AP/ Lennox McLendon, file
August 10, 2005
Actress Barbara Bel Geddes, Aug. 8
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, died Monday, Aug. 8, 2005, of lung cancer at her home in Northeast Harbor, Maine. She was 82. 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 after retiring to take care of her ill husband, Windsor Lewis, who died in 1972. She was ``flat broke'' in 1978 when she accepted the role as the 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. Her Bel Geddes and Linda Evans, right, pose with their Golden Globe awards after they tied as best actress in a television series for their respective roles in Dallas and Dynasty in 1982.