Miss Ellie Ewing of TV's "Dallas" dies

8-11-05 - Barbara Bel Geddes, who played Miss Ellie Ewing on the long-running hit television series "Dallas," has died at the age of 82.

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 after he fell ill with cancer in 1966. He died in 1972.

Bel Geddes says she was "flat broke" in 1978 when she accepted the role on "Dallas" as matriarch of a Texas oil family.

In March 1984, she 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.