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A Woman of Independent Means 

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:
 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
 Walter Burton 3 episodes, 1995
Christianne Mays ...
Julie Mayfield ...
Randy Moore ...
Brooke Hailey ...
Mark Walters ...
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
Trevor Meeks ...
 Robin #1 3 episodes, 1995
Emmy Barker ...
 Eleanor #2 3 episodes, 1995
Matthew Loehr ...
 Robin #2 3 episodes, 1995
Marietta Marich ...
Rutherford Cravens ...
 Marvin Hamilton 3 episodes, 1995
 Old Nanny 3 episodes, 1995
Emily Courtney ...
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
 Robert Steed 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

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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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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

One of those lengthy films that you're sorry to see end.
28 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is a fabulous story depicting the lives of several people during one of the most interesting times in America. The star, Bess, is a strong woman that many other women can relate to as she struggles through the many challenges that life (& death) subject us to. She is not shown to be faultless, but rather normal, as people are. You get angry with her, love her, and cry with her, as well as the other characters. The sets, costumes, and acting are superb. We need more film made in this manner. I don't know how I missed it the when it was released in 1995 and just caught it on Lifetime in December of 2005. My mission will now be to try to find it on DVD.

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