Who was Vivian Ridge? All About Bob Ross’s Wife

Vivian Ridge was an American painter and the first wife of the renowned painter and television host, Bob Ross. Born in 1964, Vivian developed a passion for painting at a young age and pursued her interest in art by obtaining a degree in Art History from Wake Forest University in North Carolina. It was during her time at Wake Forest University that she met Bob Ross, who would later become her husband.

As the first wife of Bob Ross, Vivian played a significant role in his life and career, contributing to his journey as an artist and a television personality. While she may not be as widely recognized as Bob Ross himself, her influence and contributions to the art community deserve acknowledgment.

Vivian Ridge’s marriage to Bob Ross in 1965 marked the beginning of a partnership that would impact both their lives and the world of art. Together, they embarked on a journey filled with creativity, passion, and shared experiences. Despite the challenges they faced, their bond left a lasting impression on those who knew them, shaping the trajectory of their careers and personal lives.

In this blog post, we will delve into the life and legacy of Vivian Ridge, exploring her early years, her marriage to Bob Ross, her career endeavors, and her contributions to the art community. From her upbringing and education to her role as a painter and teacher, we’ll uncover the layers of Vivian’s story, shedding light on the woman behind the name. Additionally, we’ll discuss her divorce from Bob Ross, her life after their separation, and the speculations surrounding her death. Finally, we’ll reflect on Vivian’s enduring legacy and the impact she has left on the world of art.

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Profile Summary

Full NameVivian Ridge
BirthplaceNew York, USA
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

Early Life and Education

Vivian Ridge was born into a world of creativity and imagination, where art held a special place in her heart from a young age. Growing up in New York, she discovered her passion for painting at the tender age of 12, captivated by the colors, shapes, and textures that surrounded her. With each stroke of the brush, Vivian found solace and expression, using art as a means to navigate the complexities of life.

Throughout her adolescence, Vivian immersed herself in the world of art, honing her skills and exploring different mediums. From watercolors to acrylics, she experimented with various techniques, allowing her creativity to flourish. Her paintings reflected her unique perspective and innermost thoughts, offering glimpses into her soul and capturing the essence of her experiences.

Driven by her love for art and a desire to expand her knowledge, Vivian pursued a degree in Art History from Wake Forest University in North Carolina. It was here that she first crossed paths with Bob Ross, a fellow artist whose passion for painting mirrored her own. Their shared interests and aspirations laid the foundation for a relationship that would shape their lives in ways they never imagined.

Bob Ross Wife

Marriage to Bob Ross

The story of Vivian Ridge and Bob Ross’s union is one of fate and serendipity, a tale woven together by chance encounters and shared dreams. It was during their time at Wake Forest University that Vivian and Bob first crossed paths, drawn together by their mutual love for art and a desire to leave their mark on the world. What began as a friendship soon blossomed into something more, igniting a spark that would ignite their hearts and minds.

In the summer of 1965, Vivian and Bob exchanged vows in a quaint ceremony surrounded by loved ones, pledging to support each other through thick and thin. With the promise of forever echoing in their hearts, they embarked on a journey filled with love, laughter, and countless memories. As husband and wife, they faced life’s challenges head-on, finding strength in each other’s embrace and unwavering support.

Their joy knew no bounds when, in the spring of 1966, Vivian and Bob welcomed their first child, a son whom they named Robert Stephen Ross, affectionately known as Steve. His arrival brought new meaning to their lives, filling their home with laughter and love. Together, they embraced the joys of parenthood, cherishing every moment spent with their precious bundle of joy.

As a couple, Vivian and Bob shared a deep connection rooted in love, trust, and mutual respect. They navigated life’s ups and downs hand in hand, weathering storms and celebrating triumphs as a united front. Whether painting together in their studio or exploring the beauty of nature, they found solace in each other’s company, savoring the simple pleasures that life had to offer.

Career and Personal Life

Throughout her marriage to Bob Ross, Vivian pursued her passion for painting, honing her skills and nurturing her artistic talent. As a painter and teacher, she found fulfillment in sharing her knowledge and creativity with others, inspiring budding artists to unleash their inner muse. Her vibrant canvases captured the essence of her soul, reflecting her unique perspective and boundless imagination.

While Vivian’s artistic pursuits were commendable, she also played a pivotal role in Bob Ross’s rise to fame as a painter and television host. Her unwavering support and encouragement bolstered his confidence, propelling him toward success and acclaim. Together, they embarked on a journey that would forever change the landscape of the art world, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of millions.

Despite the outward facade of happiness, Vivian’s personal life was not without its challenges. The pressures of fame and the demands of their respective careers took a toll on their relationship, straining the bonds of their marriage. As they struggled to find balance amidst the chaos, they faced difficult decisions and heart-wrenching moments of doubt. Yet, through it all, they remained committed to each other, determined to overcome whatever obstacles stood in their way.

Divorce and Life After

In the spring of 1977, Vivian and Bob made the difficult decision to part ways, ending their marriage after twelve years of togetherness. The reasons behind their divorce were as complex as they were personal, rooted in a myriad of factors that ultimately led them down separate paths. While the dissolution of their union was undoubtedly painful, it was also a necessary step toward finding peace and fulfillment in their own lives.

Following her divorce from Bob Ross, Vivian embarked on a new chapter in her life, seeking solace and solitude in the picturesque shores of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the ocean, she found respite from the chaos of the world, allowing herself the space to heal and rediscover her sense of self. In the quietude of her seaside abode, she found solace in the rhythm of the waves, finding comfort in the embrace of nature.

Eager to chart a new course for herself, Vivian turned her attention to the world of real estate, embracing the opportunity to embark on a new career path. With her keen eye for detail and passion for helping others, she quickly found success as a realtor in the vibrant community of New Smyrna Beach. Her warm demeanor and dedication to her clients earned her a reputation as a trusted advisor, guiding individuals and families through the intricacies of buying and selling property. Whether assisting first-time homebuyers in finding their dream home or helping empty-nesters downsize to a cozy beachfront condo, Vivian approached each transaction with professionalism and integrity.

As the years passed, Vivian embraced her role as a pillar of the New Smyrna Beach community, immersing herself in local events and activities. From art festivals to charity fundraisers, she eagerly lent her support to causes close to her heart, using her platform to make a positive impact on those around her. Despite the challenges she faced in her personal life, Vivian remained resilient, embracing each new day with optimism and grace.

Legacy and Contributions

While Vivian Ridge may not have achieved the same level of fame as her ex-husband, Bob Ross, her contributions to the art community are no less significant. As a painter and teacher, she inspired countless individuals to pursue their passion for art, nurturing the talents of future generations with her wisdom and guidance. Her vibrant canvases and innovative techniques continue to captivate audiences around the world, serving as a testament to her enduring legacy.

Vivian’s artwork reflects her unique perspective and unwavering dedication to her craft. Each brushstroke is infused with emotion, and each color is carefully chosen to evoke a sense of wonder and awe. From serene landscapes to abstract compositions, her paintings are a reflection of her innermost thoughts and feelings, offering viewers a glimpse into her soul. Though she may no longer be with us, her art lives on, serving as a reminder of the beauty and complexity of the human experience.

While Vivian Ridge’s artistic legacy is undeniable, her greatest achievement may be found in the son she raised with Bob Ross, Robert Stephen “Steve” Ross. Following in his parents’ footsteps, Steve embarked on his artistic journey, carving out a niche for himself in the world of painting. With his father’s guidance and his mother’s unwavering support, he has emerged as a talented artist in his own right, carrying on the family tradition with pride and passion.

Speculations About Death and Personal Life

Despite her contributions to the art world, Vivian Ridge’s personal life remains shrouded in mystery, with rumors swirling about the circumstances of her death. While some speculate that she succumbed to cancer, others suggest that her passing may have been the result of other health-related issues. Whatever the truth may be, one thing is certain: Vivian’s legacy lives on, inspiring future generations to pursue their passion for art and creativity.

In the years following her divorce from Bob Ross, Vivian remained largely out of the public eye, choosing to focus on her career and personal well-being. While little is known about her day-to-day activities, it is clear that she continued to find joy and fulfillment in the simple pleasures of life. Whether spending time with loved ones or exploring her artistic talents, she embraced each new day with optimism and grace, determined to live life on her terms.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Was Vivian Ridge a painter like Bob Ross?

Yes, Vivian Ridge was also a painter. While she may not have achieved the same level of fame as Bob Ross, she had a passion for art and pursued a career as a painter and teacher.

How long were Vivian Ridge and Bob Ross married?

Vivian Ridge and Bob Ross were married for 12 years, from 1965 to 1977. Their marriage ended in divorce, but they shared a son named Steve Ross.

Where did Vivian Ridge live after her divorce from Bob Ross?

After her divorce from Bob Ross, Vivian Ridge relocated to New Smyrna Beach, Florida. There, she continued to pursue her career and artistic endeavors, eventually transitioning to a career in real estate.

What was Vivian Ridge’s cause of death?

The exact cause of Vivian Ridge’s death is not widely known. Speculation suggests it may have been cancer, but there is no confirmed information available.

Did Vivian Ridge have any impact on Bob Ross’s career as a painter and television host?

Vivian Ridge played a supportive role in Bob Ross’s life and career. While her specific impact may not be widely documented, her presence likely influenced Bob Ross’s journey as an artist and television personality.


Vivian Ridge’s life was a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and creativity. From her humble beginnings in New York to her later years in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, she left an indelible mark on the world around her, inspiring others to embrace their artistic talents and pursue their dreams with unwavering determination.

Though she may no longer be with us, her legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of those who knew her, a reminder of the enduring power of art to transform lives and uplift spirits. As we reflect on her life and contributions, let us remember Vivian Ridge not for the rumors or speculation surrounding her death, but for the beauty and joy she brought to the world through her art and her unwavering spirit.

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