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Biography
The daughter of Norman Bel Geddes, the noted architect and theatrical set designer, Barbara Bel Geddes was a professional stage actress from age 18. She gained prominence as the ingenue in the original Broadway production of that summer-stock perennial Out of the Frying Pan. Other accomplishments in Barbara's years on stage included the New York critics circle award in 1945, and her performance as Maggie "The Cat" in the original 1955 production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Ms. Bel Geddes enjoyed a promising beginning in films in 1947's The Long Night (remake of Marcel Carne's Le Jour se Leve); one year later, she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Irene Dunne's daughter in I Remember Mama (1948). The House UnAmerican Activities Committee investigations effectively ended Ms. Bel Geddes' starring career in films. She returned before the cameras thanks to a few brave souls like Alfred Hitchcock, who cast Barbara in his famous "Lamb to the Slaughter" episode in his weekly TV anthology (as well as three additional installments), and in a strong supporting role in his theatrical feature Vertigo (1958). Beginning in 1978, Barbara Bel Geddes played Miss Ellie Ewing on the nigthttime TV serial Dallas, a role which earned her an Emmy award; she remained with Dallas until its cancellation in 1991, save for the 1984-85 season, when she temporarily retired due to heart surgery (the role of Miss Ellie was filled that year by Donna Reed).

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