Bob Ross Wives: Who Were They? What Happened to Them?

Bob Ross has become one of the most celebrated painters globally thanks to his long run as the host of ‘The Joy of Painting.’ The show, which ran for more than 10 years, made Bob a household name across the country and even the world. Netflix’s ‘Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed’ chronicles the famous artist’s life through the eyes of the ones closest to him. The documentary also features his first wife, Vicky Ross, and their son, Steve. Bob also went on to marry two more times before his death. So, let’s find out more about them, shall we?

Who Are Bob Ross’ Wives?

Bob Ross enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1961 when he was about 18 years old. He met his first wife, Vicky, early on in his service. She remembered how he loved painting and would do it all the time late into the night, even if he had to work early the next day. The couple married in 1965, just as Bob was supposed to report to an Air Force base in Alaska. Not too long after their wedding, Vicky was pregnant with their son, Steve.

Vicky also talked about Bob’s love for all things nature, which is apparent in his paintings. But after more than a decade together, the couple divorced in 1977. Bob allegedly cheated on Vicky, contributing to the marriage ending. In the same year, Bob was living with Steve in Spokane, Washington, when he met Jane Zanardelli. She worked as a secretary on the Air Force base over there. They fell in love quickly, and they married.

Jane, a Virginia native, took care of Steve when Bob retired from the Air Force to pursue his dream of painting. Bob later said of his decision, “I made a deal with my wife. I asked for one year. If I ran out of money before that, I’d get a real job, and we’d act like normal people. I never went home.” Bob’s life took a major turn when he met Annette and Walt Kowalski, with whom Bob and Jane entered into a business partnership later. When they started working together initially, Bob, Jane, and Steve moved in with the Kowalskis, living together for over a year.

Jane even helped with the administrative side of the business. But in 1992, Jane was diagnosed with cancer and lost her life soon after in the same year. Just weeks after his second wife died, Bob was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He married Lynda Brown, a nurse he had known for a few months from his time at a hospital, in 1995. They remained married until his death two months later, in July 1995, due to complications arising from the lymphoma.

What Happened to Bob Ross’ Wives?

Vicky Ross seems to have moved on with her life since, but she remembered Bob fondly in the documentary. She lives in Orlando, Florida, and shares pictures and posts about Bob regularly. His second wife, Jane, succumbed to cancer and passed away in August 1992 in Florida, just three years before Bob’s death. She was 50 years old at the time. As for Lynda, not much is known about her whereabouts.

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