From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Barbara Bel Geddes (October 31, 1922 – August 8, 2005) was an American actress, artist and childrens author. She is best known for her role in the television drama series Dallas as matriarch Eleanor Miss Ellie Ewing. Bel Geddes also starred in the original Broadway production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof in the role of Maggie, and also appeared in Alfred Hitchcocks Vertigo (1958). She was the recipient of several awards and award nominations for her thespian performances. Bel Geddes retired from Dallas (and acting) in 1990 and settled in her home in Northeast Harbor, Maine, where she continued to work as a fine artist. She was the author of two childrens books and the creator of a line of greeting cards. She was twice married, the mother of two daughters, and died of lung cancer on August 8, 2005.