman
She rose to fame after winning a radio talent show and a film contract, later playing Judy Garland’s sister in the musical 1943 comedy Presenting Lily Mars.
Annie toured Europe as a jazz singer and wrote the vocalese song Twisted at the age of 22, before recording seven albums with singer-songwriter Dave Lambert and jazz lyricist Jon Hendricks.
In 1984 she opened her own nightclub in London, Annie’s Room, alongside her husband, actor Sean Lynch.
She later launched her acting career, starring in numerous films including Alfie Darling, Straight On till Morning, Funny Money and Superman III.
Singer Barb Jungr posted on Twitter: ‘RIP the late, great Annie Ross, whom I was lucky enough to be befriended by over my stays & performances in NYC.
‘They broke the mould. It’s raining in her honour in Scotland, I hope the Great Bar In The Sky is ready for a great woman with soul and swing.’
Gill Parry, the producer of No One But Me – a 2012 documentary film about Annie – also paid tribute to the ‘extraordinary woman’.
She told the BBC: ‘She lived for jazz, loved music and musicians, was massively talented, funny, classy, sharp, glamorous, cool.
‘Annie was a cultural trailblazer, but above everything she was a moving and important singer and lyricist who inhabited her songs and came alive on stage.
‘Annie lived a jazz life, and she inspired great friendship and devotion along the way.’