Tyler Perry, Viola Davis, more mourn celebrity hairstylist Charles Gregory Ross after COVID-19 death
Emmy nominated hairstylist Charles Gregory Ross died on Wednesday from coronavirus. He is remembered by many of the Hollywood stars he worked with over the years, including Tyler Perry, Viola Davis, Rosario Dawson, and Lee Daniels.
Ross announced his diagnosis via Instagram on March 25, "News flash, News flash. I have just been diagnosed with the coronavirus. This is no joke, people." He shared a second post with a photo of himself in the hospital asking, "Do I look ok?" This was the last post he shared on social media.
Throughout his career, he worked in the makeup and hair department of both film and TV projects including Remember the Titans, Drumline, Idlewild, House of Payne, Madea Goes to Jail, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Lila & Eve, Vice, and Zola. Ross earned his Primetime Emmy nomination in 2005 for his work in the film Lackawanna Blues.
Ross' frequent collaborator Perry shared a photo of them together on Wednesday that also serves as a message to encourage the Black community to stay home. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that one in three people infected by COVID-19 in the first month were African American.
"Dear Black People, Today it’s with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of one of our crew members," he captioned the photo. "Mr. Charles Gregory was a hairstylist that had worked with us for many years. The man was warm, loving and hilarious. We all loved to see him coming and hear his laughter. Charles lost his battle with COVID-19 today. It saddens me to think of him dying this way. My sincerest prayers are with his family."
He continued, "While everyone can contract this virus it is black people who are dying from it in much larger numbers. This thing is real, black people. I heard a black person say, 'Black people don’t get it.' That is a lie! You can get it, and you will get it if we don’t do what we're being told to do."
Davis also shared a photo of herself with Ross from the Academy Awards with a touching tribute of her own.
"RIP Charles Gregory," she captioned the image on Instagram. "He did my hair for the Academy Awards, Lila and Eve and Madea Goes to Jail. Another loss from the deadly Coronavirus. Rest well. May God’s peace be with your family. You were a jewel."
Daniels, who worked with Ross on the as yet unreleased film The United States of America vs. Billie Holiday, gave his followers insight into what it was like working with the top notch stylist.
"I was fortunate to finally work with @charlesgregorytherenowned," Daniels wrote. "He was a BRILLIANT hairstylist and did his MAGIC on @usvsbillieholiday ..Whenever l complained about anyone’s hair he’d say 'lemme just slap some grease on it.. it’ll be ok!' 😂.. and it was!!! .. the virus took him today. Please say a prayer for this wonderful man and his family."
His last project was working alongside Rosario Dawson in Ava DuVernay's HBO Max pilot DMZ. He celebrated his birthday in Atlanta on March 9 with Dawson in tow.
"Heartbroken. The tears keep coming," Dawson wrote via IG Story about Ross. "Your love, light, talents, joy, and grace were boundless. I will forever adore you."
Shortly before his diagnosis, Ross publicly shared his concerns about the coronavirus on social media. He pleaded multiple times with his followers to follow the guidelines set forth by the government so he could just get back to work.
For the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19), including how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick, please visit coronavirus.gov.