|Name:||Kristen Anne Bell|
|Born:||July 18, 1980|
|Birth Hometown:||Huntington Woods, Michigan|
Kristen Anne Bell (born July 18, 1980) is an American actress. She began her professional acting career by starring in stage productions while attending the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. In 2001, she made her Broadway stage debut as Becky Thatcher in the comedy musical The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and appeared in a Broadway revival of The Crucible the following year. In 2004, she appeared in the action thriller film Spartan and received critical praise for her performance in the television drama film Gracie's Choice.
Bell garnered critical acclaim for her first major role as the title character in the teen noir drama television series Veronica Mars (2004–2007). For her performance, she was awarded a Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television. She reprised the eponymous role in the 2014 film continuation and the 2019 revival series. During her time on Veronica Mars, Bell starred as Mary Lane in the musical film Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005), a reprise of the role she had played in the New York musical upon which the film was based. From 2007 to 2008, Bell starred as Elle Bishop in the science fiction drama series Heroes. From 2007 to 2012, she voiced the titular narrator in the teen drama series Gossip Girl. She later reprised the role in the 2021 sequel series.
In 2008, she had her breakout film role as the title character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. She has since appeared in a number of comedy films, including Couples Retreat (2009), When in Rome (2010), You Again (2010), The Boss (2016), Bad Moms (2016), and A Bad Moms Christmas (2017). Bell garnered further recognition for voicing Princess Anna in the Disney animated films Frozen (2013), Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018), and Frozen II (2019), and the short films Frozen Fever (2015) and Olaf's Frozen Adventure (2017).
From 2012 to 2016, Bell starred as Jeannie van der Hooven, the female lead on the Showtime comedy series House of Lies. From 2016 to 2020, she starred in the lead role of Eleanor Shellstrop on the acclaimed NBC comedy series The Good Place, for which she received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.
Early life and family
Bell was born on July 18, 1980, in Huntington Woods, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, where she was raised. Her mother, Lorelei (née Frygier), is a registered nurse, and her father, Tom Bell, works as a television news director in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her parents divorced when she was two years old. Bell has two stepsisters from her father's second marriage, Sara and Jody. She also has two half-sisters, Laura and Megan, and two half-brothers, Matt and John, from her mother's second marriage. Her mother is of Polish descent, and her father has German, Scottish and Irish ancestry.
Bell stated that she did not like her first name at the age of four. Bell's mother convinced her to go by her middle name, Anne, instead; she used the name Annie until high school. Bell once broke both her wrists at the same time playing street hockey with friends.
Just before her freshman year of high school, Bell's parents decided to remove her from the public school system. She attended Shrine Catholic High School in nearby Royal Oak, where she took part in the drama and music club. Before attending Shrine, she attended Burton Elementary School and Norup Middle School (now known as Norup International School) a part of the Berkley School District. 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 (1995), Lady, Be Good (1996), and Li'l Abner (1998). In 1998, the year she graduated, Bell was named the yearbook's "Best Looking Girl" by senior class vote.
Shortly after her high school graduation, Bell moved to New York City to attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, studying musical theater. In 2001, during her senior year, 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 theater's production of Raggedy Ann and Andy. Her mother had established her with an agent before Bell was 13, 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 play a 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, which was eventually won by Allison Mack.
In 2002, she appeared in the Broadway revival of The Crucible with Liam Neeson, Angela Bettis and Laura Linney. Bell then moved to Los Angeles in 2002 because of her friendship with writers Kevin Murphyand 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 said she "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 2004, Bell earned acclaim for her starring role in the Lifetime television film Gracie's Choice, which received one of the network's highest ratings. She made her debut in a theatrically released film with David Mamet's action thriller Spartan, as Laura Newton, the kidnapped daughter of the U.S. president, acting alongside Val Kilmer. Bell also guest-starred on the HBO period drama series Deadwood, in a two-episode story arc ("Bullock Returns to the Camp" and "Suffer the Little Children").
At 24, she won the role of the title character in the UPN noir drama series Veronica Mars, which was launched in the fall of 2004. Created by Rob Thomas, the series starred Bell as the seventeen-year-old anti-establishment high school student and private detective. Bell drew on the parallels between the character of Veronica and her own life, since Bell's parents had divorced and her best friend had also died. The series earned acclaim from critics. Bell's performance earned her the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television and a nomination for the TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Drama, among numerous others. Some critics asserted that her performance was overlooked, and deserved consideration for a Primetime Emmy Award.
Aside from working on Veronica Mars, 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 the 1936 exploitation film of the same name. Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical debuted on the Showtime network on April 16, 2005. Also 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 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 US$27.9 million worldwide but 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 here than she does as [the character] 'Veronica Mars.'"
Veronica Mars continued on UPN for a second season; for the third season, the show was renewed and appeared 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 cancelation of the series. A 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 canceled 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 cancelation of Veronica Mars, Bell voiced interest in appearing on Heroes because she was a fan. 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 want[ed] to come on Heroes, give us [writers] a call," to which Bell said she would "love to". Meanwhile, there were discussions about a role on Lost, but Bell turned down the role of Charlotte Staples Lewis. Bell portrayed Elle Bishop on Heroes, 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 appeared in twelve episodes during the run of the series. The casting of Bell, Heroes creator Tim Kring explained, "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 [Bell's] schedule." Bell lent her voice to the CW series Gossip Girl: she voiced the title character in every episode of the series, appearing in person only for a surprise cameo in the final episode, portraying herself.
Shortly after the cancelation of Veronica Mars in early 2007, Bell filmed on location in Hawaii for a starring role as the title character in the Judd Apatow comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. She regarded the improvisational comedy in the film as "a lovely experience". The film, written by and also starring Jason Segel, was released theatrically on April 18, 2008, and greatly increased Bell's profile. Bell lent her voice and likeness to the video game Assassin's Creed, which was released in November 2007 for consoles and April 2008 for the PC. Bell reprised her role of Lucy in Assassin's Creed II, released in November 2009, and again in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, released in November 2010. In the spring of 2006, she finished filming the Star Wars-themed comedy Fanboys. Director Kyle Newman received additional funding to shoot new scenes, but the busy schedules of the actors only allowed for filming in September 2007. As a result, the release was delayed until January 14, 2008. Bell also starred in the 2009 comedies Serious Moonlight, alongside Meg Ryan, and Couples Retreat, which chronicles four couples who partake in therapy sessions at a tropical island resort. Jason Bateman played her husband. She also provided the voice for Cora in Astro Boy. On March 31, 2008, Bell began shooting the Mark Steven Johnson-written Disney film When in Rome on location in 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 co-starred alongside singers Christina Aguilera and Cher in the backstage musical film Burlesque, which was released in November 2010. She also had a cameo appearance alongside Anna Paquin in the slasher horror film Scream 4, which was released on April 15, 2011.
In 2012, Bell starred in the family drama film Big Miracle. She has also appeared in the music video for "Madder Red" by Brooklyn experimental rock band Yeasayer. Bell portrayed Mary Magdalene in The Truth & Life Dramatized Audio New Testament Bible, a 22-hour, celebrity-voiced, dramatized audio adaptation of the New Testament that uses the RSV-CE translation.
Bell starred as Jeannie van der Hooven, the female lead on the Showtime comedy series House of Lies, which premiered on January 8, 2012. The series ended on June 12, 2016. Bell appeared in a supporting role in the science-fiction comedy Safety Not Guaranteed (2012). She starred in the drama film The Lifeguard, written and directed by Liz W. Garcia, which began filming in July 2012 and was released in August 2013. She also voiced Anna in Frozen, which was released on November 22, 2013. In 2013, for multiple episodes, Bell played Ingrid de Forest, an Eagleton City Councilwoman, on Parks and Recreation.
On March 13, 2013, it was confirmed that a Veronica Mars film would finally be coming to fruition. Bell and series creator Rob Thomas launched a fundraising campaign to produce the film through Kickstarter and attained the $2 million goal in less than ten hours. The main cast members of the series all reprised their roles in the feature film. Production of the film took place during summer 2013, and it was released theatrically and on video-on-demand on March 14, 2014.
In September 2014, Bell starred with her husband, Dax Shepard, in a commercial for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S. It was so popular (with over 20 million YouTube views) that they did another for the holiday season. The ad agency McKinney was behind both. In 2016, Bell voiced the sloth Priscilla in the animated comedy film Zootopia, and starred as Claire in the comedy film The Boss. Bell starred as Kiki in the 2016 comedy film Bad Moms, a role she reprised in the 2017 sequel, A Bad Moms Christmas. In 2016, Bell began starring as Eleanor Shellstrop in the NBC comedy series The Good Place. For her performance, she received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy, the TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy, and the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series, among numerous others.
Also in 2017, she appeared in the biographical comedy-drama The Disaster Artist, the action comedy CHiPs and the comedy How to Be a Latin Lover. In November 2017, she played a housewife (with Dax Shepard as her husband) preparing for a Christmas party in Sia's music video for "Santa's Coming For Us".
In 2018, she began hosting the web series Momsplaining with Kristen Bell, with episodes airing on the Ellen DeGeneres video platform Ellentube. In the series, Bell gives new and expecting mothers tips about motherhood. The title of the series is a pun on the commonly used term "mansplaining". Bell later had the leading role in the Netflix comedy-drama film Like Father. She also voiced the character of Jade Wilson in the animated comedy film Teen Titans Go! To the Movies and reprised her voice role as Princess Anna in the animated comedy sequel film Ralph Breaks the Internet.
On September 20, 2018, Hulu confirmed that Bell would reprise her role of Veronica Mars in an 8-episode fourth season of the drama series Veronica Mars, which would premiere in July 2019. In 2019, she again reprised her role of Princess Anna in the video game, Kingdom Hearts III and the sequel, Frozen II which was released on November 22, 2019. Bell served as host and executive producer on the Disney+ docuseries Encore!, which premiered in November 2019. She made her directorial debut with the eighth episode of the fourth season of The Good Place. The series concluded after its fourth season, airing its final episode in January 2020. At the 25th Critics' Choice Awards, Bell received the #SeeHer Award, which recognizes women who "push boundaries on changing stereotypes and acknowledge the importance of authentic portrayals of women across the entertainment landscape".
Bell is set to produce and voice a lead character in the Amazon Prime Video animated musical pre-school series Do, Re, & Mi. She will narrate the titular character of the HBO Max teen drama series 'Gossip Girl'. The series serves as a soft reboot and sequel to the 2007 series of the same, which Bell also narrated. Bell also starred alongside Kirby Howell-Baptiste as a pair of housewives who created a multi-million dollar coupon scam in the comedy film Queenpins.
In 2020, Bell published the children's book The World Needs More Purple People, which she co-wrote with Benjamin Hart. Also in 2020, Bell voiced Molly Tillerman in the Apple TV+ animated musical comedy series Central Park, which reunited her with Frozen co-star Josh Gad and Bad Moms co-star Kathryn Hahn. Central Park received a two-season order from Apple and the series premiered on May 29, 2020. In June 2020, it was announced that Bell, who is white, would no longer voice the biracial character of Molly. The role would be re-cast with a black or mixed race actress, with Bell voicing a new role.
In 2007, Bell ended a five-year relationship with former fiancé Kevin Mann. She later told Complex magazine that dating "makes me want to vomit. And not out of grossness—OK, a little bit out of grossness, but just nerves... I've always been a serial monogamist."
In late 2007, Bell began dating actor Dax Shepard, who is also from Metro Detroit. The couple announced their engagement in January 2010. They decided to delay marriage until the state of California passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage. They co-starred in the 2010 film When in Rome, the 2012 film Hit and Run, and the 2017 film CHiPs. After section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on June 26, 2013, Bell asked Shepard to marry her through Twitter, which he accepted. They were married at the Beverly Hills County Clerk's Office on October 16, 2013. They have two daughters, Lincoln and Delta, born in 2013 and 2014.
- America's Next Top Model
- American Idol
- The Price is Right
- Hollywood Game Night
- Celebrity Escape Room
- The Wall