Vivian Ridge was a talented American artist who gained prominence for being the first wife of the legendary painter, Bob Ross. Born Robert Norman Ross, he was an art instructor, television host, and an influential figure in the world of painting. Vivian’s life was thrust into the spotlight due to her marriage to Bob, who hosted the popular show “The Joy of Painting.”
The couple’s relationship began when they were both teenagers, and eventually led to marriage that lasted over a decade. Together, they had a son named Robert Stephen “Steve” Ross, who followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a painter as well. However, Vivian and Bob’s union came to an end in 1977, after allegations of infidelity surfaced.
Despite the turmoil in her personal life, Vivian Ridge continued to pursue her own artistic career. While much of her fame stemmed from her connection to Bob Ross, her contributions to the art world should not go unrecognized. Through this article, we aim to shed more light on the life and works of Vivian Ridge, granting her the recognition she deserves as both an artist and individual.
Life and Career of Vivian Ridge
Childhood and Early Life
Vivian Ridge was born in 1964 and grew up in the United States. Although she did not earn widespread recognition for her career in the art world, she was a talented painter in her own right. Inspired by the American art scene during her formative years, Vivian developed a deep passion for painting and honed her skills as she grew older.
Road to Success
In 1965, Vivian married the late legendary American painter, art instructor, and television host, Bob Ross. Their union not only brought them together as life partners but also as creative collaborators. Together, they shared a faithful and harmonious marriage that lasted until their divorce in 1977.
Vivian worked as an art teacher and was instrumental in helping Bob Ross further his career as a professional painter. Throughout their partnership, they created countless pieces of art that showcased their expertise, including some of the iconic 30,000 paintings that Bob Ross completed during his lifetime. Their passion for painting led them to create “The Magic of Oil Painting,” a series that showcased their artistic abilities.
While living in Orlando, Florida, they continued to develop their craft and inspire others to pursue their artistic dreams. Eventually, they moved to Daytona Beach, Florida, where Vivian’s contribution to Bob’s career as an art instructor and American painter became even more pronounced.
Sadly, Vivian Ridge passed away in 1977, leaving a profound impact on the lives and careers of those she influenced, including her ex-husband, Bob Ross. But her dedication and love for art continue to inspire generations of artists, both locally and globally.
Vivian Ridge was born on July 24, 1946, in Wake Forest, North Carolina, USA. She held a Caucasian-white ethnical background. Due to her private life staying away from public attention, information on her upbringing, siblings, and family is limited. She gained fame after marrying the renowned American painter Bob Ross.
Vivian Ridge married Bob Ross in 1965. They remained together for 12 years until their divorce in 1977. The marriage produced a son, Robert Stephen “Steve” Ross, who followed in his father’s artistic footsteps and became a painter. Steve even appeared on Bob Ross’s popular television show, “The Joy of Painting.”. Vivian and Bob’s marriage ended when Vivian reportedly accused him of infidelity in 1977, and the couple separated permanently after that.
It is known that Bob Ross had three wives in total. After his marriage to Vivian Ridge, he was married to Jane Ross, who passed away in 1992. Finally, he was married to Lynda Brown, from 1995 until his death in 1995.
Sadly, Vivian Ridge passed away in the late 1980s, many years after her divorce from Bob Ross. Some sources claim that she died in 2018 after losing a long battle with cancer. The specific details surrounding her final days are not well-documented, reflecting her preference for privacy throughout her life.
Association with Famous Personalities
Vivian Ridge was prominently known for her connection to the legendary painter, Bob Ross. She was his first wife, and they were married from 1965 to 1977. Bob Ross gained fame as the host of the popular TV show, The Joy of Painting, where he would teach viewers how to create stunning landscapes using his unique and calming style of painting. During their time together, Vivian likely had the opportunity to learn from and be inspired by her then-husband’s artistic talents.
Another notable personality in Vivian Ridge’s life is Lynda Brown, who became Bob Ross’s second wife after his divorce from Vivian in 1977. Brown is also an artist, and her relationship with Ross likely influenced both of their styles and careers in the art world. Although Vivian’s direct interaction with Lynda Brown is limited, the connection between the two through Bob Ross is noteworthy.
Robert Stephen Ross
Robert Stephen Ross is Vivian Ridge and Bob Ross’s only child. As the son of two talented artists, he undoubtedly inherited their creative abilities, which led to his involvement in his father’s TV show, The Joy of Painting. With both of his parents as role models, it is safe to assume that Robert Stephen Ross grew up surrounded by artistic inspiration and learned valuable lessons from Vivian and Bob.
Associates in Art World
In addition to her personal connections with famous figures, Vivian Ridge also encountered various notable artists and personalities through her career in the art world. As an artist herself, art class instructors and fellow students would have played a significant role in shaping her style, technique, and outlook on art. Similarly, her association with Bob Ross likely introduced her to other illustrious contemporaries, such as Bill Alexander—a world-renowned painter and art teacher who mentored Bob Ross during his time in the US Air Force and taught him the famous wet-on-wet painting technique used on his show.
Throughout her artistic journey, Vivian Ridge established meaningful connections with noteworthy individuals such as Bob Ross, Lynda Brown, and Robert Stephen Ross, enhancing her artistic career and knowledge. Her interactions with these personalities, along with her involvement in the art world, showcase her continuous contribution to the fascinating realm of art.
Vivian’s Ridge Works and Impact
Vivian Ridge was a highly-acclaimed American artist and a professional painter. She was known for her unique artistic approach, which often featured the “wet-on-wet” painting technique. This method allowed her to blend colors directly on the canvas, creating a more fluid and vivid art piece. Vivian’s art was impactful, showing her skill and dedication to her craft. Throughout her career, she managed to produce an impressive collection of over 30,000 paintings, showcasing her talent and versatility in the art world.
In addition to being a successful artist, Vivian Ridge also gained recognition as a television host and presenter. She appeared on several notable television shows, including “The Joan Rivers Show” and “The Phil Donahue Show.” These appearances further helped cement her status in the entertainment industry, showcasing her charisma and knowledge about art. As a television presenter, Vivian Ridge contributed to the spread of appreciation for the arts, inspiring countless viewers to explore and nurture their artistic abilities.
Controversies and Scandals
During Vivian Ridge’s relationship with Bob Ross, there were minimal public scandals and controversies involving their marriage. As an ordinary person who gained attention once she married Bob Ross, not much is available about her personal life. However, it is essential to note that their marriage came to an end with a divorce.
In contrast to Vivian Ridge’s life, her ex-husband, Bob Ross, faced controversies and scandals that emerged especially after his death. A widely documented scandal revolved around the control of Bob’s name and likeness posthumously. His once business partners, Walter and Annette Kowalski, were at the center of this controversy, which has been the primary focus in media portrayals, including the Netflix documentary series.
It is essential to clarify that the available information on Vivian Ridge does not mention scandals, such as unfaithfulness, associated with her. While controversies and scandals have plagued her renowned ex-husband, Vivian’s life as an ordinary individual before and after her relationship with Bob Ross seemingly remains silently content.
Legacy and Net Worth
Vivian Ridge, a talented American artist, gained recognition through her marriage to the legendary painter Bob Ross. She amassed her own accomplishments in the field of painting and worked as an art teacher and television presenter. Though she participated in multiple renowned television shows, including The Joan Rivers Show and The Phil Donahue Show, her net worth remains undisclosed.
Bob Ross, Vivian Ridge’s ex-husband, became a household name with his iconic TV show “The Joy of Painting,” which taught millions of people the art of painting. Despite their divorce, Vivian’s association with Ross contributed to her prominence in the art world.
While Vivian’s net worth might be unknown, Bob Ross had an impressive net worth, estimated to be around $10 million at the time of his death. His successful career as a painter, television host, and art instructor allowed him to accumulate this substantial wealth.
Throughout her career, Vivian Ridge maintained a remarkable presence in the art community. Her involvement with an iconic figure like Bob Ross amplified her impact in the field. Even though her exact net worth remains undisclosed, her legacy as an American artist, TV presenter, and art teacher cements her importance within the art world.
Vivian’s Battle with Illness
Vivian Ridge, the first wife of the late American legendary painter Bob Ross, has had a seemingly tumultuous journey with her health throughout her life. While specific details surrounding her health are scarce, it is believed that Vivian faced a prolonged battle with an unspecified form of cancer.
Not much is known regarding Vivian’s medical history. However, some sources claim that she lost her life to a form of lymphoma, whereas others mention a general cancer diagnosis. Despite these inconsistencies, it is evident that her struggle with illness significantly impacted her life.
Before her alleged battle with cancer, Vivian worked as a medical records technician. Her role within the medical field, combined with her own personal experience with illness, may have provided her with unique insights into the challenges faced by patients and the broader healthcare system.
It is important to note that information about Vivian’s health, battle with cancer, and death remains limited and unconfirmed. Although many people remain curious about the life and challenges faced by the former wife of a beloved artist, privacy and respect for her memory should be maintained.