Barbara Rush, the supremely poised actress who rose to fame with supporting roles in Nineteen Fifties movies like “Magnificent Obsession” and “The Younger Lions,” died on Sunday at her house in Westlake Village, Calif., in Los Angeles County. She was 97.

The dying, in a senior care facility, was confirmed by her daughter, Claudia Cowan.

If Ms. Rush’s portrayals had one factor in frequent, it was a mild, ladylike high quality, which she put to make use of in movies of many genres. She was Jane Wyman’s involved stepdaughter within the 1954 romantic drama “Magnificent Obsession” and Dean Martin’s loyal wartime girlfriend in “The Younger Lions” (1958), set throughout World Conflict II. In Nineteen Fifties science fiction footage like “It Got here From Outer House” and “When Worlds Collide,” she was the small-town heroine, the scientist’s daughter, the Earthling most definitely to succeed.

In each “The Younger Philadelphians” (1959), with Paul Newman, and “The World in My Nook,” a 1956 boxing movie with Audie Murphy, Ms. Rush was the prized wealthy lady. In “Larger Than Life” (additionally 1956), with James Mason, she performed a vapid however supportive spouse. And in “Come Blow Your Horn” (1963), with Frank Sinatra, she performed the one “good lady” in a swinging Manhattan bachelor’s life.

However she did transcend sort often, as an Indian agent’s bigoted spouse, for example, within the western “Hombre” (1967), with Paul Newman. She additionally performed Package Sargent, the Hollywood screenwriter drawn to and repelled by the ruthless title character within the traditional 1959 tv manufacturing of “What Makes Sammy Run?”

For a lot of her profession, Ms. Rush was handled as a reasonably face greater than a severe actress. However she did obtain a Golden Globe in 1954 as most promising newcomer, and she or he gained the Sarah Siddons Award as Chicago’s high actress of the 1969-70 season for her stage position as a mature girl courted by a youthful man within the Jay Presson Allen comedy “Forty Carats.”

Her stage work, the truth is, turned a second profession. Her best-known position was in “A Girl of Unbiased Means,” a one-woman epistolary saga. However when the present opened on Broadway in 1984, the nicest factor Frank Wealthy, writing in The New York Times, mentioned about it was that Ms. Rush was “a good-looking girl who tries terribly exhausting to be ingratiating.” She went on to play the position, nevertheless, for appreciative audiences all through North America.

Barbara Rush was born on Jan. 4, 1927, in Denver. Her father, Roy, was a lawyer for a mining firm who died when she was a young person. Her mom, Nora (Simonson) Rush, had been a homemaker however took up performing round that point to help the household. She later turned a nurse. Barbara attended the College of California at Santa Barbara, the place she performed Birdie, the guileless alcoholic, within the blistering “Little Foxes” by Lillian Hellman.

In 1950, when she was 23, Ms. Rush acquired a scholarship to the Pasadena Playhouse Theater Arts Faculty and was signed to a contract at Paramount Photos. She made her movie debut that yr within the household comedy “The Goldbergs.”

Tv was all the time part of her profession, with visitor appearances starting within the Nineteen Fifties. Though she by no means had a success sequence, she did star in a number of short-lived ones, most memorably as a rich Florida spouse in “Flamingo Street” (NBC, 1981-82). She was additionally a newspaper’s Washington correspondent in “Saints and Sinners” (NBC, 1962-63), an abused spouse for one season (1968-69) of ABC’s “Peyton Place,” and a cleaning soap opera star over the last yr (CBS, 1973-74) of “The New Dick Van Dyke Present.”

Her ultimate display appearances had been as a recurring character within the family-values sequence “seventh Heaven,” between 1997 and 2007.

Ms. Rush married and divorced 3 times. Her first husband (1950-55) was the actor Jeffrey Hunter. Her second (1959-70) was Warren Cowan, a founding father of the Rogers & Cowan public relations agency. Her final marriage (1970-75) was to Jim Gruzalski, a sculptor.

Along with Ms. Cowan, from Ms. Rush’s second marriage, she is survived by a son from her first marriage, Christopher Hunter, and 4 grandchildren. For about 50 years, she lived in Beverly Hills at a home as soon as occupied by the Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper.

Ms. Rush continued performing till her early 90s and professed an awesome love of her work. In 1997, she instructed The San Francisco Chronicle, “I’m a type of varieties of people that will carry out the minute you open the fridge door and the sunshine goes on.”

Alex Traub contributed reporting.



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