Bess Steed marries her childhood sweetheart in the early part of the 20th century and begins a life in the high society of Dallas, Texas. As time goes by, things do not work out as she ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Totsie (3 episodes, 1995)
 Lydia (3 episodes, 1995)
 Eleanor, as an adult (3 episodes, 1995)
Andrew Lowery ...
 Drew, as an adult (3 episodes, 1995)
 Mother Steed (3 episodes, 1995)
 Andrew Alcott (3 episodes, 1995)
Joshua Miller
(3 episodes, 1995)
 Walter Burton (3 episodes, 1995)
Christianne Mays ...
 Annie (3 episodes, 1995)
Julie Mayfield ...
 Mavis (3 episodes, 1995)
Randy Moore ...
 Manning (3 episodes, 1995)
Brooke Hailey ...
 Betsy (3 episodes, 1995)
Mark Walters ...
 Matthew (3 episodes, 1995)
Cynthia Dorn ...
 Marthareen (3 episodes, 1995)
Richard Dillard ...
 Richard Prince (3 episodes, 1995)
Jill Parker-Jones ...
 Exa Banks (3 episodes, 1995)
 Howard Blackstone (3 episodes, 1995)
Christina Stojanovich ...
 Eleanor #1 (3 episodes, 1995)
Cameron Finley ...
 Drew #1 (3 episodes, 1995)
Trevor Meeks ...
 Robin #1 (3 episodes, 1995)
Emmy Barker ...
 Eleanor #2 (3 episodes, 1995)
Christopher Fox ...
 Drew #2 (3 episodes, 1995)
Matthew Loehr ...
 Robin #2 (3 episodes, 1995)
Marietta Marich ...
 Mama (3 episodes, 1995)
Rutherford Cravens ...
 Marvin Hamilton (3 episodes, 1995)
Margaret Bowman ...
 Old Nanny (3 episodes, 1995)
Emily Courtney ...
 Nell (3 episodes, 1995)
Malachi Melville ...
 Young Nurse (3 episodes, 1995)
Kristin Birch ...
 Hotel Maid (3 episodes, 1995)
Donald Lawson ...
 Newspaper Editor (3 episodes, 1995)
Jessica Drake ...
 Pregnant Woman (3 episodes, 1995)
Pam Dougherty ...
 Second Jessamine Sister (3 episodes, 1995)
Gena Sleete ...
 Mrs. Maxwell (3 episodes, 1995)
Cliff Stephens ...
 Car Salesman (3 episodes, 1995)
 St. Louis Bellhop (3 episodes, 1995)
 Mrs. Fleck (3 episodes, 1995)
Morgan Redmond ...
 Man in English Garden (3 episodes, 1995)
 Eleanor's Doctor (3 episodes, 1995)
 Bess Alcott Steed Garner (3 episodes, 1995)
 Robert Steed (3 episodes, 1995)
 Arthur (3 episodes, 1995)
 Sam Garner (3 episodes, 1995)


Bess Steed marries her childhood sweetheart in the early part of the 20th century and begins a life in the high society of Dallas, Texas. As time goes by, things do not work out as she expects. Her husband dies of influenza, and she finds that she must pick up and carry along with her life. She proves to be a strong, commited, and loving individual who attracts new loves into her life and finds that she can take good care of the old ones. Despite further tragedy in losing her oldest son, and a second marriage that is not all that she expects it to be she continues to survive as independently as she has discovered the courage to do so. Written by CD

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and thematic elements





Release Date:

19 February 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bess  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The main character has three children: two boys, Robin and Drew, and then a daughter, Eleanor. As the children grow older the daughter seems to become the middle child and Drew the youngest. See more »


Featured in The 47th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Not to be Taken Lightly
8 September 2001 | by See all my reviews

When I first started watching this mini I was afraid that it might be about something along the lines of Danielle Steele or Barbara Taylor Bradford soap. However, I was pleasantly surprised that this was not at all like that. Bradford had a book (and another mini) titled a "A Woman of Substance". That would have been a good alternate title for this production.

The character of Bess is strong, determined individual that does makes a difference in the lives of so many and is loved by so many. There is also more to this story than just her love affairs and her business interests. It is a look at the nature of women and the strength that they possess and how in the 20th century they learned to use it.

Sally Field does a wonderful job in the mini and deserves praise for the depth of emotion that she portrays. When I watch her performance I forget about her years as the Flying Nun and Gidget and even forget any preconceived notions that I might have of her. She is Bess Steed.

The script has its moments of being a little cheesy, but the actors make the most of it. I was impressed with the performance of Brenda Fricker as Mother Steed and enjoyed the performances of Jack Thompson and Anne Heard. I this is a wonderful production that deserves a look.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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