Deborah Rush

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Name Deborah Rush
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Deborah Rush was born on April 10, 1954, in Chatham, New Jersey and developed an early interest in making people laugh as a child. Following high school, she decided to pursue acting headfirst, apprenticing with the Play-House of the Ridiculous comedy troupe for starters. She headed for New York and made her Broadway debut in the Tony-winning musical “Dance with Me” (1975) which ran nearly a year. Later in the decade she appeared winningly in a number of New York Shakespeare productions for Joseph Papp including “The Misanthrope”, “All’s Well That Ends Well”, and as Bianca to Meryl Streep’s Katherine and Raul Julia’s Petruchio in “The Taming of the Shrew”. She also understudied Streep’s Alice in Papp’s “Alice in Concert” musical, based on the popular Lewis Carroll character.

Film and TV began coming her way in the late 1970s, making her movie debut in a bit part in Oliver’s Story (1978), the wan remake of the romantic tearjerker Love Story (1970). By her second film, however, she was starting to grab notice even in the smallest of contributions. Who can forget her hilarious scene as the cooey-voiced dental assistant with patient Dudley Moore in Blake Edwards’ 10 (1979)? Elsewhere, her stage performances in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1982) (as Hermia), and in the Streep musical Alice at the Palace (1982) were engagingly recaptured on TV. She remained strongly rooted in the theatre over the years. Other plays that captured her special brand of eccentrics included “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You”, “Maybe I’m Doing It Wrong”, “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” and “The Sisters Rosenzweig”. In 1983, she returned to Broadway in 1983 and, for her portrayal of Brooke Ashton in the slapstick farce “Noises Off”, captured a Tony nomination as well as a Drama Desk Award. She returned to Broadway a couple years later to co-star with Rosemary Harris and Campbell Scott in Noël Coward’s “Hay Fever” (1985).

Character stardom proved elusive although Deborah provided amusing secondary finesse for a sprinkling of notable directors over the years including Woody Allen (twice), John Schlesinger, Sidney Lumet, and John G. Avildsen, Frank Perry and in a number of independent films. Still in all, she has that constant habit of grabbing attention wherever she works. On television, she played the recurring role of the Mayor’s wife on the comedy series Spin City (1996) and had a regular part on the short-lived but critically-acclaimed series Strangers with Candy (1999). A prequel of sorts was made later with the feature film version of Strangers with Candy (2005). She has also had wonderfully off-kilter roles in The Good Girl (2002) with Jennifer Aniston, and the second “American Pie” sequel American Wedding (2003). More recent sightings have included a Broadway return (after a two- decade absence) in the revival of “Absurd Person Singular” in 2005; the off-Broadway stage role of Henrietta Iscariot in “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” opposite Sam Rockwell’s title role; and standout supporting work in the dramatic film Half Nelson (2006) as Ryan Gosling’s wacky mom.

Rush has been married since 1985 to Chip Cronkite (né Walter Leland Cronkite III), son of the iconic news anchor, and is the mother of their two sons: Walter Cronkite IV and Peter.


  • Born: April 10, 1954
  • Born Place: Chatham, New Jersey, USA
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