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Catherine Bell

Bell speaking at the second annual
National Capital Region Joint
Services motorcycle safety
event at the Pentagon,
May 2, 2008
Born Catherine Lisa Bell
August 14, 1968 (1968-08-14) (age 41)
London, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Actress
Years active 1992–present
Spouse(s) Adam Beason (1994–present)
Official website

Catherine Lisa Bell (born August 14, 1968) is an British-born American actress known for her role of Lt. Colonel Sarah MacKenzie of the television show JAG from 1997 to 2004. Currently she stars in the Lifetime Television hit series Army Wives as Denise Sherwood.


Early life

Bell was born in London, United Kingdom, the daughter of Mina, a personal assistant and nurse, and Peter Bell, an architect.[1] Her mother is Iranian[2] and her father Scottish.[3][4][5] Her parents divorced and she and her mother moved to Los Angeles, California when she was three years old. She became a naturalized citizen of the United States at the age of twelve.[citation needed] A self-described geek, Bell thrived in math and biology classes in school, and in junior high school once programmed a computer video game.

She acted in various television advertisements as a child. She attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with an interest in becoming either a biomedical engineer or a physician but dropped out to become a full-time model.

Personal life

Bell is fluent in Persian and English. She is fond of skiing, snowboarding and kick-boxing, which she has been practicing for over 10 years. Her hobbies include cross-stitching and making model cars, which she has done since age 8.[6] She met actor/production assistant Adam Beason on the set of Death Becomes Her in 1992 (where she was the body-double for Isabella Rossellini), and they were married on May 8, 1994[7] They have a daughter, Gemma, who was born on April 16, 2003. Bell and Beason are currently expecting their second child, a boy in late Summer 2010.[8]

Bell was the grand marshal of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway on June 3, 2007.[9]

In a survey of 70 celebrities by The Sporting News just before the 2002 Super Bowl, she correctly predicted that the New England Patriots would beat the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI 20 to 17.[10]

In August 2007, Bell and her husband put their Calabasas, California, home on the market for $3.25 million and moved to South Carolina.[11]

During the Hollywood writers strike, Bell took flying lessons in a Cirrus SR22.[12]

When she was in her 20s, she had thyroid cancer and had to have her thyroid removed. She doesn't cover the scar on her neck because she "thinks it's kind of cool".[13]


Although Bell was raised Roman Catholic and attended an all-girls’ Catholic school, she has since become a Scientologist.[14] Bell has attested to attaining the Scientology state of Clear[15] She has supported Scientology's Hollywood Education and Literacy Project.[16] In December 2005, Bell helped promote the gala opening of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death" museum.[17]

In February 2006, Bell appeared in a Scientology music video called, "United." The film includes cameo performances by Isaac Hayes, Erika Christensen, Jenna Elfman and Lynsey Bartilson and promotes human rights with a rap song.[18]


Catherine Bell

One of Bell's first modeling jobs was an extended assignment in Japan. When she returned to California, she studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse with Milton Katselas. She was a free lance masseuse whose clientele included singer Peter Gabriel. She was on the game show To Tell the Truth in 1990 where she mentioned that she was a massage therapist (she was one of the imposters on the show, she was playing an imposter of a body double named Shelly Michelle). Her first television acting role was one line on the sitcom Sugar and Spice (1990).[19] Her first appearance in a film was as a body double for Isabella Rossellini in Death Becomes Her (1992). One of her first TV roles was on the HBO sitcom Dream On in 1994.

From 1997 to 2004, Bell starred as U.S. Marine Corps Major Sarah MacKenzie on the hit television series JAG as a practicing attorney in the U.S. Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps. Her earlier TV work also included an appearance in a late night adult series called Hot Line. Bell was featured in "The Brunch Club" episode.

In 2003, she had a supporting role as a television news anchor, Susan Ortega, in the comedy Bruce Almighty, starring Jim Carrey. She reprised the role with a cameo in the 2007 sequel Evan Almighty, starring Steve Carell.

Bell appeared in the Sci Fi Channel miniseries The Triangle, presented in December 2005, playing an ocean engineer. In 2006, she was nominated for a Saturn Award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for Best Supporting Actress on Television (The Triangle).

In 2007, Bell starred in Lifetime's ensemble drama series Army Wives as Denise Sherwood, the wife of a US Army major, who is enduring domestic violence at the hands of her teenage son.[20]

Bell has also recently played the main role in Hallmark's The Good Witch (2008) and its sequel, The Good Witch's Garden (2009). She co-executive produced both movies.[21]



Title Date Role Notes
The Good Witch's Garden 2009 Cassandra Nightingale co-executive producer
The Good Witch 2008 Cassandra Nightingale
Evan Almighty 2007 Susan Ortega cameo
Army Wives 2007-present Denise Sherwood series regular
Still Small Voices 2006 Michael Summer
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2006 Naomi Cheales Episode #8.09 - Choreographed
Company Town 2006 Maggie Shaunessy
Threshold 2006 Dr. Daphne Larson Episode #1.11 - Outbreak
The Triangle 2005 Emily Patterson
Babak and Friends A First Norooz 2005 Layla Voice
JAG 1996-2005 Maj./Lt. Col. Sarah MacKenzie Episode #1.22 - Skeleton Crew(1996) as Lieutenant Junior Grade Diane Schonke,
Episode #3.19 - Death Watch as Lieutenant Junior Grade Diane Schonke (archive footage),
Episode #5.11 - Ghosts of Christmas Past(1999) as Jenny Lake,
Episode #6.23 - Mutiny(2001) as Mrs. Alexander MacKenzie,
Episode #8.14 - Each of Us Angels(2003) as Ensign Beverly Tromatore
Waking the Dead 2003 Sam James Episode #3.4 - Final Cut
Bruce Almighty 2003 Susan Ortega
Thrill Seekers 1999 Elizabeth Wintern
Cab to Canada 1998 Sandy
Black Thunder 1998 Lisa
Sin City Spectacular 1998-1999 Episode #1.10 and #1.16
Crash Dive 1997 Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Stark
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys 1997 Cynea Episode #3.10 - The Lady and the Dragon
Hotline Volume 3 1996
Hot Line: The Brunch Club 1996 Cat
The Naked Truth 1995 Episode #1.11 - Comet Nails Star and Vice Versa!
Friends 1995 Robin Episode #2.06 - The One with the Baby on the Bus
Alien Nation: Body and Soul 1995 Cop
Vanishing Son 1995 Episode #2.06 - Miracle Under 34th Street as Kelly,
Episode #2.12 - Long Ago and Far Away as Rachel
Men of War 1994 Grace Lashield
Dream On 1994 Kay Meadows Episode #5.09 - Those Who Can't, Edit
Mother of the Bride 1993 Chastity
Death Becomes Her 1992 Lisle's Body Double Isabella Rossellini


Title Date Notes
Martha 17 January 2008
Live with Regis and Kelly 16 January 2008
Jimmy Kimmel Live! 8 August 2007
The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet 1 August 2007
Live with Regis and Kelly 31 July 2007
Late Show with David Letterman 30 July 2007
Sci Fi Inside: The Triangle 2005
United 2005
DVD Exclusive Awards 2003 Presenter
CBS at 75 2003
Yes, Dear 2003 Episode #3.14 - Let's Get Jaggy with It
Sidewalks Entertainment 2002 Episode #13.1 - Wedding Planner (Special Edition)
Howard Stern 24 July 2002
Hollywood Squares 24 September 2001
The Rosie O'Donnell Show 15 January 2001
Celebrity Jeopardy! May 1999


Year Award Category Film Result
2006 Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress on Television The Triangle Nominated


Title Date Link
CBS4 22 January 2008 YouTube
Martha 17 January 2008 YouTube, Part 1
YouTube, Part 2
Live with Regis and Kelly 16 January 2008 YouTube
CW11 17 January 2008 YouTube
Jimmy Kimmel Live! 8 August, 2007 YouTube
The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet 1 August 2007 YouTube
Live with Regis and Kelly 31 July 2007 YouTube
Late Show with David Letterman 30 July 2007 YouTube
United 2005 YouTube
Howie Mandel Show YouTube
Howard Stern Show 24 July 2002 YouTube


  1. ^ Catherine Bell Biography (1968-)
  2. ^ [(8-8-2007) Catherine Bell talks about her Persian background (her mother is Iranian) on USA ABC late night show Jimmy Kimmel Live]
  3. ^ Catherine Bell interview from Good Housekeeping's Quick and Simple 2007 Cover]
  4. ^ | Archives
  5. ^ THE RELIABLE SOURCE - The Washington Post - HighBeam Research
  6. ^ Betsy Model (October 1999). "Ma'am Yes Ma'am!". Orange Coast: The Magazine of Orange County. p. 32–37. 
  7. ^ Amazing Catherine Bell
  8. ^
  9. ^ Dover International Speedway - The Monster Mile - Actress Catherine Bell and a charitable race fan will kickoff the “Autism Speaks 400 presented by Visa” at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, June 3, 2007
  10. ^ Jeff D'Alessio (January 31, 2002). "The Sporting News". Retrieved 2007-03-14. 
  11. ^ A new base of operations for 'JAG's' Bell, By Ruth Ryon, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, 2007-08-26
  12. ^ Catherine Bell takes to sky with flying lessons, The Associated Press, 2008-01-17
  13. ^ Catherine Bell Biography,, Inc.
  14. ^ Zokaei, Mayar. - "Bell Hop" - NYLA Magazine. - Spring 2005
  15. ^ Interview with Catherine Bell, Celebrity (Magazine of the Scientology Celebrity Centre Los Angeles), Issue 347 (April 2003)
  16. ^ Bell, Catherine. "Giving Back: This Month". Catherine Bell's Official Website. Retrieved 2006-06-08. 
  17. ^ Gumbel, Andrew (2006-01-12). "Scientology vs. Science". Los Angeles CityBeat (Southland Publishing). Retrieved 2006-06-08. 
  18. ^ "Youth for Human Rights Campaign". Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  19. ^ Knutzen, Eirik. "TV Close-Up: Catherine Bell". Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  20. ^ Army Wives
  21. ^ Hollywood Reporter

External links

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