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Barbara Bel Geddes
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Barbara Bel Geddes

Born the daughter of Norman Bel Geddes, a renowned stage and industrial designer, on October 31 in New York City, Barbara Bel Geddes was in her teens when she made her Broadway debut in the comedy hit Out Of The Frying Pan. Following that, she toured with the USO in Junior Miss, and appeared in a half dozen short-lived New York plays. Ms. Bel Geddes' distinguished Broadway career is highlighted by her starring roles in The Moon Is Blue, Graham Greene's The Living Room, Tennessee Williams Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, John Steinbeck's Burning Bright, Terence Rattigan's The Sleeping Prince, Robert Anderson's Silent Night, Lonely Night, Jean Kerr's Mary, Mary and Finishing Touches, Murray Schisgal's Luv and Edward Albee's Everything In The Garden."

It was her success in the Broadway production of Deep Are The Roots for Elia Kazan, an interracial love story for which she received the first Clarence Derwent Award as Outstanding Young Actress of the Year, that brought her to California. Once in Hollywood, she made her film debut, co-starring with Henry Fonda in The Long Night. This was followed by I Remember Mama, for which Miss Bel Geddes garnered an Academy Award nomination. Her subsequent motion pictures include Kazan's Panic In The Streets, Hitchcock's Vertigo, and her sole musical, The Five Pennies, opposite Danny Kaye.

Among her numerous television appearances, Ms. Bel Geddes is well remembered for the Hitchcock thriller Lamb to the Slaughter, in which she wielded a frozen leg of lamb, with cold fury, upon a cheating husband. Beginning with the 1979-"80 television season, Ms. Bel Geddes was nominated for three consecutive Emmy Awards as Best Actress for her role as Miss Ellie on Dallas. She won the coveted award in 1980. She also appeared in the television adaptation of Thornton Wilder's Our Town during the 79-80 season.

Ms. Bel Geddes has written and illustrated two children's books, I Like To Be Me and So Do I. She has also painted and designed greeting cards for George Caspari, and stationery for Crane.

Ms. Bel Geddes was married to the late Windsor Lewis, and makes her home on a farm in upstate New York, residing in Marina Del Rey, CA, while filming Dallas. She has two daughters, Susan and Betsy, and three grandchildren, Samantha, Joshua and Hannah.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Barbara Bel Geddes Facts

Birth NameBarbara Geddes Lewis
BirthdayOctober 31, 1922
BirthplaceNew York, New York, USA
Date of deathAugust 8, 2005 (age 82)
Awards1982 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress in a Television Series - Drama (for Dallas)

Selected Filmography

Not available.