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Barbara Bel Geddes

Barbara Bel Geddes

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Also Known As: Died: August 8, 2005
Born: October 31, 1922 Cause of Death: lung cancer
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, painter, illustrator, author, greeting card designer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Known around the world as Ellie Ewing, the long-suffering matriarch of the affluent and combative Ewing clan on the highly popular primetime drama "Dallas" (CBS, 1978-1991), Barbara Bel Geddes was familiar with the world of performing from her childhood, thanks to the behind-the-scenes Broadway success of her father, Norman Bel Geddes. After a stint at the Actors Studio and a handful of plays, she made her own name on the Great White Way with the controversial "Deep are the Roots" (1945-46) and was subsequently cast in other successful productions like "The Moon is Blue" (1951-53), "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1955-56), and "Mary, Mary" (1961-64). She also earned notable credits in the motion picture world, including "I Remember Mama" (1948), for which she received an Oscar nomination, "Panic in the Streets" (1950), and Alfred Hitchcock's suspense masterpiece "Vertigo" (1958). Her greatest notoriety, however, came via the small screen. Bel Geddes earned a footnote in television history with her turn as a sly murderess in "Lamb to the Slaughter," one of the most fondly remembered episodes of the darkly humorous "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (CBS/NBC, 1955-1962). However, it was that Emmy-winning stint on...

Known around the world as Ellie Ewing, the long-suffering matriarch of the affluent and combative Ewing clan on the highly popular primetime drama "Dallas" (CBS, 1978-1991), Barbara Bel Geddes was familiar with the world of performing from her childhood, thanks to the behind-the-scenes Broadway success of her father, Norman Bel Geddes. After a stint at the Actors Studio and a handful of plays, she made her own name on the Great White Way with the controversial "Deep are the Roots" (1945-46) and was subsequently cast in other successful productions like "The Moon is Blue" (1951-53), "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1955-56), and "Mary, Mary" (1961-64). She also earned notable credits in the motion picture world, including "I Remember Mama" (1948), for which she received an Oscar nomination, "Panic in the Streets" (1950), and Alfred Hitchcock's suspense masterpiece "Vertigo" (1958). Her greatest notoriety, however, came via the small screen. Bel Geddes earned a footnote in television history with her turn as a sly murderess in "Lamb to the Slaughter," one of the most fondly remembered episodes of the darkly humorous "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (CBS/NBC, 1955-1962). However, it was that Emmy-winning stint on "Dallas" that brought Bel Geddes the most lasting recognition and when health issues forced her to drop out of the show, the public was unwilling to accept an actress of even Donna Reed's calibre in her place.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Todd Killings (1971) Mrs. Todd
2.
 Summertree (1971) Ruth [McAdams]
3.
 By Love Possessed (1961) Clarissa Winner
4.
 Five Branded Women (1960) Marja
5.
 The Five Pennies (1959) Bobbie Meredith, also known as Willa Stutsman
6.
 Vertigo (1958) Midge Wood
7.
 Fourteen Hours (1951) Virginia Foster
8.
 Panic in the Streets (1950) Nancy Reed
9.
 Caught (1949) Leonora Eames
10.
 Blood on the Moon (1948) Amy Lufton
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1940:
First stage appearance, walk-on role in summer stock production of "The School For Scandal" at Clinton Playhouse (Connecticut)
1941:
Broadway debut in "Out of the Frying Pan"
1942:
Toured military camps with USO production of "Junior Miss"
1947:
Film acting debut in "The Long Night"
1948:
Garnered Oscar nomination for role in "I Remember Mama"
1955:
Originated the role of Maggie the Cat on Broadway in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
1961:
Last film role for ten years, "By Love Posessed"
1971:
Last film appearances in "Summertree" and "The Todd Killings"
1971:
Had operation for cancer; recovered
1973:
Returned to Broadway to co-star in "Finishing Touches"
:
Toured in production of Eugene O'Neill's "Ah, Wilderness!"
1978:
Starred in TV series, "Dallas" (left in 1984 to have heart surgery; was replaced by Donna Reed for a season)
1985:
Returned to her role as 'Miss Ellie' on "Dallas"; stayed with the show for five years
2004:
Reunited with original cast of "Dallas" to film "Dallas Reunion: Return to Southfork"
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Education

Buxton Country Day School: Short Hills , New Jersey -
Putney School: Putney , Vermont -
Andebrook School: Tarrytown , New York -

Notes

Inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1990

Bel Geddes has written and illustrated two children's books and has also designed greeting cards and stationery.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Carl Schreuer. Engineer. Married on January 24, 1944; divorced in 1951.
husband:
Windsor Lewis. Producer, director. Married from April 15, 1951 until his death.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Norman Bel Geddes. Scenic designer, architect, actor, playwright.
mother:
Helen Bel Geddes.
daughter:
Susan Schreuer.
daughter:
Betsy Lewis.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"I Like to Be Me"
"So Do I"

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