A new documentary looking back on the life and career of celebrated painter and artist Bob Ross was released today (Wednesday, 25 August). Some are now curious to know more about Annette Kowalski, the artist’s former business partner.
Who is Annette Kowalski?
Annette Kowalski is best known alongside husband Walt Kowalski as business partners of late painter and artist Bob Ross.
Kowalski first met Ross following the death of her son, who died as the result of a car accident. While suffering depression, she started watching German painter Bill Alexander, who had a TV show on PBS.
Her husband Walt went on to inquire about Annette having painting lessons with Alexander but was told he was no longer teaching.
Annette later helped launch Bob’s career on-screen after her husband Walt suggested they create a commercial to promote Ross’ classes.
They ended up taking the tape to their local PBS station, where the manager recruited Ross on the spot for a new TV series now known as The Joy Of Painting.
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Where is Annette Kowalski now?
Bob Ross passed away in 1995 at the age of 52, due to lymphoma, and at the time the company was said to have been worth millions. According to The Wealth Advisor, Ross’ estimated worth before his death was $1.3 million, with half of that tied to Bob Ross Inc.
The Daily Beast reported in May that, as of 2012, Annette and Walt Kowalski had stepped down from their roles at Bob Ross Inc, with the company now run by their daughter Joan.
However, during an interview with Mental Floss in 2015, Annette Kowalski was still happy to talk about the company.
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Where to watch the Bob Ross documentary
Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed was produced by Netflix, meaning the documentary is exclusive to the popular streaming platform.
Netflix teased the upcoming release on Tuesday, 17 August as it posted a 35-second clip on how the platform wanted to “share the trailer but couldn’t”. It also featured an unknown voice saying: “I’ve been wanting to get this story out for all these years.”
The documentary is available to watch on Netflix from today (Wednesday, 25 August).