Ross Kettle's lost paradise

 By Alena Prime, TÚlÚ Star, 1991

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Ross Kettle is sometimes homesick. "I remember the large veranda which surrounded all the ground floor. It was with open-type screen. I see myself running naked feet on the floor of this veranda that refreshed the large drops of rain, these days when the tropical downpour prevented us, my brother and I to go to play in the garden."

Native of Durban, South Africa, Ross Kettle today plays Jeffrey Conrad. Californian hero in a TV show, he is himself adopted by Hollywood. But Africa sings to the heart of its children - white as blacks - its motherly chant. "Yet today, at 30 years old, in spite of California, I cannot fly over some part of the African continent without feeling a pinching in the heart." He was served all lately while going to shoot over there outsides scenes of his last film. Not very far from the places of his childhood.

His parents were themselves born in South Africa. They already had a boy of 2 year old when Ross was born on September 19, 1961. In their peaceful universe, a residence enchased in the vegetation, leaned to a green emerald hill, to some steps from the ocean. But, this way of life does not support the taste for the studies. At 15, Ross falls on a unique opportunity to give up school. Fortunately for him, his grandmother, 87, reads the newspapers. She learns that a movie must be shot in zulu country, not far from the house. Ross, as a good grandson, listens to his granny and, without waiting, he takes the road by raising the thumb, destination Johannesburg. There he joins the team of Zulu Dawn and shares its life for six months: figuration, preparation of the sandwiches, etc. He discovers cinema and is even interested in directing. A vocation was born. He earned some money, just like that, does his bags for England. There, he follows courses of dramatic art during three years. Returned to Durban, he runs after salary in television and obtains a real role in a local show titled 1922. At the same time he creates his own theatre company. But he feels the call of America. In New York, he hastily marries a South-African compatriot friend. Then he goes to Washington, where a friend lodges him, and... "At the conquer of Hollywood !"

Ross the African does his entering in the capital of cinema on board of an antique Peugeot worthy of Columbo. "Not terrible, remembers Ross, especially that the hood did not even exist any more. It was the most economic way. We made the five thousand kilometers in three days while driving without stop."

In spite of that, the car belonging to the friend of Washington will be stolen by obvious amateurs of antiquities, at the limit of perversity. The friend, disgusted, came back home.

Ross stays and incrusts himself. He wants to succeed, he will succeed. From audition to audition, he gleans some employment and penetrates the world of soap-operas.His first one is called As the World Turns. His second : Santa Barbara... Between both, he made come the friend from childhood who he had married while passing to New York. Like a bit of memory from the native country. The union lasts only seven months. He is nominated at the famous Emmy awards for his role of Jeffrey Conrad, meets, at the ceremony, Michelle, the beautiful host of the evening-party, and gets married for the second time.