Fast Facts

  • Father, Norman, was a theatrical designer, and later an industrial designer who specialized in aerodynamics.
  • First Hollywood contract had the unusual stipulation that she only had to do one film a year.
  • Was dropped by new RKO studio head Howard Hughes in 1948 because he deemed her "not sexy enough."
  • Was blacklisted for several years in the 1950s following an appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee.
  • Made Broadway debut in Out of the Frying Pan in 1941, and played Maggie the Cat in the original 1955 production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
  • Starred in the classic 1958 Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "Lamb to the Slaughter," in which she killed her husband with a frozen leg of lamb and then served it to investigating detectives.
  • Had heart surgery in 1984 that forced her to leave the series Dallas. Donna Reed replaced her as Ewing matriarch Miss Ellie, but Bel Geddes returned to the role the next season.
  • During her Dallas run (star Larry Hagman once said that she "held the ship together" on the series) her character battled breast cancer in a sensitive plot development that mirrored personal experience with the disease. While she found "dredging up" the ordeal painful, she took time to discuss the topic during interviews.
  • Wrote two children's books, I Like to Be Me and So Do I.

Awards

  • 1980, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Winner
  • 1961, Tony — Actress (Dramatic): Nominee
  • 1982, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
  • 1981, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
  • 1981, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1979, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
  • 1948, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1956, Tony — Actress (Dramatic): Nominee
  • 1980, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee

Relationships

  • Carl Schreuer — Ex-husband
  • Norman Bel Geddes — Father
  • Betsy Lewis — Daughter
  • Susan Schreuer — Daughter
  • Windsor Lewis — Husband (deceased)
  • Helen Belle Sneider Geddes — Mother
  • Joan Bel Geddes Ulanov — Sister

Details

  • Birth Place: New York, NY
  • Birthday: October 31, 1922, Scorpio
  • Died: August 8, 2005
  • Profession: Actor, Painter, greeting-card designer, Author, Illustrator
  • User Rating:4.88 out of 5 (8 ratings)
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