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Kristen Bell


Kristen Anne Bell


July 18, 1980


Huntington Woods, Michigan, USA



Kristen Anne Bell (born July 18, 1980) is an American actress.

Early Life[]

Bell was born and raised in Huntington Woods, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Her mother, Lorelei, is a registered nurse, and her father, Tom Bell, is the television news and director for WOAI-TV in San Antonio. Bell is of Polish and Scottish descent. Her parents divorced when she was two years old, and she has two step-sisters, Sara and Jody, from her father's second marriage. She has four half-siblings from her mother's second marriage to John Raymond Avedian, Laura, John, Matt Avedian and Megan. Bell has strabismus, which affects her right eye. She inherited it from her mother, who had it corrected as a child. Bells claims that if she does not get enough sleep, it aggravated the ailment. She calls her right eye wonky.

Bell stated that she did not like her first name at the age of four. Her mother convinced Bell to go by her middle name of Anne instead; she used the name Annie until high school. She attended Burton Elementary school in Huntington Woods.

Just before her freshman year of high school, Bell's parents decided to pull her from the public school system. She then attended Shrine Catholic High School in nearby Royal Oak, where she took part in the drama and music club. During her time at the school, she won the starring role in the school's 1997 production of The Wizard of Oz as Dorothy Gale and also appeared in productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Lady Be Good and Li'l Abner. In 1998, the year she graduated, Bell was named the yearbook's Best Looking Girl by senior class vote.

When Bell was seventeen, her best friend, whom she met at age eleven, during a Detroit community theatre production, was killed in an automobile accident. Bell said that it was "both the best and worst thing that has ever happened to me, once you learn not to take people for granted, you live a lot happier life."

Shortly after her high school graduation, Bell moved to New York City to attend the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, majoring in musical theatre. In 2001, during her senior year at New York University, Bell left a few credits shy of graduating to take a role in the Broadway musical version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.


In 1992, Bell went to her first audition and won a dual role as a banana and a tree in a suburban Detroit theatre's production of Raggedy Ann and Andy. Her mother had established her with an agent before Bell was thirteen, which allowed her to appear in newspaper advertisements for several Detroit retailers and television commercials. She also began private acting lessons. In 1998, she appeared with an uncredited role in the locally filmed movie Polish Wedding.

In 2001, Bell left New York University to take a key role as Becky Thatcher in the short lived Broadway musical of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. That same year, she made her credited film debut in Pootie Tang. Her one line in the film was cut and her appearance exists only as a scene shown during the credit sequence. Additionally, she auditioned for the television series Smallville for the role of Chloe Sullivan, a part eventually won by Allison Mack. In 2002, she appeared in the Broadwat revival of The Crucible with Liam Neeson, Angela Bettis and Laura Linney. Bell then moved to Los Angeles, California in 2002 because of her friendship with writers Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney, and appeared in a handful of television shows as a special guest, finding trouble gaining a recurring role in a television series. Bell had tested like eight times and booked nothing and every show she tested for got picked up, including auditions for Skin and a Norm Macdonald series.

In 2003, she landed a role in the Hallmark Channel movie The King and Queen of Moonlight Bay. Bell appeared on the show Punk'd.

In 2004, Bell appeared in the Lifetime television movie Gracie's Choice, which received one of the network's highest ratings. She made her debut in a theatrically released film, with David Marnet's Spartan, as Laura Newton, the kidnapped daughter of the US President, acting alongside Val Kilmer. Bell also guest starred on the HBO's drama Deadwood in a two episode story arc.

At 24 she won the role of the title character in UPN's drama Veronica Mars, which was launched in the fall of 2004. Created by Rob Thomas, the series starred Bell as the seventeen year old detective Veronica, which put her alongside actors Enrico Colantoni who played her father Jason Dohring, Percy Drags III and Ryan Hansen. Bell noted the parallels between the character of Veronica and her own life, Bell's parents had divorced and her best friend had also died, like that of Veronica. The series earned positive reviews from television critics, as did Bell's performance. Some critics felt that she was overlooked, however, and deserved an Emmy Award nomination.

In 2005, Bell starred in Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, reprising the role she played in the short lived 2001 off Broadway musical. The musical was a spoof of ther 1936 exploitation film of the same name. Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical debuted on the Showtimes network on April 16, 2005. On September 18, 2005, Bell performed the theme song from Fame on the Emmy Idol portion of the 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. She and the cast of Veronica Mars were nominated for two Teen Choice Awards in 2005: Choice Breakout Actress and Choice Breakout TV Show.

In 2006, Bell won the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television for her acting on Veronica Mars, while the series was nominated for Best Network Television Show. Aside from working on Veronica Mars, in April, Bell starred as Gracie in Fifty Pills, an entry for the Tribeca Film Festival. She appeared in a short independent film called The Receipt and the horror film Roman, which was directed by her The Crucible co-star Angela Bettis. Released on August 11, 2006, Pulse starred Bell as the lead Mattie. A Remake of the Japanese horror film Kairo, the film grossed $27.9 million worldwide, however it garnered negative response from critics. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter commented "despite the starring presence of Kristen Bell, the young actress has far less interesting material to work with her than she does as the character Veronica Mars.

Veronica Mars continued on UPN until the third season, in which the show was renewed and returned on the newly created The CW. On January 19, 2007 CW Entertainment President Dawn Ostroff announced that, while she was pleased with the gradual improvement of Veronica Mars's ratings, the series would be put on hiatus after February sweeps to air a new reality series, Pussycat Dolls Present. On May 17, 2007 Ostroff announced the cancellation of the series. The two hour series finale aired in the United States on May 22, 2007, and on June 11, 2007 Thomas officially announced in an email to TV Guide's Michael Ausiello that Veronica Mars had been cancelled by the CW. A Veronica Mars feature film and comic book series continuation had been discussed, and for a short time there was talk of another collaboration between Bell and creator Thomas that would be unrelated to the Veronica Mars series.

Following the cancellation of Veronica Mars, Bell has voiced interest in appearing on Heroes because she was a fan prior to being cast. On July 29, 2007, during a train ride back to Los Angeles from the San Diego Comic-Con with Heroes actors Zachary Quinto and Masi Oka, and writers from the series, the writers had mentioned that if she ever wanted to go on Heroes, that she should give them a call to which Bell said she would love to. She was also spoken to about a role on Lost, but turned down the role to portray Charlotte Staples Lewis. Announced in August 2007, Bell was to portray Elle Bishop, a mysterious young lady with an awesome power. She did not have to audition for the role of Elle, who made her first appearance in an October 2007 episode, and will appear in at least thirteen episodes during the run of the series. The casting of Bell, as Heroes creator Tim Kring explains "was not easy to pull off", but because of the large ensemble cast of the series and multiple story arcs "we found a way to jump into a small window in Kristen's schedule. Concurrently with filming Heroes, she narrates as the title character Gossip Girl in The CW series Gossip Girl.

Shortly after the cancellation of Veronica Mars in early 2007, Bell filmed on location in Hawaii for her starring role as the title character in the Judd Apatow comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. She noted that the improvisational comedy in the film was a lovely experience. The film, written by and also starring Jason Segel, was released theatrically on April 18, 2008. Bell lent her voice and likeness to the video game Assassin's Creed which was released on November 13, 2007 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and April 8, 2008 for the PC. Bell reprises her role of Lucy in Assassin's Creed II released on November 17, 2009, and again in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, released on 16 November 2010. In the spring of 2006, she finished filming the Star Wars themed comedy Fanboys, which had its release date pushed to January 14, 2008. This was due to additional funding given to director Kyle Newman to shoot new scenes, however, the busy schedules of the actors only allowed for filming in September 2007, thus moving the release date to accommodate that. Bell will voice the character of Marybelle in the animated feature Sheepish, which also has a 2008 release date. She also starred in the 2009 comedies Serious Moonlight, alongside Meg Ryan, and Couples Retreat, which chronicled four couples who partake in therapy sessions at a tropical island resort. Jason Bateman played her husband. On March 31, 2008, Bell began shooting for the Mark Steven Johnson written Disney film When in Rome in locations Rome and New York; the film was released in 2010. Bell reprised her role as Sarah Marshall for a cameo appearance in the film Get Him to the Greek, a spin off sequel from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, released June 4, 2010.

Bell has also said that when she is free from film and television roles, she would like to perform on stage again. She co-starred with singers Christina Aguilera and Cher in the movie musical Burlesque which was released on Thanksgiving in 2010.

Bell had a cameo in Scream 4, which was released on April 15, 2011. She is also attached to the films Everybody Loves Whales and Dance of the Mirlitons. She has also appeared in the music video for "Madder Red" by Brooklyn experimental rock band Yeasayer.

Bell portrays the role of Mary Magdalene in The Truth & Life Dramatised Audio New Testament Bible, a twenty two hour, celebrity voiced, fully dramatised audio New Testament which uses the RSV-CE translation. She is the female lead on the new series House of Lies directed by Stephen Hopkins. The show is expected to premiere on Showtime on January 8, 2012.

In 2005, Bell was named by Jane magazine as one of the eleven people you'd most like to see naked, and in 2006, Bell was selected World's Sexiest Vegetarian on PETA's yearly poll. She was placed number sixty eight on Maxim's 2005 Hot 100 list, number eleven in Maxim's 2006 issue and number fourty six in Maxim's 2007 Hot 100 list in which she was stated to have single handedly saved the CW from becoming the worst network ever. In 2006, Maxim also placed Bell at the top of the Fall TV's Criminally Sexy Investigators list. In 2008, she was featured at number fifty nine on Ask Men's Top 99 Women of 2008 List. Reflecting on her admitted popularity with geeks, Bell was voted the fourth sexiest woman on TV by the staff as Wizard magazine.

She stated to have never thought of herself as womanly because she always played roles and looked and acted ten years younger than she was, however as she explains "Something magical happened when I turned twenty five, I looked in the mirror and was like, you might not get carded for an R rated movie anymore. Like I didn't have a little stick figure anymore." Bell has said that many of the characters she has played are tomboys because she was not homely enough to play the nerdy girl and not nearly pretty enough to play the pretty girl.

Bell has been associated with the idea that nerdy is the new cool, and she explains "what was previously perceived as nerdy is now viewed as original. What I like about nerdiness, geekiness, is it doesn't really matter what you're into, it just means you're not a follower." She has also said "I love nerds. Comic-Con junkies are the tastemakers of tomorrow. Isn't that funny? The tables have turned." Vanessa Juarez of Entertainment Weekly commented that Bell's role on Veronica Mars, Heroes and as a Star Wards fanatic in Fanboys has solidified her placement at the center of the geek universe, while Rodney Rothman stated "I guess she's cornered the market on losers." Bell's work is often compared to Sarah Michelle Gellar's portrayal of the titular character on the cult television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter stated that Bell was arguably the television successor when it comes to fighting bad guys. Bell is sometimes confused with Lauren Conrad from the show The Hills. "Yeah, sometimes fans yell, 'Hey, Lauren' to me, but usually from a distance" said Kristen.

Despite new celebrity status, Bell claims that she is not concerned because no one ever recognises her anyway. As Bell explains "I hang out with Hayden Panettiere quite a bit, they never take pictures of me. I just step to the side, and I push myself in front of her when she wants to get out of it, or put her in the car." Bell is a recurring guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, appearing in interviews as well as sketches. On the Late Late Show, she is shown to have garnered a humorous hostility towards Craig's robot skeleton sidekick on his show and taking it upon herself to cut Geoff down every chance she gets. Both Bell and Geoff Peterson appeared with Ferguson during the five Late Late shows filmed in France.

In January 2001, it was announced that Bell would be the new face of Neutrogena.

Personal Life[]

At age eleven, Bell became a vegetarian. In an interview with PETA, Bell stated, "I have always been an animal lover. I had a hard time disassociating the animals I cuddled with, dogs and cats, for example, from the animals on my plate, and I never really cared for the taste of meat. I always loved my brussels sprouts." During her time in Michigan, Bell fostered animals from Michigan Humane Society and she now supports the San Diego based Helen Woodward Animal Center. Bell often attends fun raisers for the ASPCA and other non profit organisations dedicated to protecting animals. She owns a Welsh Corgi-Chow Chow mix named Lola, a Welsh Corgi-Chihuahua mix named Shakey and a black Labrador Retriever named Sadie, who was eleven years old when she was rescued from Hurrican Katrina and adopted by Bell in 2005.

She and many of those who worked on Veronica Mars, including personal friend Ryan Hansen, are involved with the charity organisation Invisible Children Inc. The goal of the organisation is to create awareness regarding the plight of Northern Ugandans who are caught in the midst of a civil war between the government and Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. Bell has also done a public service announcement for Do Something's Healthy Living Campaign.

Bell supported and campaigned for Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election. Along with Rashida Jones, she visited college campuses in Missouri to discuss the candidates and encourage voter registration. Bell has shown her support for the Writers Guild of America in the writer's strike, appearing in the picket lines in December 2007 stating , "the writers are just looking for some fairness."

In 2007, Bell ended a five year relationship with former fiance Kevin Mann, and went on to date actor Dax Shepard. As of January 2010, she is engaged to Shepard. She told Complex magazine that dating makes her want to vomit and not out of grossness, OK, a little bit out of grossness, but just nerves. Bell explains "I've always been a serial monogamist."

As she is a Detroit native, she is also an avid fan of the Detroit Red Wings hockey team.



Year Film Role
1998 Polish Wedding Teenage Girl
2001 Pootie Tang Record Executive's Daughter
2001 The Cat Returns Hiromi
2002 People Are Dead Angela's Friend
2003 The King and Queen of Moonlight Bay Alison Dodge
2004 Gracie's Choice Gracie Thompson
2004 Spartan Laura Newton
2005 Last Days of America Friend in New York
2005 Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical Mary Lane
2005 Deepwater Nurse Laurie
2005 The Receipt Pretty Girl
2006 Fifty Pills Gracie
2006 Pulse Mattie Webber
2006 Roman The Girl/ Isis
2007 Flatland: The Movie Hex
2008 Forgetting Sarah Marshall Sarah Marshall
2008 Fanboys Zoe
2009 Serious Moonlight Sara
2009 Astro Boy Cora
2009 Couples Retreat Cynthia
2010 When in Rome Beth Martin
2010 Astro Boy vs. The Junkyard Pirates Cora
2010 Get Him to the Greek Sarah Marshall
2010 Lost Masterpieces of Pornography June Crenshaw
2010 You Again Marni Olivia Olsen
2010 Burlesque Nikki
2011 Scream 4 Chloe
2011 Dance of the Mirlitons Corinne
2012 Movie 43 Supergirl
2012 Big Miracle Jill Gerard
2012 House of Lies Jeannie Van Der Hooven


Year Programme Role
2003 The Shield Jessica Hintel
2003 American Dreams Amy Fielding
2003 The O'Keefes Virginia's Owner
2003 Everwood Stacey Wilson
2004 Deadwood Flora Anderson
2004-2007 Veronica Mars Veronica Mars
2007-2008 Heroes Elle Bishop
2007-present Gossip Girl Gossip Girl
2009 The Cleveland Show Mandy
2009-2010 Party Down Uda Bengt