Barbara Rush, 97, dies after starring with Frank Sinatra and Paul Newman.  

Los Angeles — Barbara Rush, a leading actress in the 1950s and 1960s who co-starred with Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman, and others and later had a successful TV career, died. She was 97. Claudia Cowan, a Fox News correspondent, reported Rush's death on Instagram on Easter Sunday. Instant details were unavailable.  

Cowan was her mother's "biggest fan" and named her “among the last of ”Old Hollywood Royalty.” Rush was signed by Paramount Studios in 1950 after appearing in a play at the Pasadena Playhouse. She made her film debut in 1950 with a small role in “The Goldbergs,” based on the radio and TV series.  

She left Paramount soon after to work for Universal International and 20th Century Fox. She said, “Paramount wasn’t geared for developing new talent,” in 1954. “Every good role came along, they tried to borrow Elizabeth Taylor.”  

Rush appeared in many films. She played opposite Rock Hudson in “Captain Lightfoot” and Douglas Sirk's remake of “Magnificent Obsession,” Audie Murphy in “World in My Corner,” and Richard Carlson in “It Came From Outer Space,” for which she won a Golden Globe for best newcomer.  

The Nicholas Ray classic “Bigger Than Life,” “The Young Lions,” with Marlon Brando, Dean Martin, and Montgomery Clift, and “The Young Philadelphians” with Newman were other film credits Her films with Sinatra were “Come Blow Your Horn” and the Rat Pack satire “Robin and the Seven Hoods,” starring Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.  

Rush, who had appeared on TV many times, said she totally transitioned when she entered middle age. “There used to be this terrible Sahara Desert between 40 and 60 when you went from ingenue to old lady,” she said in 1962. “You didn’t work or pretended you were 20.”  

Instead, Rush appeared in “Peyton Place,” “All My Children,” “The New Dick Van Dyke Show,” and “7th Heaven.” “I’m one of those kinds of people who will perform the minute you open the refrigerator door and the light goes on,” she said in 1997.  

Her debut production was the road company adaptation of successful New York comedy “Forty Carats.” Director Abe Burrows helped her behave comedically. “It was very, very difficult for me to learn timing at first, especially the business of waiting for a laugh,” she said in 1970. But she learned, and the performance lasted a year in Chicago and months on tour.  

Later tours included “Same Time, Next Year,” “Father’s Day,” “Steel Magnolias,” and her solo show, “A Woman of Independent Means.” Rush, a Denver native, spent her first 10 years moving with her mining business lawyer father. After moving to Santa Barbara, California, Barbara played a fabled dryad in a school play and fell in love with acting.

Three times, Rush married and divorced Jeffrey Hunter, Warren Cowan, and sculptor James Gruzalski.  

View for more updates