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Topic: R.I.P. Barbara ............. ( N.S.C. ) Return to archive
August 10th, 2005 04:57 PM
Joey " Barbara Bel Geddes, Miss Ellie of 'Dallas,' dies at 82 "

" LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Barbara Bel Geddes, the winsome actress who rose to stage and movie stardom but reached her greatest fame as Miss Ellie Ewing in the long-running TV series "Dallas," has died. She was 82.

The San Francisco Chronicle said she died Monday of lung cancer at her home in Northeast Harbor, Maine. Jordan-Fernald Funeral Home in Mount Desert, Maine, confirmed the death Wednesday, but owner Bill Fernald said the family asked that no further information be given out.

Bel Geddes, daughter of renowned industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes, was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress for the 1948 drama "I Remember Mama" and was the original Maggie the Cat on Broadway in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

"Dallas" came late in her career. She had retired to take care of her husband, Windsor Lewis, after he fell ill with cancer in 1966. He died in 1972.

Her earnings depleted by his long illness, she found work scarce for a middle-aged actress and said she was "flat broke" in 1978 when she accepted the role as matriarch of a rambunctious Texas oil family.

Though castigated by critics, "Dallas" hurtled to the top of the audience ratings and spawned copycat shows. Bel Geddes won an Emmy in 1980 as best lead actress in a drama series and remains the only nighttime soap star to be so honored.

Bel Geddes called "Dallas "real fun," but it was also marked by tragedy. In 1981, Jim Davis, who played Miss Ellie's husband, Jock Ewing, died.

"It was like losing her own husband again," said "Dallas" producer Leonard Katzman. "It was a terribly difficult and emotional time for Barbara."

In March 1984, Bel Geddes was stricken with a major heart attack. Miss Ellie was played by Donna Reed for six months, then Bel Geddes returned to "Dallas," remaining until 1990, a year before CBS canceled the show.

Screen actress
In 1945, Bel Geddes made a splash on Broadway at 23 with her first important role in "Deep Are the Roots," winning the New York Drama Critics Award as best actress.

She announced to a reporter: "My ambition is to be a good screen actress. I think it would be much more exciting to work for Frank Capra, George Cukor, Alfred Hitchcock or Elia Kazan than to stay on Broadway."

Hollywood was quick to notice. In 1946 she signed a contract with RKO that granted her unusual request to be committed to only one picture a year. In her first movie she costarred with Henry Fonda in "The Long Night," a disappointing remake of a French film.

Her second film was a hit playing a budding writer in George Stevens' "I Remember Mama," the touching story of an immigrant family in San Francisco starring Irene Dunne as Mama. With her delicate features and patrician manner, Bel Geddes became a popular leading lady in films.

"I went out to California awfully young," she remarked. "I remember Lillian Hellman and Elia Kazan telling me, 'Don't go, learn your craft.' But I loved films." After four movies, Howard Hughes, who had bought control of RKO in 1948, dropped her contract because "she wasn't sexy enough."

Bel Geddes was devastated. But it turned out to be a good happenstance. She had time to return to the stage, and she scored a triumph in 1955 as Maggie the Cat in Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

Yet her biggest Broadway success was "Mary, Mary," a frothy marital comedy by Jean Kerr, which opened in 1961 and ran for more than 1,500 performances.

In her film career, Bel Geddes was able to work with great filmmakers such as Kazan ("Panic in the Streets") and Alfred Hitchcock ("Vertigo"). She also costarred with Danny Kaye in "The Five Pennies" and with Jeanne Moreau in "Five Branded Women."

"By Love Possessed" in 1961 was her last film for 10 years. She made her final films in 1971 -- "Summertree" and "The Todd Killings."

Among Bel Geddes' other major theater credits were roles in Terence Rattigan's "The Sleeping Prince" (1956); Robert Anderson's "Silent Night, Holy Night" (1959), which co-starred Henry Fonda; and Edward Albee's "Everything in the Garden" (1967). Her last Broadway appearance was in 1973, when she starred in another Kerr comedy, "Finishing Touches."

She was born in New York City on October 31, 1922. Her father, born Norman Geddes, and mother, maiden name Helen Belle Sneider, coined Bel-Geddes as the title for a magazine they were planning. He took the name without a hyphen as his name. The couple divorced when Barbara was 3.

"I didn't see much of my father," she said, "but I absolutely adored him." After her education in private schools, he found her a job at a summer theater and used his connections with stage people to help her get work.

Her first role was a walk-on with Ethel Barrymore in "The School for Scandal" at a summer theater. Her father helped land her Broadway debut in the 1941 "Out of the Frying Pan," for which a critic called her "plump, pleasing and amusing." She dropped 20 pounds and continued in a variety of roles until her breakthrough in "Deep Are the Roots."

Early in her stage career Bel Geddes married Carl Schreuer, an electrical engineer, and they had a daughter, Susan. The marriage ended after seven years in 1951, and that year she married director Lewis. They had a daughter, Betsy."

http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/TV/08/10/obit.belgeddes.ap/index.html

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August 10th, 2005 05:16 PM
egon I feel your pain Joey, i really do.
August 10th, 2005 05:23 PM
Joey
quote:
egon wrote:
I feel your pain Joey, i really do.



Bless You Egon .................

Tonight I drink TWO " Jaggerbombs " : one in your honor and one in Babs .

Jacky
August 10th, 2005 05:26 PM
ListenToTheLion
quote:
Joey wrote:


Bless You Egon .................

Tonight I drink TWO " Jaggerbombs " : one in your honor and one in Babs .

Jacky



Don't forget Jock.
August 10th, 2005 05:27 PM
Joey
quote:
ListenToTheLion wrote:


Don't forget Jock.



Yes , Jim Davis .................................


I drink to him nightly
August 10th, 2005 05:28 PM
Steamboat Bill, Jr. Vertigo is one of the greatest movies ever made, Kazan's Panic in the Streets is pretty good too.
August 10th, 2005 05:31 PM
Joey
quote:
Steamboat Bill, Jr. wrote:
Vertigo is one of the greatest movies ever made, Kazan's Panic in the Streets is pretty good too.




" Howard received a screening copy of “Tommy Lee Goes to College” and really liked it. He thought Tommy came off as likeable and charming. Robin said she’d never seen that side of him before. Howard said the show was dumb, but it kept him interested. Howard explained that in the show Tommy audits a few classes, and that he’s not really in college. Howard said if he was the producer he would’ve taken five rockers and made them compete to see who could earn the best grades. He added the real star of the show is the hot pre-med tutor who helps Tommy with his school work. Howard gave the show a B+. Robin brought up the rumor that Tommy and Pam Anderson had gotten back together. Howard said Pam called him recently and insisted she and Tommy are not getting re-married. Robin said that may be true, but the do seem to be a couple again. Artie felt children should have both parents in their lives, so he thought this was good news for Pam and Tommy’s kids. However, Robin and Howard told Artie that sometimes children are better off if their parents split. Artie saw their point, saying that Charles Manson fathered a bunch of kids and it was probably better for them that he wasn’t around. "

http://www.howardstern.com/rundown.php
August 10th, 2005 06:01 PM
Gimme Shelter http://www.ultimatedallas.com/multimedia/images/BMP%20b.jpg
August 10th, 2005 09:12 PM
Steamboat Bill, Jr.
quote:
Joey wrote:
" Howard received a screening copy of “Tommy Lee Goes to College” and really liked it. He thought Tommy came off as likeable and charming. Robin said she’d never seen that side of him before. Howard said the show was dumb, but it kept him interested. Howard explained that in the show Tommy audits a few classes, and that he’s not really in college. Howard said if he was the producer he would’ve taken five rockers and made them compete to see who could earn the best grades. He added the real star of the show is the hot pre-med tutor who helps Tommy with his school work. Howard gave the show a B+. Robin brought up the rumor that Tommy and Pam Anderson had gotten back together. Howard said Pam called him recently and insisted she and Tommy are not getting re-married. Robin said that may be true, but the do seem to be a couple again. Artie felt children should have both parents in their lives, so he thought this was good news for Pam and Tommy’s kids. However, Robin and Howard told Artie that sometimes children are better off if their parents split. Artie saw their point, saying that Charles Manson fathered a bunch of kids and it was probably better for them that he wasn’t around. "





Pete misses Barbara
August 11th, 2005 09:02 AM
Joey
quote:
Steamboat Bill, Jr. wrote:


Pete misses Barbara



Yes , Pete was a big fan of the series !

August 11th, 2005 11:53 AM
Martha When you go home tonight make sure to check your underware drawer........I'm hiding there ready to comfort you my dear Stonesian brother.

Long Live JR!

xxxooo,
Martha Ewing
August 11th, 2005 12:07 PM
Joey
quote:
Martha wrote:
When you go home tonight make sure to check your underware drawer........I'm hiding there ready to comfort you my dear Stonesian brother.

Long Live JR!

xxxooo,
Martha Ewing




Martha .....................................


You make Joey giddy .
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