Born Kristen Anne Bell
July 18, 1980 (1980-07-18) (age 31)
Huntington Woods, Michigan, United States
Kristen Anne Bell (born July 18, 1980) is an American actress. Although her first film role was an uncredited appearance in Polish Wedding, Bell previously acted in stage and musical productions. In 2001, she made her Broadway debut as Becky Thatcher in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. After moving to Los Angeles, Bell landed various television guest appearances and small film parts before appearing in a lead role in the David Mamet film Spartan. She gained fame and critical praise as the title role on the critically acclaimed television series Veronica Mars from September 2004 to May 2007.
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 Mamet's Spartan, as Laura Newton, the kidnapped daughter of the U.S. President, acting alongside Val Kilmer. Bell also guest-starred on the HBO's drama 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 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 Daggs 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 the 1936 exploitation film of the same name. Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical debuted on the Showtime 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 US$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, young actress has far less interesting material to work with here than she does as "Veronica Mars.""
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Kristen Bell at 2011 VH1 Do Something Awards (New)