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Barbara Rush
Barbara Rush.jpg
Barbara Rush as part of the Peyton Place cast, 1968–1969
Born (1927-01-04)January 4, 1927
Died March 31, 2024(2024-03-31) (aged 97)
Education University of California, Santa Barbara (1948)
Occupation Actress
Years active 1950–2007, 2017
Jeffrey Hunter
(m. 1950; div. 1955)
Warren Cowan
(m. 1959; div. 1969)
Jim Gruzalski
(m. 1970; div. 1973)
Children 2, including Claudia Cowan
Relatives Carolyn Hennesy (niece)
Awards 1954 Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Female
1970 Sarah Siddons Award

Barbara Rush (January 4, 1927 – March 31, 2024) was an American actress. In 1954, Rush won the Golden Globe Award as most promising female newcomer for her role in the 1953 American science-fiction film It Came from Outer Space. Later in her career, Rush became a regular performer in the television series Peyton Place, and appeared in TV movies, miniseries, and a variety of other programs, including the soap opera All My Children and family drama 7th Heaven, as well as starring in films, including The Young Philadelphians, The Young Lions, Robin and the 7 Hoods, and Hombre.

Early life and education

Rush was born in Denver on January 4, 1927. Her father, Roy, was a lawyer for a Midwest mining company. She grew up in Santa Barbara, California. Rush attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and graduated in 1948, starting her career in the university's theatre program.


Rush performed on stage at the Lobero Theatre and the Pasadena Playhouse before signing with Paramount Pictures. She made her screen debut in 1950's The Goldbergs. In 1951, she co-starred in the classic George Pal sci-fi film When Worlds Collide. In 1952, she starred in Flaming Feather with Sterling Hayden and Victor Jory. In 1954, she won the Golden Globe Award for "Most Promising Newcomer – Female" for her performance in It Came from Outer Space.

Rush starred as the wife of James Mason's character in the acclaimed 1956 drama Bigger Than Life, in which a school teacher's use of an experimental drug results in his threatening harm to his family. She was the love interest of reluctant soldier Dean Martin in the war story The Young Lions and of ambitious lawyer Paul Newman in The Young Philadelphians.

Rush began her career on stage, and it was always a part of her professional life. In 1970, she earned the Sarah Siddons Award for dramatic achievement in Chicago theatre for her leading role in Forty Carats and brought her one-woman play A Woman of Independent Means to Broadway in 1984. She began working on television in the 1950s. She later became a regular performer in TV movies, miniseries, and a variety of other shows including Peyton Place and the soap opera All My Children.

She often played a willful woman of means or a polished, high-society doyenne. Rush also was cast in an occasional villainess role, as in the Rat Pack's gangster musical Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964). In the 1967 Western drama Hombre, she played a rich, younger, condescending wife of a thief - and ends up taken hostage and tied to a stake. She portrayed the devious Nora Clavicle in the TV series Batman. In 1976, Rush played the role of Ann Sommers/Chris Stewart, the mother of female sci-fi action character Jaime Sommers in The Bionic Woman.

After appearing in the 1980 disco-themed Can't Stop the Music, Rush returned to television work. She was a cast member on the early 1980s soap opera Flamingo Road as Eudora Weldon. In 1998, she was featured in an episode titled "Balance of Nature" on the television series The Outer Limits. In 1989, Rush toured on stage in the national company of Steel Magnolias as the character M'Lynn. She continued to make guest appearances on television. In 2007, she played the recurring role of Grandma Ruth Camden on the series 7th Heaven. Thereafter, she made occasional appearances for the Theatre Guild in an Orange County, CA.

Personal life and death

Rush married actor Jeffrey Hunter in 1950; they divorced in 1955. She married publicist Warren Cowan in 1959, but they divorced in 1969. Rush married sculptor Jim Gruzalski in 1970 after they met at an Engelbert Humperdinck concert. They divorced in 1973.

Rush had two children, Christopher Hunter (with Hunter) and Claudia Cowan (with Cowan). The latter is a journalist with Fox News. She is the aunt of actress Carolyn Hennesy.

From May 1997 until her death, Rush lived in the Harold Lloyd Estate in Beverly Hills, California. She died on March 31, 2024, at the age of 97.


  • The Goldbergs (1950) as Debby Sherman
  • Quebec (1951) as Madelon
  • The First Legion (1951) as Terry Gilmartin
  • When Worlds Collide (1951) as Joyce Hendron
  • Flaming Feather (1952) as Nora Logan
  • Prince of Pirates (1953) as Countess Nita Orde
  • It Came from Outer Space (1953) as Ellen Fields
  • Taza, Son of Cochise (1954) as Oona
  • Magnificent Obsession (1954) as Joyce Phillips
  • The Black Shield of Falworth (1954) as Meg
  • Captain Lightfoot (1955) as Aga Doherty
  • Kiss of Fire (1955) as Princess Lucia
  • World in My Corner (1956) as Dorothy Mallinson
  • Bigger Than Life (1956) as Lou Avery
  • Flight to Hong Kong (1956) as Pamela Vincent
  • Oh Men! Oh Women! (1957) as Myra Hagerman
  • No Down Payment (1957) as Betty Kreitzer
  • The Young Lions (1958) as Margaret Freemantle
  • Harry Black and the Tiger (1958) as Christian Tanner
  • The Young Philadelphians (1959) as Joan Dickinson
  • The Bramble Bush (1960) as Margaret 'Mar' McFie
  • Strangers When We Meet (1960) as Eve Coe
  • Deadline: San Francisco (1962 TV movie)
  • Come Blow Your Horn (1963) as Connie
  • The Unknown (1964 TV movie) as Leonora Edmond
  • Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964) as Marian
  • The Jet Set (1966 TV movie)
  • Hombre (1967) as Audra Favor
  • Strategy of Terror (1969) as Karen Lownes
  • Suddenly Single (1971 TV movie) as Evelyn Baxter
  • Cutter (1972 TV movie) as Linda
  • The Eyes of Charles Sand (1972 TV movie) as Katharine Winslow
  • The Man (1972) as Kay Eaton
  • Moon of the Wolf (1972 TV movie) as Louise Rodanthe
  • Crime Club (1973 TV movie) as Denise London
  • Peege (1973 short) as Mom
  • Superdad (1973) as Sue McCready
  • Fools, Females and Fun (1974 TV movie) as Karen Markham
  • The Last Day (1975 TV movie) as Betty Spence
  • Death Car on the Freeway (1979 TV movie) as Rosemary
  • Can't Stop the Music (1980) as Norma White
  • Summer Lovers (1982) as Jean Featherstone
  • The Night the Bridge Fell Down (1983 TV movie) as Elaine Howard
  • At Your Service (1984 TV movie) as Barbara Stonehill
  • Web of Deceit (1990 TV movie) as Judith
  • Widow's Kiss (1996 TV movie) as Edith Fitzpatrick
  • My Mother's Hairdo (2006 short) as Fate
  • Bleeding Hearts (2017 short) as Barbara Irons

Theatre credits

  • The Golden Ball (1937) stage debut
  • Personal Appearance (1948) Lobero Theatre
  • The Little Foxes UC Santa Barbara, 1948 and 1975
  • Antony and Cleopatra (1950) Pasadena Playhouse
  • Summer Stock (1951) with Anthony Perkins
  • The Madwoman of Chaillot (1951) with Jeffrey Hunter
  • The Voice of the Turtle (1953), with Jeffrey Hunter
  • Always April (1969)
  • 40 Carats (1969-1971,1972) national tour
  • The Four Poster (1971)
  • Unsinkable Molly Brown (1972)
  • Butterflies Are Free (1972, 1981)
  • Private Lives (1973) national tour with Louis Jourdan
  • Father's Day (1974) national tour with Carole Cook
  • Finishing Touches (1974, 1978)
  • Hay Fever (1975, 1980)
  • Kennedy's Children (1975, 1976)
  • Endangered Species (1976)
  • Same Time, Next Year (1976-1978) national tour
  • Night of the Iguana (1978)
  • Twigs (1980)
  • The Supporting Cast (1982) national tour with Carole Cook and Sandy Dennis
  • Blithe Spirit (1982-1983)
  • Disabled Genius (1983)
  • Woman of Independent Means (1983-1988) Broadway and national tour
  • Steel Magnolias (1988-1989) national tour with Carole Cook, June Lockhart and Marion Ross
  • Love Letters (1990-1993)
  • ... Monologues (1995-1997)
  • A Delicate Balance (1993)
  • The Golden Age (1997)
  • Make Me A Place at Forest Lawn (2002-2007)


  • Lux Video Theatre (1954-1956, 4 episodes) as Cathy / Ruth / Charlotte / Joyce Gavin
  • Playhouse 90 (1957-1960, 2 episodes) as Liz / Clara
  • The Eleventh Hour (1962, 1 episode) as Linda Kincaid
  • Saints and Sinners (1962-1963, 4 episodes) as Lizzie Hogan
  • The Outer Limits (1964, 1 episode: "The Forms of Things Unknown") as Leonora Edmond
  • Dr. Kildare (1965, 2 episodes) as Madge Bannion
  • The Fugitive (1965, 2 episodes) as Marie Lindsey Gerard
  • Custer (1967, 1 episode) as Brigid O'Rourke
  • Batman (1968, 2 episodes) as Nora Clavicle
  • Peyton Place (1968-1969, 75 episodes) as Marsha Russell
  • Mannix (1968–1975, 2 episodes) as Rebekah Bigelow / Celia Bell
  • Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969-1972, 2 episodes) as Dorothy Carpenter / Nadine Cabot
  • Medical Center (1969-1974, 4 episodes) as Claire / Pauline / Judy / Nora Caldwell
  • Love, American Style (1970, 1 episode) as Carol (segment "Love and the Motel")
  • The Mod Squad (1971, 1 episode) as Mrs. Hamilton
  • Ironside (1971-1972, 2 episodes) as Lorraine Simms / Mme. Jabez
  • Night Gallery (1971, 1 episode) as Agatha Howard (segment "Cool Air")
  • Maude (1972, 1 episode) as Phyllis 'Bunny' Nash
  • The Streets of San Francisco (1973, 1 episode) as Anna Slovatzka Marshall
  • The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1973-1974, 3 episodes) as Margot Brighton
  • Cannon (1975, episode "Lady on the Run") as Linda Merrick
  • The Bionic Woman (1976, 1 episode) as Ann Sommers / Chris Stuart
  • The Eddie Capra Mysteries (1978, 1 episode)
  • Fantasy Island (1978-1984, 3 episodes) as Mildred Koster / Kathy Moreau / Professor Smith-Myles
  • The Love Boat (1979, 2 episodes) as Eleanor Gardner
  • The Seekers (1979 miniseries) as Peggy Kent
  • Flamingo Road (1980-1982, 38 episodes) as Eudora Weldon
  • Knight Rider (1983, 1 episode) as Elizabeth Knight
  • Magnum, P.I. (1984-1987, 2 episodes) as Phoebe Sullivan / Ann Carrington
  • Murder, She Wrote (1987, 1 episode) as Eva Taylor
  • Hearts Are Wild (1992, 1 episode) as Caroline Thorpe
  • All My Children (1992-1994, 35 episodes recurring) as Nola Orsini
  • Burke's Law (1995, 1 episode) as Judge Marian Darrow
  • The Outer Limits (1998, 1 episode) as Barbara Matheson
  • 7th Heaven (1997-2007, 10 episodes) as Ruth Camden

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Barbara Rush para niños

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