Barbara Rush obituary


Within the Fifties, the elegant actor Barbara Rush, who has died aged 97, was extraordinarily seen in movies (she made 22 throughout the decade) and in fan magazines, particularly throughout her marriage to the display heartthrob Jeffrey Hunter. Nonetheless, though she appeared reverse among the high male stars of the day, she didn’t appear to have that further je ne sais quoi wanted to realize top-drawer standing herself.

She met and fell in love with Hunter, who had simply been put below contract by twentieth Century Fox, a short while after her arrival in Hollywood, signed up by the Paramount studio. They have been married in December 1950 earlier than both of them had been seen on display.

Quickly afterwards, Paramount gave Rush main woman components in a number of of their second-league options, through which she was requested to be merely ornamental: a western, Flaming Feather (1952), with Sterling Hayden; a swashbuckler, Prince of Pirates (1953), through which she performed a haughty Spanish princess reverse John Derek; and When Worlds Collide (1951), an archetypal paranoid Fifties sci-fi film. At one stage, Rush, as a boffin’s daughter, exclaims, with hardly any emotion: “I’m frightened! You see, I haven’t the braveness to face the tip of the world!”

After the beginning of her son in 1952, Rush left Paramount and signed with Common-Worldwide. There she was solid in one other traditional sci-fi drama, It Got here from Outer House (1953), through which she is kidnapped by aliens. Then got here three movies for Douglas Sirk, as an Apache girl in Taza, Son of Cochise (1954); within the gloriously crazy melodrama Magnificent Obsession (1954) as Jane Wyman’s supportive step-daughter; and as a feisty Irish lady within the interval piece Captain Lightfoot (1955), all starring Rock Hudson.

Rush continued to look fairly in two extra costume dramas, The Black Protect of Falworth (1954) as Tony Curtis’s sister, and Kiss of Fireplace (1955), through which she performed the pretender to the Spanish throne. In World in My Nook (1956), a boxer performed by Audie Murphy, “born within the dumps and educated in an alley”, lusts after cash and a poor, little wealthy lady performed by Rush.

At across the similar time that her marriage to Hunter ended within the mid-50s, Rush started to get meatier roles. (Though she and Hunter appeared in No Down Cost, 1957, two years after their divorce, they didn’t share any scenes collectively.) She was the loving spouse of a faculty trainer (James Mason) in Greater Than Life (1956), watching him changing into a monster below pain-killing medication, and the socialite girlfriend of a playboy (Dean Martin) who shames him into becoming a member of up within the second world struggle epic The Younger Lions (1958).

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Rush and Kirk Douglas in Strangers When We Meet, 1960. {Photograph}: Ronald Grant

In the identical yr as her marriage to the publicist Warren Cowan, with whom she had a daughter, Rush performed one other excessive class lady in The Younger Philadelphians (1959), whom a struggling lawyer (Paul Newman) falls for. In Strangers When We Meet (1960), she was architect Kirk Douglas’s sensible spouse, who doesn’t appear to grasp his want for inventive success, which leads him to stray with Kim Novak. Rush manufactured from the wronged spouse a extra complicated and extra sympathetic character than she first seems.

Rush was born in Denver, Colorado, the daughter of Roy Rush, a lawyer, and Nora (nee Simonson), a homemaker who took up appearing and later nursing after her husband’s dying when Barbara was a young person. On the College of California in Santa Barbara she gained an appearing award for her efficiency as Birdie in Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes, and gained a scholarship to the Pasadena Playhouse Faculty of Theatre Arts. It was whereas she was performing in summer time inventory that she was noticed by a Paramount expertise scout and given a studio contract in 1950. She made her movie debut the next yr in Molly (AKA The Goldbergs), a comedy starring Gertrude Berg.

When the movie roles began to dry up within the mid-60s, Rush continued to work busily in tv, particularly soaps, from a season of Peyton Place in 1968-69 to a long-running function in seventh Heaven from 1997 to 2007. In an 1968 episode of Batman, she was a visitor villainess, Nora Clavicle, who proposes that the miniskirted policewomen of Gotham Metropolis could possibly be cowed into submission just by releasing mice into the group.

She was nonetheless well-known sufficient in 1975 to be talked about by Warren Beatty in Shampoo, when his character, a Beverly Hills hairdresser, says: “I do Barbara Rush’s hair”.

She returned to the stage within the 70s in Forty Carats, and in 1984 made her Broadway debut within the one-woman present A Lady of Unbiased Means on the Biltmore theatre. In 1989 she appeared as M’Lynn within the first nationwide tour of Metal Magnolias.

Rush’s second marriage resulted in divorce, as did a 3rd, to Jim Gruzalski, a sculptor. She is survived by her kids, Christopher and Claudia.

Barbara Rush, actor, born 4 January 1927; died 31 March 2024

Ronald Bergan died in 2020


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