William Edward Daniel Ross (actor, writer, soldier, entrepreneur, and playwright) was born in Saint John 16 November 1912. He is the son of the late William Edward and Laura (née Brooks) Ross.
Daniel Ross attended high school at Saint John High. After graduation, he went on to study at the Provincetown Playhouse in New York (1934), which led to further studies at the University of Chicago. He then pursued creative writing at the University of Oklahoma and Columbia University.
Daniel Ross’s primary residence was Saint John, where he returned after the death of his first wife, Charlotte (née McCormack) Ross, in 1959. Prior to that (1930-1948), he lived in numerous places throughout the United States as an actor and manager of a traveling production company. Walter Pidgeon had also encouraged him to return to New Brunswick and start his own theatre company, which he did between 1948-1957. During the Second World War, Ross served with British Entertainment Services. With the advent of television and economic decline in theatre, he decided to enter the field of creative writing and became a full-time writer for the latter half of his career (1957-1995). His second wife, Marilyn Ann Clark, served as Ross’s assistant throughout the years of their marriage, proofreading and editing his work.
Ross is considered to be “Canada’s Most Prolific Writer” (New Brunswick Consortium of Professional Writers) and “the fastest fiction writer that ever lived” (Alden Nowlan). He is the author of an astounding 358 novels, 12 plays, and over 600 short stories. His chosen genres are gothic, mystery, western, and romance.
Ross wrote under a number of pseudonyms, including Leslie Ames, Rose Dana, Ruth Dorset, Ann Gilmer, Ellen Randolph, Dan Roberts, Clarissa Ross, Dana Ross, Marilyn Ross, Jane Rossiter, Tex Steel, and Rose Williams. His complete works are housed at Boston University, and many of his novels and short stories continue to sell after his death. He was recognized for best first novel in Canada with the Gibson National Literary award. His other achievements include recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records, an honorary doctorate from the University of New Brunswick (1988), and The Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal (1978).
Under the name “Marilyn Ross,” Ross published Alice in Love (1965), Fog Island (1965) and 33 novels based on the TV series Dark Shadows from 1966 to 1972.
However, Bride of Donnybrook (1966), The Hungry Sea, The Hidden Chapel (1967), The Hill of Ashes (1968), and King’s Castle (1970) were written under the pseudonym Leslie Ames.
The following novels were published under yet another pen name, Rose Dana: Citadel of Love (1965), Down East Nurse, Nurse in Jeopardy (1967), Labrador Nurse, Network Nurse (1968), Whitebridge Nurse (1969), and Department Store Nurse (1970). “Ruth Dorset” wrote Front Office Nurse (1966), Hotel Nurseand Nurse in Waiting (1967). Under the pseudonym Ann Gilmer, Ross produced The Fog and the Stars (1963), Winds of Change (1965), Private Nurse (1969), Nurse on Emergency (1970), Skyscraper Nurse (1976), and Nurse at Breakwater Hotel (1982). Ross wrote only one novel under the pseudonym Diane Randal (Dragon Lover ) and one under the name of Marilyn Carter (The Reluctant Debutante ). Using the pseudonym Ellen Randolph, he wrote the following: Personal Secretary (1963), The Castle on the Hill (1964), Nurse Martha’s Wish (1983), and The Rushden Legacy (1987). Under the pseudonym Dan Roberts he published a number of westerns, including The Wells Fargo Brand (1964), The Cheyenne Kid, Durez City Bonanza, Outlaw’s Gold (1965), Stage to Link City, Vengeance Ride (1966), Wyoming Range War, Yuma Brand, Lawman of Blue Rock (1967), The Dawn Riders (1968), Sheriff of Mad River (1980), and Wyoming Showdown (1969). As Clarissa Ross, he published the following: Mistress of Ravenswood, The Secret of Mallet Castle (1966), Secret of the Pale Lover (1969), Beware of the Kindly Stranger (1970), Gemini in Darkness (1970), Glimpse into Terror (1971), The Spectral Mist, Phantom of Glencourt, Whispers in the Night (1972), China Shadow, Drafthaven, Ghost of Dark Harbor, A Hearse of Dark Harbor (1974), and Dark Harbour Hunting (1975).
Daniel Ross died on November 1, 1995, in his native Saint John at age 82.
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