Barbara Rush (born January 4, 1927) is an American stage, film, and television actress.
A 1948 graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, Barbara Rush performed on stage at the Pasadena Playhouse before signing with Paramount Pictures. She made her screen debut in the 1951 movie The Goldbergs and went on to star opposite the likes of James Mason, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Richard Burton, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Kirk Douglas. 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 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 has always been 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.
In 1962, she guest-starred as Linda Kinkcaid in the episode "Make Me a Place" on the NBC medical drama about psychiatry, The Eleventh Hour starring Wendell Corey and Jack Ging. In 1962–1963, she appeared three times as Lizzie Hogan on the short-lived NBC drama about newspapers, Saints and Sinners. In 1965, she appeared in a 2-part episode of The Fugitive entitled "Landscape with Running Figures" as Marie Gerard. In 1967, she guest starred on the ABC western series Custer starring Wayne Maunder.
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) or in the Western drama Hombre (1967), as a rich, condescending wife of a thief who ends up taken hostage and tied to a stake. She portrayed the devious Nora Clavicle in the TV series Batman.
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. She also was a character named Elizabeth Knight in the Season 2 debut episode "Goliath" of the 80's TV series Knight Rider. In 1998, she was featured in an episode called "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."
Rush continues to make guest appearances on television. In 2007, she played the recurring role of Grandma Ruth Camden on the series 7th Heaven. Peter Graves appeared as her husband in the role of the by-the-book Colonel John Camden.
Rush married actor Jeffrey Hunter in 1950 and had a son, Christopher. They divorced in 1955. She married publicist Warren Cowan in 1959. They divorced in 1969. Their daughter, Claudia Cowan, is a journalist with Fox News television channel. Rush married Jim Gruzalski in 1970. They divorced in 1973.