All My Children alum Barbara Rush dead at age 97

Posted Monday, April 01, 2024 7:34:40 AM
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The legendary Hollywood actress who made her way to soaps later in life on ABC's All My Children has passed away.

Barbara Rush, who brought Nola Orsini to life on All My Children later in her career, has passed away. Her daughter, Fox News correspondent Claudia Cowan, broke the news.

"My wonderful mother passed away peacefully at 5:28 this evening. I was with her this morning and know she was waiting for me to return home safely to transition," Cowan said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "It's fitting she chose to leave on Easter as it was one of her favorite holidays and now, of course, Easter will have a deeper significance for me and my family."

Her niece, General Hospital actress Carolyn Hennesy (Diane Miller), also posted the news on X (formerly known as Twitter) with the simple words "RIP, Auntie B." Her tweet was accompanied by a link to a story about her aunt's death.

Rush was born on January 4, 1927, in Denver, Colorado, and studied theater at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her big Hollywood break came in 1953 when she starred in the cult classic It Came from Outer Space. The role earned her a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer.

A prolific film career followed, with Rush appearing in such flicks as Magnificent Obsession, The Young Philadelphians, The Bramble Bush, and Come Blow Your Horn. She also had a long career in television with roles on Dr. Kildare, Batman, The Mod Squad, and Marcus Welby, MD. Her first foray into soaps was on the primetime serial Peyton Place from 1968 to 1969.

Rush didn't venture into the soap world again until 1992, when she began playing Napa Valley socialite Barbara Orsini, who made her way to Pine Valley as the mother of Tad Martin doppelgänger Ted Orsini. She thought Tad was Ted for several years when Tad had amnesia, and she welcomed him into her home and business. Her last television role was on the primetime drama 7th Heaven.

Rush, who was married three times, is survived by her daughter, Claudia Cowan, and son, Christopher Hunter.

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