Vivian Ridge

Vivian Ridge Age, Bio, Husband, Children, Death & More

Vivian Ridge, an American artist, shared a colorful journey with her famous husband, Bob Ross. Born in 1964, she fell in love with painting early on, even earning an Art History degree from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where fate introduced her to Bob.

Their marriage in 1965 launched a partnership filled with creativity and shared adventures. Even though Vivian doesn’t receive as much attention as Bob, she nevertheless has a significant impact on the art world and Bob’s creative journey.

Let’s examine Vivian’s biography in more detail, from her early years and schooling to her work as a painter and teacher. We will also discuss her union with Bob Ross, their creative partnerships, and the influence they had on one another’s professional lives.

Their trip wasn’t without difficulties, though. We’ll touch on their divorce, Vivian’s life post-separation, and the questions surrounding her passing. Ultimately, we’ll honor Vivian’s enduring legacy, celebrating her contributions to the world of art.

Profile Summary

Full NameVivian Ridge
BirthdateJuly 2, 1946
BirthplaceNorth Carolina
EducationDegree in Art History from Wake Forest University
OccupationPainter and Teacher
SpouseBob Ross (m. 1965-1977)
ChildrenRobert Stephen “Steve” Ross
Cause of DeathUnknown (possibly cancer)
Notable LocationsNew Smyrna Beach, Florida; Orlando, Florida
Career After DivorceReal estate agent

Vivian Ridge Biography

Vivian Ridge Biography

Born in Wake Forest, North Carolina, on July 2, 1946, Vivian Ridge was a born girl. Her path changed significantly in 1972 when she married Bob Ross. With the beloved PBS series “The Joy of Painting,” they brought it to life and enthralled viewers from 1978 until 1994. However, on May 3, 2018, Vivian, who was 79 years old, lost her fight with sickness.

Art had a pull on Vivian, who was 12 years old when she picked up a brush for the first time. Equipped with a Wake Forest University degree in art history, she met Bob Ross, which paved the way for their joint endeavor. Their creation, “The Joy of Painting,” immediately became well-known and had a lasting impression on television history. Vivian won a particular place in the hearts of spectators with her kind disposition and captivating artwork, which frequently featured tranquil nature settings.

Early Life and Education

The narrative of Vivian Ridge starts with a magical and creative childhood. Her childhood in New York was the source of her early interest in the arts. When she was twelve years old, she developed a deep love for painting and started using every brushstroke as a means of self-expression.

Vivian’s creative endeavors deepened during her adolescent years as she experimented with various painting media and methods. Each picture she created offered the audience a glimpse into her soul by expressing her emotions and life experiences.

She enrolled at Wake Forest University in North Carolina to pursue an art history degree since she was passionate about art. She met Bob Ross there, a fellow painter who shared her passion for the medium. Their immediate chemistry laid the foundation for a relationship that would have a significant impact on both of their lives.

How Did They Meet?

Bob Ross and Vivian Ridge’s paths intertwined back in 1961 at WQED-TV in Pittsburgh. Vivian, leading the production team, crossed professional paths with Bob, who was a creative artist on staff. Their connection deepened, leading to marriage in 1967, followed by a move to New York City shortly after.

While Bob initially made his mark as a successful commercial illustrator, his true passion for painting blossomed in the early 1980s, transitioning into a full-time artist. His infectious, folk art style and numerous PBS specials propelled him to fame. Throughout his journey, Vivian stood steadfast by his side, offering unwavering support. Occasionally, she even joined him on broadcasts, contributing her own sketches or paintings.

After retiring to Pennsylvania in 1997, the Rosses continued to share their love for art through occasional public appearances. Their bond endured until Bob’s passing in 2006 at the age of 81, leaving behind a legacy cherished by many.

The Partnership’s Beginning

The Partnership's Beginning

Over four decades have flown by since Bob Ross and Vivian Ridge first crossed paths. Despite being fully grown adults, destiny had its own plan in store for them. Bob, with his talent for capturing nature’s beauty on canvas, and Vivian, a skilled musician relishing performances with her bandmates, came from contrasting worlds.

Yet, from their initial encounter, a spark ignited, leading to a whirlwind romance. It wasn’t long before they realized they were meant to journey through life together. In 1974, they exchanged vows and soon welcomed three children – Jennifer, Christopher, and Sarah – all inheritors of their parents’ artistic and musical passions.

Years have passed, yet their partnership’s fundamentals have not altered. Bob’s wife Vivian still possesses the same attributes that first drew him to her: a beautiful spirit, a deep love of music, and a zeal for life. Their unbreakable relationship is proof of the ability of love and common interests to create a wonderful life together.

Marriage to Bob Ross

The story of Vivian Ridge and Bob Ross seems to be knitted together by fate, with fortuitous encounters and common goals. Their shared passion for art brought them together at Wake Forest University, where their adventure started and which laid the groundwork for an extraordinary marriage.

Amid the warmth of family and friends in the summer of 1965, Vivian and Bob exchanged vows, promising to stick by one other through good times and bad. They set out on a trip lighted by love, laughter, and innumerable treasured moments, hearts full of promises. Together, they overcame life’s obstacles and discovered solace and resilience in the support of their unwavering friendship.

When their son, Robert Stephen Ross, also known as Steve, was born in the spring of 1966, their happiness multiplied. His presence added to the warmth and pleasure in their house as they delighted in the blessings of motherhood and treasured every time they had with their little bundle of joy.

As a couple, Vivian and Bob had a close bond based on affection, respect, and trust. They stood together through all of life’s highs and lows, taking solace in one another’s arms and appreciating the small joys of friendship. They delighted in one other’s company, appreciating the beauty of life together, whether they were engrossed in the studio’s brushstrokes or discovering the beauties of the natural world.


Bob and Ridge welcomed their son, Robert Stephen Ross, into the world on August 1, 1966. Following in his father’s footsteps, Robert became a certified painting instructor, specializing in the wet-on-wet technique, a skill passed down from one artistic generation to the next.

Career and Personal Life

Vivian painted with unflinching concentration during her marriage to Bob Ross, honing her skill and developing her creative flare. As a painter and educator, she discovered joy in imparting her knowledge and skills and encouraging others to follow their artistic passions. Her canvases brimmed with vitality, each brushstroke a reflection of the depths and boundless creativity of her spirit.

But Vivian’s influence stretched beyond her own artistry. She was essential to Bob Ross’s development into a well-known painter and television personality. Her unwavering encouragement and faith in his ability gave him more self-assurance and helped him reach the highest levels of achievement. Together, they set out on a revolutionary voyage that changed the art world and left a priceless legacy that is loved by millions.

Behind the scenes, however, Vivian faced her own battles. The pressures of fame and the demands of their careers strained their marriage, testing their bond in ways they never anticipated. They struggled with difficult choices and periods of uncertainty in the middle of the mayhem. But despite all of life’s storms, their unwavering dedication to one another served as a guiding light.

Divorce and Life After

Divorce and Life After

In 1977, after twelve years together, Vivian and Bob made the tough call to end their marriage. Their decision was a tangle of personal complexities, leading them down separate paths. Even while saying goodbye was obviously difficult, it turned out to be an essential step in achieving personal contentment and tranquility.

Vivian found comfort on the quiet beaches of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, following her divorce. She was able to recuperate and find herself there, in the soothing embrace of the water. In the middle of the bustle of life, the waves’ soothing murmur became her haven, providing solace and clarity.

Eager to carve out a fresh start, Vivian ventured into real estate, embracing a new career with gusto. She became a successful realtor in the lively community very quickly because of her keen attention to detail and sincere desire to help. She gained the trust of her customers by being kind and committed, helping them navigate the complex process of purchasing and selling real estate. Vivian treated every transaction with professionalism and honesty, whether she was assisting first-time homebuyers in finding their ideal residence or downsizing seniors in making the move to a quaint coastal refuge.

As time went on, Vivian became a beloved figure in New Smyrna Beach, actively participating in local events and initiatives. Whether it was lending her support to art festivals or championing charitable causes, she used her influence to spread positivity and make a difference. Despite the hurdles she faced, Vivian tackled each day with resilience, embracing life’s challenges with unwavering optimism and grace.

Who Is Jane Lee Zanardelli?

Following his separation from Vivian, Bob discovered love anew with Jane Lee Zanardelli in 1977. Jane, initially one of his students with a passion for oil painting, soon became not only his spouse but also his indispensable partner in managing his burgeoning art enterprise.

Sadly, Jane’s cancer diagnosis and eventual death from the disease in 1992 put an end to their happy ending. Bob took a break from “The Joy of Painting” when she passed away, deeply affected by the loss of his cherished wife and confidante in business.

Who Is Lynda Brown Ross?

Amidst his health battles, Bob found love anew with Lynda Brown, a nurse who crossed his path during his illness. Their union marked the final chapter of Bob’s love story.

Though their time together was brief, their bond remained unyielding until the very end. Bob’s battle with lymphoma sadly ended in July 1995, but Lynda stood by his side, offering love and support throughout their journey together.

Legacy and Contributions

Legacy and Contributions

Though not as prominent as her ex-husband, Vivian Ridge has had a significant effect on the art world. As a painter and instructor, she kindled the creative spark in innumerable individuals, fostering nascent abilities with her guidance and support. Her vivid canvases and innovative techniques continue to mesmerize audiences globally, a lasting tribute to her enduring influence.

Vivian’s brushstrokes are windows into her soul, filled with unfiltered passion and thoughtfully chosen colors that evoke awe and reflection. Her artwork invites people inside her world, reflecting her deepest thoughts and feelings, whether it be peaceful landscapes or abstract compositions. Though she may have departed, her art remains a testament to the intricate beauty of human existence.

But Robert Stephen “Steve” Ross, Vivian’s son, is her most treasured heir. Steve, encouraged by his mother’s strong faith and his father’s guidance, followed in his parents’ footsteps and started his own artistic adventure. He’s made a name for himself in the art world, skillfully and fervently carrying on the family legacy with a combination of mother and father tutelage.

Is Vivian Ridge Still Alive?

Following her split from Bob, Vivian chose to live separately with her son. Her father raised her kid when she tragically died a few years after the divorce. The circumstances surrounding her death are still unknown.

Vivian Ridge and Bob Ross parted ways after more than a decade of marriage. It’s rumored that extramarital affairs on Bob’s part contributed to their separation. Though both have passed on, their legacy lives through their son, Steve Ross, who has carved out a successful path as a painter.

At Last

Vivian Ridge’s life was a colorful journey filled with passion and resilience, from her early days as an aspiring artist to her partnership with Bob Ross. Despite facing personal struggles and the challenges of fame, her love for painting and teaching never wavered. Through her son, Steve Ross, her artistic legacy lives on, a reminder of her lasting impact on the art world. While the details of her passing remain a mystery, Vivian’s vibrant spirit and artistic soul continue to inspire others. Her story reminds us of the beauty found in creativity and the enduring power of passion, ensuring that she will be remembered fondly for years to come.

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