Barbara Bel Geddes : Biography, Pictures, Photos, Trivia, Address, Filmography (Dallas)

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Barbara Bel Geddes

Eleanor Southworth 'Miss Ellie' Ewing in Dallas

Photos Barbara Bel Geddes Birth name: Barbara Bel Geddes
Birth date: 1922/10/31
Date of death : 2005/08/08 (83 years old)
Birth place : New York

French Traduire

Biography for Barbara Bel Geddes

Barbara Bel Geddes is best remembered as Miss Ellie, the Ewing family matriarch on the long-running TV series "Dallas" (1978), but the actress scored success on stage and screen long before she found fame on television. Born in New York City on Halloween Day 1922, the actress was the daughter of noted theatrical and industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes, who staged more than 200 plays. After growing up in the midst of the theatre, Barbara Bel Geddes began acting on stage at age 18 and soon moved on to Broadway. The silver screen also beckoned, and she made her film debut in The Long Night (1947). She was quickly labeled a star, gracing the cover of Life magazine on April 12, 1948. Her third motion picture, I Remember Mama (1948), garnered Bel Geddes an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Other notable films starring Bel Geddes include Panic in the Streets (1950) directed by Elia Kazan; Alfred Hitchcock's classic mystery thriller Vertigo (1958); and The Five Pennies (1959) opposite Danny Kaye. Though she achieved immediate success in films, Bel Geddes also continued to tread the boards on Broadway, as the theatre was her first love. In 1952, she received the prestigious Woman of the Year Award by Hasty Pudding Theatricals USA, America's oldest theater company. She was nominated for Tony Awards as Best Dramatic Actress for "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in 1956 and "Mary, Mary" in 1961. Bel Geddes made several TV appearances on the series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955) and other programs in the mid-'50s, but her greatest television role came as Miss Ellie Ewing Farlow on "Dallas" (1978), which enjoyed a run of 13 years (1978-1991). She won the Emmy Award for Best Actress in 1980 and was nominated in the same category in 1979 and 1981. Bel Geddes left the show for health reasons during the 1984-85 season, and actress Donna Reed took over the role of Miss Ellie. Bel Geddes returned for the 1985-86 season and continued on "Dallas" (1978) until 1990, when she effectively retired from acting. She did not appear in either of the two "Dallas" reunion TV movies. On August 8, 2005, she died following a long illness.


Photos Barbara Bel Geddes n_3 Photos Barbara Bel Geddes n_3 Photos Barbara Bel Geddes n_3


Title Role
Dallas Eleanor Southworth 'Miss Ellie' Ewing / ... (192 episodes, 1978-1990)
Our Town (1977) (TV) Mrs. Webb
Spencer's Pilots Maggie (1 episode, 1976)
The Todd Killings (1971) Mrs. Todd
Summertree (1971) Ruth
Journey to the Unknown Inga Madison (1 episode, 1969)
Daniel Boone Molly Malone (1 episode, 1969)
CBS Playhouse Doris Gray (1 episode, 1968)
Dr. Kildare Dr. Ruth Halliman (1 episode, 1965)
Death Valley Days (1 episode, 1962)
By Love Possessed (1961) Clarissa Winner
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Helen Brewster / ... (4 episodes, 1958-1960)
Dow Hour of Great Mysteries (1 episode, 1960)
5 Branded Women (1960) Marja
Riverboat Missy (1 episode, 1959)
The Five Pennies (1959) Willa Stuts
The DuPont Show of the Month (1 episode, 1958)
The United States Steel Hour Lily Barton (1 episode, 1958)
Vertigo (1958) Marjorie 'Midge' Wood
Playhouse 90 Sidney Cantrell (1 episode, 1958)
Studio One Charlotte Lamb / ... (2 episodes, 1957-1958)
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars (2 episodes, 1957)
On Trial (1 episode, 1957)
Campbell Playhouse (1 episode, 1954)
Fourteen Hours (1951) Virginia Foster
Nash Airflyte Theatre Molly Morgan (1 episode, 1950)
Pulitzer Prize Playhouse (1 episode, 1950)
Robert Montgomery Presents (2 episodes, 1950)
Panic in the Streets (1950) Nancy Reed
Caught (1949) Leonora Eames
Blood on the Moon (1948) Amy Lufton
I Remember Mama (1948) Katrin Hanson


She played "Maggie the Cat" in the original Broadway production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (the role Elizabeth Taylor played in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)).

At age 16 she was tossed out of the fancy Putney Finishing School in New England for being a "disruptive influence."

Designs stationery for Caspari and Crane.

Now lives in Northeast Harbor, Maine.

Operated on for breast cancer in 1971/72, and relived the experience in "Dallas" (1978) when Miss Ellie underwent a mastectomy.

She played "the Showgirl" in "The Sleeping Prince" on Broadway. When it was made into a movie as The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), that role was played by Marilyn Monroe.

She played the lead in "Mary, Mary" on Broadway. In the movie version that role was played by Debbie Reynolds.

Was twice nominated for Broadway's Best Actress (Dramatic) Tony Award: in 1956, for "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," and, in 1961, for "Mary, Mary."

A longtime smoker, she was forced to quit by her doctors after her heart attack in March 1984.



Spouse : Windsor Lewis (15 April 1951 - 15 May 1972) (his death) 1 child, Carl Schreuer (24 January 1944 - 1951) (divorced) 1 child

Daughters, Susan and Betsy.

Daughter of stage designer/art director Norman Bel Geddes and Helen Belle Sneider Geddes.

Stepdaughter of famous theatrical costumer designer Edith Lutyens-Bel Geddes

Had 3 grandchildren: Samantha, Hannah and Joshua.

Author of the card

  • Creation date: 08/01/2008 by moi25

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