A brand new documentary about TV painting legend Bob Ross arrived on Netflix today, with the film taking a look at the Joy of Painting host's life off screen and the legal battle over his legacy today.


Executive produced by Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone, Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed explores the PBS star's rise to fame as a TV personality known for painting "happy little trees" and cultivating a cult following before dying due to complications from lymphoma at the age of 52.

The film's director Joshua Rofé recently told Entertainment Weekly that the documentary also speaks to Ross' loved ones who have been "afraid to speak about him" due to the ongoing legal battle over the painter's life rights.

"I felt there was no question that this will yield an interesting story," he said. "It was all around fear of this legal retaliation in those initial phone calls [and] the legalities are obviously key parts of the story."

Read on for everything you need to know about Netflix's Bob Ross documentary – Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed.

Bob Ross documentary release date

Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed arrived on Netflix on Wednesday 25th August.

Executive produced by Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone, the documentary is a one-off film, running 90 minutes.

What is Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed about?

Bob Ross

Netflix's upcoming documentary will tell the story of landscape artist Bob Ross, who rose to fame as the host of The Joy of Painting, a long-running PBS show that picked up a cult following thanks to Ross's calm demeanour.

The film is set to to look "beyond the iconic hair, soothing voice and nostalgic paintings" to explore the life of Ross, who died aged 52 in 1995 but has since taken on a huge posthumous internet presence.

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The documentary also explores the extensive legal battles that have taken place after Ross' death.

"We started to reach out to people who knew and worked with Bob and two things became really clear," director Joshua Rofé told Entertainment Weekly. "One, was that they loved Bob and, two, was that they were afraid to speak about him publicly."

Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed features interviews with Ross's son Steve, Ross's colleague Dana Jester and Ross's friend John Thamm among other figures who were a part of the painter's life, as well as archive footage.

Bob Ross documentary trailer

Netflix released a mysterious trailer for Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed on the 17th August, in which the streamer says it wants to show the trailer but can't, before an unknown person is heard saying: "I've been wanting to get this story out for all these years."


Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed is now available to stream on Netflix. You can also plan your viewing with our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Documentaries hub for the latest news.