Bel Geddes, Norman

Bel Geddes, Norman gĕdˈēz [key], 1893–1958, American designer, b. Adrian, Mich. as Norman Melancton Geddes. He began his career in 1918 as a scene designer for the Metropolitan Opera. He became known for imaginative designs, both for the New York stage and for numerous streamlined industrial products. Geddes also designed several theaters and other buildings in the United States and abroad. His design approach was exemplified by the General Motors pavilion and its “Futurama” display at the 1939 New York World's Fair.

See his posthumous Miracle in the Evening (1960); D. Albrecht, ed., Norman Bel Geddes Designs America (2012).

His daughter, Barbara Bel Geddes, 1922–2005, b. New York City, an actress, created the role of Maggie the Cat in Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) and the title role in Jean Kerr's Mary, Mary (1961). Her film work included Elia Kazan's Panic in the Streets (1950) and Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958). She also had a leading role in the 1970s and 80s in the television series Dallas.

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