Janice Rule

Biography

Mary Janice Rule (August 15, 1931 – October 17, 2003), better known by her stage name Janice Rule, was an American actress. Early life and career Born in Norwood, Ohio, her career included stage, screen and television work. Rule studied ballet and began dancing in Chicago nightclubs in her teens. She soon attracted attention in Hollywood and made her film debut in 1951. Among her noteworthy film roles were Emily Stewart in The Chase, Virginia in Goodbye My Fancy, Willie in Robert Altman's 3 Women, journalist Kate Newman in Costa Gavras' 1982 political thriller Missing, Burt Lancaster's bitter ex-lover in The Swimmer, and Kevin Costner's mother in the bicycle racing film American Flyers. She was pictured on the cover of Life magazine on Jan. 8, 1951, as a rising young actress. Her films in the 1950s included Starlift, Holiday for Sinners, A Woman's Devotion and Bell, Book and Candle, in which she was the strait-laced fiancée who loses James Stewart. Rule was in the original cast of William Inge's Picnic, which was also Paul Newman's Broadway debut. She played Madge Owens, the naïve beauty. Among her other Broadway shows were The Flowering Peach, The Happiest Girl in the World and Michael V. Gazzo's Night Circus, a 1958 production with Ben Gazzara. She was troubled by the attitude toward women's beauty in the studios in the early 1950s. She was afraid of losing her individuality and fought to retain a sense of her own identity. She was in great demand during this era precisely because she could depict strong, non-conventional women. The jaded publicists and studio make up artists described her as "being careless about her appearance." In 1960 she played Elena Nardos, the roommate of Cloris Leachman's character, Marilyn Parker, in the Checkmate episode "The Mask of Vengeance". She appeared as different characters in three episodes of Route 66. On television she appeared as Barbara Webb and Barbara Wells opposite David Janssen in two episodes of The Fugitive entitled "Wife Killer" and "The Walls of Night". She also appeared in The Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare as a Child." Personal life Rule had a brief engagement to Farley Granger in 1956. They had appeared in the Broadway play The Carefree Tree in 1955. Then followed a relationship with Ralph Meeker, Meeker had played "Hal" in Picnic. Rule married and then divorced three men, N. Richard Nash, Robert Thom, and Ben Gazzara. During the 1960s she became interested in psychoanalysis. She began studying it in 1973 and received a Ph.D. 10 years later from the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute in Los Angeles. She practiced in New York and Los Angeles and continued to act occasionally until her death from a cerebral hemorrhage in 2003. She is survived by her daughters, Kate Thom Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gazzara, both of Brooklyn; her sisters, Kathleen Rule, of Oceano, Calif.; Ann Nader, of San Marcos, Calif.; and Emily Forbes, of Las Cruces, N.M.; and her brother Ralph, of Mallorca, Spain. Filmography L.A. Bad (1986) American Flyers (1985) Missing (1982) 3 Women (1977) Kid Blue (1973) Gumshoe (1971) The Devil and Miss Sarah (1971) Trial Run (1969) (TV) Journey to the Unknown Episode "Stranger in the Family" (1968) Shadow on the Land (1968) The Swimmer (1968) The Fugitive TV series: episodes "Wife Killer" (1966) and "The Walls of Night" (1967, both ABC) The Ambushers (1967) Welcome to Hard Times (1967) Alvarez Kelly (1966) The Chase (1966) Invitation to a Gunfighter (1964) Route 66 Episode "Once to Every Man" (1961) The Subterraneans (1960) The Twilight Zone Episode "Nightmare as a Child" (1959) Bell Book and Candle (1958) Wagon Train ("The Zeke Thomas Story") (1957, NBC) Gun for a Coward (1957) A Woman's Devotion (1956) Appointment with Adventure (1955, CBS) Rogue's March (1953) Holiday for Sinners (1952) Starlift with Ron Hagerthy (1951) Goodbye, My Fancy (1951) Fourteen Hours (1951) (uncredited)

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Known For
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3 Women

Willie Hart

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The Swimmer

Shirley Abbott

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Invitation to a Gunfighter

Ruth Adams

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Alvarez Kelly

Liz Pickering

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The Ambushers

Sheila Sommers

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Gumshoe

Mrs. Blankerscoon

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A Woman's Devotion

Stella Stevenson

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Welcome to Hard Times

Molly Riordan

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Adiós, mi amor

Virginia Merrill

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American Flyers

Mrs. Sommers

Starring In
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Rainy Day Friends

Elaine

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American Flyers

Mrs. Sommers

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Missing

Kate Newman

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3 Women

Willie Hart

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Kid Blue

Janet Conforto

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Gumshoe

Mrs. Blankerscoon

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Doctors' Wives

Amy Brennan

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The Swimmer

Shirley Abbott

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The Ambushers

Sheila Sommers

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Welcome to Hard Times

Molly Riordan

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The Chase

Emily Stewart

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Alvarez Kelly

Liz Pickering

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Invitation to a Gunfighter

Ruth Adams

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Bell, Book and Candle

Merle Kittridge

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Gun for a Coward

Aud Niven

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A Woman's Devotion

Stella Stevenson

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Starlift

Nell Wayne

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Adiós, mi amor

Virginia Merrill

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Fourteen Hours

Bit Part (uncredited)

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