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Barbara Rush

Updated on June 2, 2016
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I'm a fan of classic TV shows and films. My articles focus on the character actors and actress who usually played supporting roles.

Bio Stats

Born: 4 January 1927 (Denver, Colorado, USA)

Film and TV Appearances: 112+

Award Nominations: 1 (1 Win)

Years Active: 1950 - 2007

Captain Lightfoot (1955)

as Aga Doherty
as Aga Doherty

Early Life

Born on 4 January 1927 to Roy and Marguerite Rush, Barbara Rush made her first stage appearance at the age of 10 in Santa Barbara's Loberto Theater's production of Golden Ball (c.1937). She worked as a part-time model while studying at university.

After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1948 she received a scholarship to the Pasadena Playhouse's Theatre Arts College. She performed in many plays during this time and was eventually discovered by talent agent, Milton Lewis who took her to Paramount for a screen test.

I can safely say that every movie role I was ever offered that had any real quality went to someone else.

— Barbara Rush


After her screen test she initially signed with Paramount Pictures beginning a 57-year career in film and television. She made her screen debut in the film The Goldbergs (1950) playing Debbie Sherman. At Paramount, she was one of the members of "The Golden Circle" - a group of young actors who were being groomed for stardom.

Later on, she made films for Twentieth Century Fox before getting more prominent roles at Universal. In 1954 she won a Golden Globe award for "Most Promising Newcomer - Female" for her role in It Came from Outer Space (1953).

Some of the films she appeared in were When Worlds Collide (1951); Flaming Feather (1952); Prince of Pirates (1953); Magnificent Obsession (1954); Kiss of Fire (1955); Bigger than Life (1956); No Down Payment (1957); The Young Lions (1958); The Bramble Bush (1960); Come Blow Your Horn (1963); Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964); Hombre (1967); Strategy of Terror (1969); The Man (1972); Superdad (1973); Can't Stop the Music (1980); and Summer Lovers (1982).

The Young Philadelphians (1959)


Barbara Rush made her television debut in 1954 in the Lux Video Theatre episode "Gavin's Darling".

Television movies she appeared in were Dateline: San Francisco (1962); The Unknown (1964); The Jet Set (1966); Suddenly Single (1971); Cutter (1972); The Eyes of Charles Sand (1972); Moon of the Wolf (1972); Crime Club (1973); Of Men and Women (1973); Fools, Females and Fun (1974); The Last Day (1975); The Seekers (1979); Death Car on the Freeway (1979); The Night the Bridge Fell Down (1983); At Your Service (1984); Web of Deceit (1990); and Widow's Kiss (1996).

TV shows that she had a regular or starring role in were

  • Peyton Place (1964-1969) as Marsha Russell in 75 episodes from 1968-1969.
  • Flamingo Road (1980-1982) as Eudora Weldon in 38 episodes.
  • 7th Heaven (1996-2007) as Ruth Camden in 10 episodes from 1997.

Some of the TV shows she guest starred on were Suspicion; Sunday Showcase; Playhouse 90; Saints and Sinners; Kraft Suspense Theatre; Dr. Kildare; The Fugitive; Batman; Marcus Welby M.D.; Ironside; The New Dick Van Dyke Show; Medical Center; Mannix; The Love Boat; Fantasy Island; Magnum P.I.; Hooperman; All My Children; and The Outer Limits.

Ellery Queen (1975-1976)

as Claire Mallory in the episode "The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario"
as Claire Mallory in the episode "The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario"

Stage and Radio

Throughout the years, Barbara appeared in many plays. In 1953 she appeared in summer stock in New Jersey in plays such as Voice of the Turtle. She won Chicago theater's Sarah Siddons award in 1970 for her role in Forty Carats.

In 1984 she appeared in the one-performer show A Woman of Independent Means at the Biltmore Theater on Broadway. She later took the show to Los Angeles in 1987 and won the Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle Award.

Other plays she has performed in included Father's Day; Same Time, Next Year; The Night of the Iguana; Steel Magnolias; and The Golden Age.

During the early 1950s she also performed on several radio shows including The Hand of St. Piere (1951); The Pitchfork Experiment (1952); Spunky (1953); New Neighbor (1953); A Matter of Time (1953); Great Expectations (1954); and Stairway to Heaven (1955).

"Of course, the movie business has changed. All business has changed, as it should. We're advancing to the turn of a century and I think it's momentous, an event that sends a chill up my spine."

— Barbara Rush

Barbara Rush has been married three times

  • Actor Jeffrey Hunter from 1950 to 1955 (one son - Christopher).
  • Publicist Warren Cowan from 1959 to 1969 (one daughter - Claudia Cowan who is a reporter for the Fox News network in the USA).
  • Jim Gruzalski from 1970 to 1973.

She currently resides in Beverly Hills, living in a home that was at one previously owned by gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. Mainly retired from on-screen acting, she occasionally makes appearances at film festivals and expos.

The Young Philadelphians (1959)

The Young Philadelphians
The Young Philadelphians

Barbara Rush played Joan Dickinson in this movie.



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