How Bob Ross Really Felt About His Signature Fro

bob ross

When someone says "Bob Ross," it's likely the mood of the room shifts to something far more pleasant, with all of the nearby objects (particularly trees) gaining a sense of happiness. But the world's most passive artist wasn't entirely happy himself, and part of that displeasure came from his most signature identifying feature: his fro. His longtime business partner Annette Kowalski recently shared Ross' true feelings about his poofy locks, and now my imagination and dreams have ceased to exist.

He could never, ever, ever change his hair, and he was so mad about that. He got tired of that curly hair.

I lived through the reveal that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny aren't real. I was okay with learning how fast food commercials make the food look so good. I did not crumble to pieces after The Blair Witch Project was revealed to be fake. But when a truly psyche-shattering admission such as this makes it out, there is truly no reason to go on. And if you think I'm being melodramatic, your face is being melodramatic. So there.

Annette Kowalski, who first partnered up with Bob Ross around 1980, was speaking with NPR about the artist's rise to fame and how it was essentially Ross' calm demeanor that hooked everyone who watched him in action. But there is no denying that a white guy with a decent fro is also a major attention draw. And while few would be surprised if he had grown it specifically for extroverted reasons, it was a far more humbling inspiration that came after he got out of the Air Force. According to Kowalski:

He got this bright idea that he could save money on haircuts. So he let his hair grow, he got a perm, and decided he would never need a haircut again.

Well, he ended up making a lot more money with that non-haircut than anyone else could have by just letting their hair grow. (I haven't cut my hair in almost 15 years, and PBS wants nothing to do with me.) So while it must have aggravated him quite a bit for the 12 years that Joy of Painting was produced, I'm sure he could ease those sorrows in a proper fashion. Probably by watching _Sweeney Todd. _

Bob Ross passed away in 1995 after being diagnosed with lymphoma, but he has most certainly not been forgotten in the interim, and arguably has more fans than ever before, thanks to dependable repeats. Last year was a particularly big one for those who hadn't had a happy tree fix in a while, as Kowalski and her husband Walter set Bob Ross Inc. up with a deal at Netflix that put the many, many episodes of J\_oy of Painting_ up on the service for anyone to stream and attempt to mimic. Pro tip: you'll have an easier time making a perm look good than you will copying the master.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.