Barbara Bel Geddes (October 31, 1922 – August 8, 2005) was an American actress, artist, and children's author, whose career spanned six decades. She was best known for her starring role in the television drama series Dallas as matriarch Miss Ellie Ewing. Bel Geddes also starred in the original Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in the role of Maggie. Her notable films included Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958) and I Remember Mama (1948). She was the recipient of several acting awards and nominations throughout her career.
Bel Geddes died of lung cancer on August 8, 2005, at her home in Northeast Harbor at the age of 82. Upon her death, she was cremated, and her ashes were scattered from a simple wooden boat into the harbor waters bordering her estate in Northeast Harbor, Maine. At the revival of Dallas, Patrick Duffy, who played her youngest son, Bobby, in the original CBS Dallas series, said: "Barbara is a big piece of our history, and it's important to me to honor her. To come back with Linda Gray as Sue Ellen and Larry Hagman in his J.R. hat, and then see the words Ellie Southworth Ewing Farlow on the gravestone made me think, 'Oh, that's right -- she's gone." "Through the whole first season, I don't think an episode goes by that Mama is not mentioned in reference to Southfork and the land."