Kristen Anne Bell (born July 18, 1980)is an American actress and singer. She began her acting career starring in stage productions and attended the Tisch School of Arts in New York. In 2001, she made her Broadway debut as Becky Thatcher in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and starred in the Broadway revival of The Crucible the following year. In 2004, she had a supporting role in the film Spartan and received praise for her first leading performance in Gracie’s Choice.
Bell gained critical acclaim for her first major role as the title character in the teen noir drama television series Veronica Mars (2004–07). For her performance she was awarded a Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television. She reprised the eponymous role in the 2014 film continuation of the series. During her time on Veronica Mars, Bell appeared as Mary Lane in the 2005 film Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, a reprise of the role she had played in the New York musical upon which the film was based. In 2007, Bell joined the cast of the sci-fi series Heroes, playing the character Elle Bishop, for which she was nominated for a Saturn Award.
Kristen Anne Bell was born on July 18, 1980, and was raised in Huntington Woods, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Her mother, Lorelei (née Frygier), is a registered nurse, and her father, Tom Bell, works as the television news director for CBS Television in Sacramento. Her parents divorced when she was two years old, and she has two half-sisters, Sara and Jody, from her father’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 of 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.