I just wanted to post (as usual every year, on the week of ) that October 31st would have been Barbara Bel Geddes's 94th Birthday if she were alive today ................. This is the tribute i wrote about her when she died in 2005, and its still relevant and how i feel today. A couple of posters asked if i could re post it, so here it is....... I regret the loss of the Old Forum as her grandaughter posted in this thread when she was still alive, its sad that we cant read what she had to say........... My tribute to BBG 2005 Barbara Bel Geddes has been my favourite actress since I was 13 years old. When I first watched Dallas in 78, I watched it because I liked Patrick Duffy as Mark Harris in the “Man from Atlantis”. I had never heard of the other cast members, other than Barbara who I recognised as “the blonde lady” from the Five Pennies, a film I liked as a child. At first, Bobby and Pam were my favourite couple and Victoria my favourite actress, because she was married to beloved Bobby and was the pretty, sexy young female on the show. Dallas was a show I watched every week, but was usually doing my homework at the same time. By Barbecue, the homework was put to one side, Dallas was compulsive viewing!! But by the first series, think it was Bypass I suddenly realised that BBG was the best actress on the show and she could show more emotion with a smile, a raised eyebrow, a sad look, a knowing glance than anyone else. She didn't need words to act. By the time S2 and Mastectomy was shown I was a fan. I thought that her acting was outstanding in those episodes, it was so realistic and you could imagine what she must have been feeling as Miss Ellie. NO ONE ELSE ON DALLAS COULD HAVE DONE THOSE SCENES SO MOVINGLY AND PASSIONATELY. I cried my eyes out, and was astonished to read in the press the following day that she had undergone a radical mastectomy 8 years before and agreed to relive her real life experience "to help woman realise that it isn't the end of the world and you learn to live with it and are able to laugh again". She said that when the Producers asked if she would mind Miss Ellie finding a lump on her breast, she thought “No, THIS time I wont mind. It might be useful to somebody going through the pain and anguish. When I had mine it was still a very hush, hush thing. You felt mortified, humiliated about telling anyone. Recovery was not quick, at least for me, I still get funny on ladders and clothes problems are a pain in the neck. There is no sense in saying its a little itty bitty thing, it was a hell of a blow. But you learn to live with it all. That is how I'd like to help if I can by talking about it - to say there is HOPE and not to give up. You DO get well". She said that she didn't think about it too much until she got the script then thought "Oh boy, this is going to be tough. I guess I dreaded bringing up the past". Barbara admits she didn't handle the situation as well as Miss Ellie. "Ellie handles it a lot more intelligently than I did. Self examination was a term I had never even heard of. Even after I realised I had the lump, I ignored it until it became just too painful, at which point I went to see my Doctor who put me in hospital right away. It just never occurred to me that I could have breast cancer. I thought it was old age and I was getting lumpy. Woman are a lot smarter about it today". And at the time she underwent surgery she was nursing her husband who was dying of a brain tumour and had given up all stage work to care for him. He sadly died the following year. I think it made me admire her, her courage, and strength to relive a very painful episode in her own life and in front of a worldwide audience. She said that on Dallas Miss Ellie recovers "very quickly" but for her it was a slow process. "It was a devastating thing to go through and a shock to your soul. But what I want people to know is that while it takes a long time, you do get better eventually". It was one of the few times Barbara gave extensive interviews and she was honoured by various Cancer charities for her promotion of breast cancer awareness. S2 turned me from a fan into a Dallas addict and I collected everything and anything on all the Dallas cast. BBG was the most elusive of cast members and kept a very low profile. Sadly a lot of press came about because of real life incidents such as Jim Davis dying of a brain tumour, same as her husband, and her heart attack and quadruple bypass op. I often wished she was like the other cast members who appeared frequently in public but I respected the fact that she guarded her privacy. When Barbara suffered a massive heart attack in March 1983, the press were full of stories asking "Will she live, will she return to Dallas??" I cried and worried about her when she had life saving heart by pass surgery and rejoiced when she returned. Fortunately she was well enough to return to Dallas, albeit with a limited shooting schedule from episode 12 onwards. When she quit the show in 84 I was devastated and loathed her replacement, who simply wasn’t Miss Ellie. I almost stopped watching Dallas. When along with 1000s of others I wrote to Lorimar productions (twice!) to say Please bring back BBG, I couldn't believe it was true when she returned in 85. I remember seeing the headlines on a newspaper at a train station and bought every paper that day. Dallas for me wasn't the same without her. The glue that held the Ewing family together was missing. She was the heart of Dallas and gave it credibility.