What is Marion Ross’s Net Worth?
Marion Ross is an American actress who has a net worth of $10 million. Marion Ross was best known for her role as Marion Cunningham on the ABC television sitcom, “Happy Days,” on which she played Marion Cunningham. She has also played recurring or guest-starring roles on such shows as “The Drew Carey Show”, “That ’70s Show”, “Gilmore Girls”, “Nurse Jackie”, and “Grey’s Anatomy”.
Ross was born on October 25, 1928 in Watertown, Minnesota. She was born to parents Gordon and Ellen Ross, who were originally from Saskatchewan, Canada. Throughout her childhood, her family moved several times before settling in Albert Lea, Minnesota. At the age of 13, Ross changed the spelling of her name from Marian to Marion, as she already aspired to be famous and thought such a spelling would look more attractive on a marquee. For her junior year of high school, she moved to Minneapolis to study drama at the MacPhail Center for Music while also attending Southwest High School. For the final year of high school, her family moved to San Diego, California and she enrolled at Point Loma High School. After finishing high school, she attended San Diego State University, from where she received a bachelor’s degree.
In 1953, Ross made her film debut in “Forever Female” starring Ginger Rogers and William Holden. In the years that followed, she worked steadily and appeared in films like “The Glenn Miller Story,” “Sabrina,” “Lust for Life,” “Some Came Running,” and “Operation Petticoat,” among others. She also appeared in a number of television series. She played an Irish maid on the series “Life with Father” for two years beginning in 1953. She also appeared on “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” and “The Donna Reed Show.”
Throughout the latter half of the 1950s, Ross appeared in “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show,” “The Millionaire,” “Steve Canyon,” “Perry Mason,” “The Outer Limits,” and “The Eleventh Hour,” among many others. In 1961, she landed the role of the main character’s daughter in “Mrs. G Goes to College” and also starred in the film “Rawhide.” Ross’s career slowed down a bit for much of the 1960s.
After appearing in a few films and television shows in the early 1970s, Ross landed what would become her most well-known role as Marion Cunningham in “Happy Days” on ABC. She remained on the show from 1974 until 1984 and became widely known throughout the United States and the world, given the massive success of the show. She received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her work on the show in both 1979 and 1984. Later, she reprised her role on the spin-off series, “Joanie Loves Chachi,” and “Family Guy.”
In 1978, Ross also began appearing in “The Love Boat.” She appeared as a variety of different characters on the show until 1986 when she became a series regular, portraying the character of Emily Haywood. A few years later, she starred in the short-lived but critically-acclaimed comedy-drama “Brooklyn Bridge.” The show was on air from 1991 until 1993 and won a Golden Globe Award and received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination during its first season.
In 1996, she starred as Rosie Dunlop in the film “The Evening Star,” a sequel to “Terms of Endearment.” Though the film itself received lukewarm reviews, Ross’s performance was praised. She was nominated for a 1997 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and also won the 1997 Lone Star Film and Television Award for Best Supporting Actress. Around this time, she also landed a recurring roles on “Touched by an Angel,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “That ’70s Show,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “Hollywood Squares.”
Ross also began working in voiceover work during the 1990s. She had voice roles in “King of the Hill,” SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Kung Fun Panda: Legends of Awesomeness,” “Handy Manny,” and “The Wild Thornberrys,” among others.
In 2007, Ross appeared in “Music Within,” a period drama film. She also appeared in ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” around the same time. In 2008, Ross she appeared in the film “Superhero Movie” and also landed a guest spot on “The New Adventures of Old Christine” in 2009. The following year, she guest-starred on “Nurse Jackie” and on “Grey’s Anatomy.” She also appeared in the television film “Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster.” In 2013, she appeared on “Major Crimes” and “The Middle” and then appeared on “Two and a Half Men” in 2014.
In 2018, Ross announced that she would be officially retiring from acting. She has since only made minor appearances in online projects.
Ross married actor Freeman Meskimen in 1951. The couple divorced in 1969 after having two children together, including son Jim Meskimen who also became an actor. They also had a daughter named Ellen who has worked as a writer and producer. In 1988, she married Paul Michael. The couple remained together until Michael’s death in 2011.
In 2011, Ross was involved in a lawsuit along with four of her former “Happy Days” co-stars. They sued CBS, alleging breach-of-contract for not having been paid merchandising revenue owed under their contracts. A judge ultimately rejected some of their more serious claims against CBS and the parties ultimately settled, with CBS agreeing to pay each party $65,000.
In 1980, Marion bought a property in Woodland Hills, California for $285,000. That’s the same as around $700,000 in today’s dollars. Over 10 years she spent $600,000 additional dollars building what she now calls Happy Days Farm. She also owns a home in the town of Cardiff by the Sea which is near San Diego.