Dallas Actors I Remember Mama and Barbara Bel Geddes 8.8.05

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I just wanted to post that August 8th 2005 was the sad day that Barbara Bel Geddes passed away following a diagnosis of Lung cancer, after having suffered from heart problems in the years leading up to her death.

Its my one regret that I never got to meet her during or post Dallas. She was my favourite acrtress right from the start in 1978, she touched my life, she was special and I will never forget her

I regret the loss of the old Forum and all the wonderful tributes made about her, I hope she knew how much she was loved.

 

Julia's Gun

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This is such a coincidence. I have been rewatching the entire series and got to season 8 a couple of days ago. I am just watching the 'Homecoming' episode form season 8. Miss Ellie's head has just changed from Barbara to Donna Reed.
I can't believe this was ever allowed to happen, given what we now know was going on beind the scenes and that Barbara Bel Geddes did want to stay on. How on earth they couldn't have worked out a way of reducing her screen time but paying her enough to stay on the show I don't know.
Her absence is painful to watch. Susan Howard and Larry Hagman do their best not to notice as they welcome her home from the honeymoon, but poor Howard Keel looks very confused all episode. He dropped his new wife off at the hair salon before they went to the airport, and now she seems to have had a radical face lift at the same time....

Seriously though, this was terribly damaging to the show, and I can imagine our wonderful Barbara feeling absolutely mortified watching this debacle from home, seeing the character she had made her own being woefully imitated by another actor - though nothing personal towards Miss Reed. This misstep was as bad as the dream season and Pam's mummy. A shame Larry Hagman couldn't have stepped in earlier and forced the producers to compromise with Barbara's request.

I know i'll struggle to get through the rest of this season, but at least get some comfort knowing the real Miss Ellie will return the following year...
 

Snarky Oracle

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17 years ago -- I recall @Tessie , breathless, was the first to report the news to the forum (whatever the forum was called then).

This is such a coincidence. I have been rewatching the entire series and got to season 8 a couple of days ago. I am just watching the 'Homecoming' episode form season 8. Miss Ellie's head has just changed from Barbara to Donna Reed.
I can't believe this was ever allowed to happen, given what we now know was going on beind the scenes and that Barbara Bel Geddes did want to stay on. How on earth they couldn't have worked out a way of reducing her screen time but paying her enough to stay on the show I don't know.
Her absence is painful to watch. Susan Howard and Larry Hagman do their best not to notice as they welcome her home from the honeymoon, but poor Howard Keel looks very confused all episode. He dropped his new wife off at the hair salon before they went to the airport, and now she seems to have had a radical face lift at the same time....

Seriously though, this was terribly damaging to the show, and I can imagine our wonderful Barbara feeling absolutely mortified watching this debacle from home, seeing the character she had made her own being woefully imitated by another actor - though nothing personal towards Miss Reed. This misstep was as bad as the dream season and Pam's mummy. A shame Larry Hagman couldn't have stepped in earlier and forced the producers to compromise with Barbara's request.

I know i'll struggle to get through the rest of this season, but at least get some comfort knowing the real Miss Ellie will return the following year...

I also thought Victoria did a good job of acting with Donna Reed as if there was no change...

Even at the time, when it was announced in the press that Miss Ellie was being re-cast, we could not believe it... A gaffe made more obvious by the fact that DALLAS went into syndicated reruns in the fall of 1984 (the first show ever to do so while still #1 in prime time) simultaneous to Donna Reed's joining the show.

Everyone on Earth knew it couldn't work, except the executive who signed off on it, and poor hapless Miss Reed was just an actress taking a role.

Apparently, BBG didn't watch the show that season, reports of her "jealousy" notwithstanding. The producers quietly called her and asked her to return.

The recasting of Miss Ellie cast a pall over an otherwise competent season, and it marked the beginning of the loooong end for DALLAS. And you knew it at the time.

I wonder which executive at Lorimar made the decision to bring in Reed... Katzman, Paulsen and Lewis saw the problem right away and started cutting back on Mis-Ellie's scenes pretty quickly. And yet Lorimar extended her contract for three more years.

 

Angela Channing

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It's funny I watched I Remember Mama yesterday on BBC iPlayer on my tablet while I was cooking and washing dishes yesterday and didn't realise it was the anniversary of Barbara's passing.
 

Via The Void

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The first lady of Southfork. Eleanor Southworth Ewing Farlow usually addressed as Miss Ellie. Played by the wonderful Barbara Bel Geddes may she Rest In Peace.

FB_IMG_1656178956664.jpg
 

Mustard

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This is such a coincidence. I have been rewatching the entire series and got to season 8 a couple of days ago. I am just watching the 'Homecoming' episode form season 8. Miss Ellie's head has just changed from Barbara to Donna Reed.
I can't believe this was ever allowed to happen, given what we now know was going on beind the scenes and that Barbara Bel Geddes did want to stay on. How on earth they couldn't have worked out a way of reducing her screen time but paying her enough to stay on the show I don't know.
Her absence is painful to watch. Susan Howard and Larry Hagman do their best not to notice as they welcome her home from the honeymoon, but poor Howard Keel looks very confused all episode. He dropped his new wife off at the hair salon before they went to the airport, and now she seems to have had a radical face lift at the same time....

Seriously though, this was terribly damaging to the show, and I can imagine our wonderful Barbara feeling absolutely mortified watching this debacle from home, seeing the character she had made her own being woefully imitated by another actor - though nothing personal towards Miss Reed. This misstep was as bad as the dream season and Pam's mummy. A shame Larry Hagman couldn't have stepped in earlier and forced the producers to compromise with Barbara's request.

I know i'll struggle to get through the rest of this season, but at least get some comfort knowing the real Miss Ellie will return the following year...
The different Miss Ellies were two very different characters. Barbara's Miss Ellie always stayed true to her ranching roots and never lost the gritty mindset of that time. Donna's Miss Ellie moved on from her ranching days when she "moved up in the world" as an oil baron's wife. As a result, a lot of the kind earthly expressions, fire and grittiness is lost, and Donna played her strangely flat for some reason.
 
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