Bob Ross Netflix documentary, streaming now, paints an unhappy picture

Netflix film Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed looks at the difficulties behind the easel.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm

Beloved artist Bob Ross often said there were no mistakes, just happy little accidents. But what unhappiness lay beyond the famously cheerful painter's smile? Netflix documentary Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed shows the story behind the easel, and it's streaming now.

"We want to show you the trailer," says a cryptic video previously posted to Netflix's YouTube channel, "but we can't... Find out why on August 25." 

Ross was creator and host of gentle PBS art show The Joy of Painting from 1983 to 1994. He died of cancer in 1995 aged 52, kicking off a complex legal battle involving his son Steve Ross and business partners Annette and Walt Kowalski. Steve appeared numerous times on The Joy of Painting and will appear in the documentary. If this feud is what the mysterious trailer is hinting at, things presumably got a little crazy.

New Movies Coming in 2023 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

See all photos