Catherine Bell Biography

Catherine Bell was born in London, England to a British father and Iranian mother. At the age of three, she moved to the United States with her mother, and the family settled in Los Angeles. In her youth, Catherine was a tall, skinny kid that got straight A's and wore glasses - in junior high she she even programmed a computer game.

Being a tomboy and social outsider, Catherine knew nothing of how to wear makeup or doing hair until a friend showed her these things in her junior year of high school. Catherine Bell excelled in math and biology, which led to her plans to become a doctor or biomedical engineer. She attended the University of California at Los Angeles, where Catherine took her first acting class and was hooked

Catherine left UCLA to pursue a modeling job in Japan. While in japan, the anorexia and bulimia of other models began to rub off on her. Catherine said "People were showing you how to throw up. You're taking diet pills. Everyone's partying, so you start drinking a lot, and drugs. A couple of years messed me up for a while." Things really began to go downhill once she returned home. Her acting teacher introduced her to Scientology, which she credits with her success and the repossession of her life.

Catherine met her husband, Adam Beason, on the set of Death Becomes Her - she was the body double for Isabella Rossolini; he was a director's assistant to Bob Zemekis. Catherine put her phone number in Adam's pocket, but he didn't call - he thought she was kidding.

Catherine. Bell had a history of going after "the bad boys" and Adam was the first nice guy she ever dated. "At first, my mind was going: 'He's boring. He's not interesting because he's so normal. He calls when he says he's going to call, shows up when he's supposed to'." Despite her attempts to discourage him, Adam, without giving up his integrity, wouldn't go away. Catherine described his persistence as: "I understand that you're under some stress, and I want you to know that I love you and I'm not going anywhere." She said, "It was the first time that I could ever just hold someone and sob about all this stuff. And it really changed me as a person. ... All of the sudden I was able to have a relationship with somebody and stay in it."

Catherine and Adam were married on the 8th of May, 1994, after having been together for two years. They live in Hollywood Hills with their two Italian Greyhounds, Leo & Zoe. The couple enjoy safely engaging in, what some would call, dangerous and/or extreme sports. Catherine and Adam own several motorcycles, including a Ducati acquired in 1999. The two bungee jumped off a bridge together, and in the spring of 1997, Catherine and Adam previewed the rides and attraction of an amusement park for the Travel Channel. In addition, in April of 1999, Catherine drove in the 23rd Annual Toyota Pro-Celebrity Race in Long Beach, California. She drove the #4 car and placed 8th overall (the 2nd woman to finish). Catherine Bell was among the fastest female qualifiers and replied to her presence at the race with "I'm a crazy chick."

In JAG's first season finale on NBC, Catherine appeares a Lieutenant Dianne Schonke, USN. A friend of LCDR Harmon Rabb (David James Elliott) from the US Naval Academy who was murdered. When the show was renewed by CBS as a mid-season replacement, Donald P Bellisairo (JAG's Creator and Executive Producer) recast Catherine as Rabb's new partner Major Sarah MacKenzie. Catherine has enjoyed four seasons of increasing depth in her character on JAG, now a Lieutenant Colonel.

Catherine Bell claims that the most memorable thing that she will forever remember was getting the phone call that she had gotten JAG. "This huge life-changing moment of going from zero to ninety in two seconds! I don't have much of a personal life anymore. I miss having free time to just relax. Getting recognized is fun, and so far it hasn't gotten overwhelming. Learning to live with less sleep, and less of the fun things I like to do has been part of the change." Catherine has worked on other TV features between JAG seasons, including "Cab to Canada" and "Timeshifters". She has also guest starred on games shows, talk shows and done commentary for parades.

"It was a very unusual experience. I loved it though!" Catherine said of her playing two roles on JAG, Lieutenant Diane Shonke, in an episode of the first season, and then coming in to take a regular role as Major Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie. "I couldn't have been more thrilled that I was killed off in one episode and brought back as a series regular in the next." In her visit with her fans she also gave a peek into the antics that happen on the set. "David's a great jokester, and there are just fun, silly things happening all the time! The main prank we play with props is for the people's birthday. The special effects people will put a little explosive in the cake so it blows up in their face. That's always great fun to play on a guest star, or one of the trainees or someone who's new." The actors are on set from fifteen to eighteen hours a day, ten months out of the year, filming and rehearsing.

While filming JAG's 100th episode in Australia, Adam noted that "It's so bizarre being here because back home no one knows who we are when we go out. But here Catherine is so famous - she needed about six bodyguards the other day at the beach. "It's amazing how popular she is, so we are having the greatest time being recognized."

During JAG's on location trip to DC, Adam jokingly asked a few OCBFC members if he should change his last name to Bell. He cited examples of the times he has been referred to as Mr. Bell. Incidently, this was the same trip that spawned the ongoing nickname for JAG prodcer Charles Floyd (JAZZ VOID) Johnson.

In October 1999, Catherine joined her costars and many of JAG's crew at the inaugural JAGnik Invasion in Los Angeles. Catherine was presented with a package of Blue Mondays (a candy made by a confectioner in Kentucky) by a fan. Upon testing one, Catherine Bell announced to all in the autograph session that if Mac's uniform began to get tight, to blame the lady who brought the Blue Mondays. Adam accompanied Catherine and caught a fair amount of footage of her in the Green Room prior to the main cast session and the session itself. Though invited, Adam was unable to participate in the Invasion due to a prior familial commitment (there's always 2001).

In November 1999, Catherine became the first television star to be presented with The Associates for Breast and Prostate Cancer Research Spirit of Hollywood Award. David James Elliott presented the award to his co-star, citing that Catherine was more than deserving of the great honor. In her acceptance, she thanked her family and friends in attendance and praised the John Wayne Cancer Institute for their amazing work and assistance during her bout with non-terminal cancer.

Catherine devotes some of her precious time, when free of filming, to charities and other causes. She spends most of her time with Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, California, and the Buoniconti Fund, which is trying to find a cure for paralysis. The Buoniconti Fund was formed by Marc Buoniconti, who was paralyzed in a college football accident, whom Catherine describes as "an amazing man with an amazing spirit and zest for life!" The fund, like the American Paralysis Association, conducts massive research to find a cure "and they are getting very close." They have been successful in regenerating the nerve cells in lab mice, and actually making them walk again. Amazing isn't it?Catherine has also participated in fundraisers and auctions with the Children's Hospital in L.A. Although it has been tough with her schedule, she tries to stay involved.

Over time Catherine Bell has meet several actual JAG lawyers, and most often hears that their job is nothing like what Mac and Harm do on the show; mostly, they say, they just behind desks and do paperwork. "But they love that we make them look so glamorous!" image details Sbukley | Dreamstime.com


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