Catherine Bell (actress)

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Catherine Bell
Catherine Bell 2012.jpg
Bell on the set of Army Wives in Charleston, South Carolina (2012)
Catherine Lisa Bell

(1968-08-14) 14 August 1968 (age 51)
Nationality American, British-Iranian
OccupationModel, actress, producer
Years active1991–present
Adam Beason
(m. 1994;div. 2011)

Catherine Lisa Bell (born 14 August 1968) is an American actress, known for her roles as Lieutenant Colonel Sarah MacKenzie in the television series JAG from 1997 to 2005, Denise Sherwood in the series Army Wives from 2007 to 2013, and Cassandra "Cassie" Nightingale in Hallmark's The Good Witch films and television series since 2008.


Early life

Catherine Lisa Bell [1] was born on 14 August 1968 [2] [3] in London to a Scottish father, Peter Bell, and an Iranian mother, Mina Ezzati [3] . Peter was an architect under contract to an oil company in Iran; Mina had traveled to London to study nursing. Bell's parents divorced when Catherine was two years old. She was raised by her mother and maternal grandparents. The family eventually moved to California's San Fernando Valley.[ citation needed ] where Bell was exposed to diverse influences. The family spoke Persian at home. The grandparents were Muslim, but Catherine was also exposed to Catholicism and attended a Baptist summer camp. In her teenage years, Catherine came under the influence of her California surroundings: "I am definitely a Valley Girl. I was a tomboy. I liked to skateboard, play football, and push the envelope a little bit."[ citation needed ] Catherine enrolled at UCLA, where she considered a career in medicine or research. However, when she was offered a modeling job in Japan, where advertisers value "American beauty," she dropped out during her sophomore year. [3]


When Bell returned to the United States, she decided to try acting. [3] She studied at the Beverly Hills Playhouse with Milton Katselas. She also worked as a massage therapist for 8 years at the Peninsula Hotel, [4] and her clients included singer Peter Gabriel. Her first television acting role was one line spoken to Gabriel on the short-lived 1990 sitcom Sugar and Spice. [5]

Among her first parts was serving as Isabella Rossellini's nude body double for the 1992 film Death Becomes Her . [3]

In 1994 Bell starred in the Dolph Lundgren film Men of War . While filming the movie in Thailand, Bell and her co-star Trevor Goddard bonded over contracting amoebic dysentery. Goddard would later play Bell's off-and-on love interest Mic Brumby the following year on JAG . They remained friends until Goddard's death from a drug overdose in June 2003, an event that the bereaved Bell described as "horrible". [5]

In 1995, she obtained a three-line role in one episode of the NBC TV series JAG, which centers on the work of the United States Department of the Navy's Judge Advocate General office. NBC canceled the show after which it was picked up by CBS, which restructured the series, incorporating a female Marine Corps lawyer character, Sarah MacKenzie. Bell auditioned for that role and won it. One episode of the show established that MacKenzie is an Iranian-American, and featured Bell speaking Persian. [3] She continued in this role until the series ended in 2005. [6]

Beginning in 2007, Bell starred in Lifetime's ensemble drama series Army Wives as Denise Sherwood, the wife of a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, [7] who endures domestic violence at the hands of her teenage son during the show's first season. [8]

Bell played the role of Cassandra "Cassie" Nightingale, the main character of Hallmark's The Good Witch (2008), and its sequels The Good Witch's Garden (2009), The Good Witch's Gift (2010), The Good Witch's Family (2011), The Good Witch's Charm (2012), The Good Witch's Destiny (2013), and The Good Witch's Wonder (2014). She was also a co-executive producer of all of the movies. [9] She also starred in another Hallmark movie titled Last Man Standing . [10]

In 2015 it was reported that Bell would star in the movie Love Finds Its Way, which would begin filming in 2016. [11] Production began on the film in March 2017, with Vancouver as the filming location, and 9 July 2017 as the date for the film's premiere on the Hallmark Channel. [12]

On April 2, 2019, CBS announced that Bell would be reprising her JAG role of Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie alongside former co-star David James Elliott for a multi-episode arc in the tenth season of NCIS: Los Angeles . [13]

Personal life

Bell is fluent in Persian and English. She is fond of motorcycling, skiing, snowboarding and kickboxing. Her hobbies include cross-stitching and making model cars, which she has done since age eight. [14]

In 2002, The Sporting News falsely reported that Bell correctly predicted that the New England Patriots would beat the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, 20 to 17 in a celebrity survey conducted just before the season started. [15] However, Bell's prediction occurred after the NFC and AFC championship games had already been completed, so she did not predict the teams that would be participating, only the final score. [16]

During the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, Bell took flying lessons in a Cirrus SR22. [17]

Bell met actor-production assistant Adam Beason on the set of the 1992 film Death Becomes Her. They were married on 8 May 1994. They are the parents of two children. [18] [19] They lived in a nearly 5,700-square-foot (530 m2) faux-Tuscan-style mini-mansion in Calabasas, California. [20] The couple sold the house in 2010, [20] and publicly confirmed that they had separated sometime before September 2011. [21]

Since 2012, Bell has lived with fellow Scientologist, photographer and party planner Brooke Daniells in Los Angeles. [22] In 2014, Bell paid $2.05 million for a recently remodeled, 3,380-square-foot (314 m2), single-story ranch house on a 1.2 acres (0.49 ha) lot in the gated Hidden Hills community in the western suburbs of Los Angeles. [20]


Bell was raised Roman Catholic and attended an all-girls Catholic school (Our Lady of Corvallis High School in Los Angeles). She is currently a practicing Scientologist. [23] Bell has attested to attaining the Scientology state of Clear. [24] She has supported Scientology's Hollywood Education and Literacy Project. [25] In December 2005, Bell helped promote the gala opening of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (a Scientology supported group), "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death" museum. [26] 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. [27]



NCIS: Los Angeles 2019-2020Lt. Col. Sarah MacKenzie Recurring Role 3 episodes:
Episode #10.24: "False Flag"
Episode #11.01: "Let Fate Decide"
Episode #11.22: "Code of Conduct"
The original main character from JAG
A Summer to Remember2018Jessica TuckerTelevision film (Hallmark); Leading Role [28]
Home for Christmas Day2017Jane McKendrickTelevision film (Hallmark); Leading Role & Executive Producer [29]
Christmas in the Air2017LydiaTelevision film (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries); Leading Role
High-Rise Rescue2017Beth DavisLeading role [30]
The Do-Over 2016Dawn DifazioTelevision film (Netflix)
The Bandit Hound2015Joanne
Good Witch 2015–presentCassandra "Cassie" NightingaleLeading Role & Co-Executive Producer
The Good Witch's Wonder 2014Cassandra "Cassie" NightingaleLeading Role & Co-Executive Producer
Los Angeles, RIGHT NOW2014K-PUB's station managerEpisode #5 The Bully
The Good Witch's Destiny 2013Cassandra "Cassie" NightingaleLeading Role & Co-Executive Producer
King & Maxwell 2013Joan DillingerEpisodes #1.05 and #1.10
The Good Witch's Charm 2012Cassandra "Cassie" NightingaleLeading Role & Co-Executive Producer
Good Morning, Killer2011FBI Special Agent Ana GrayLeading role; shown as part of the TNT Mystery Movie Night series
Last Man Standing 2011Abby CollinsLeading role
The Good Witch's Family 2011Cassandra "Cassie" NightingaleLeading Role & Co-Executive Producer
The Good Witch's Gift 2010Cassandra "Cassie" NightingaleLeading Role & Co-Executive Producer
The Good Witch's Garden 2009Cassandra "Cassie" NightingaleLeading Role & Co-Executive Producer
The Good Witch 2008Cassandra "Cassie" NightingaleLeading Role & Co-Executive Producer
Army Wives 2007–2013 Denise Sherwood Series Regular
Evan Almighty 2007Susan Ortega (Uncredited)sequel to Bruce Almighty
Still Small Voices 2007Michael Summer
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2006Naomi ChealesEpisode #8.09: "Choreographed"
Company Town2006Maggie Shaunessyunaired pilot
Threshold 2006Dr. Daphne LarsonEpisode #1.11: "Outbreak"
The Triangle 2005Emily Patterson
Babak and Friends: A First Norooz 2005LaylaVoice
JAG 1996–2005Maj./Lt. Col. Sarah MacKenzie Leading Role
Episode #1.22: "Skeleton Crew" (1996) as Lieutenant Junior Grade Diane Schonke
Episode #2.01: "We the People" (1997) as Lieutenant Junior Grade Diane Schonke (archive footage)
Episode #3.19: "Death Watch" (1998) 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
Bruce Almighty 2003Susan Ortega
Thrill Seekers 1999Elizabeth Wintern
Cab to Canada1998Sandy
Black Thunder 1998Lisa
Sin City Spectacular 1998–1999Episode #1.10 and #1.16
Crash Dive1997Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Stark
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys 1997CyneaEpisode #3.10: "The Lady and the Dragon"
Hot Line 1996CatEpisode "The Brunch Club"
aka Hotline Volume 3 (VHS release title)
The Naked Truth 1995Episode #1.11: "Comet Nails Star and Vice Versa!"
Friends 1995RobinEpisode #2.06: "The One with the Baby on the Bus"
Alien Nation: Body and Soul 1995Cop
Vanishing Son 1995Episode #2.06: "Miracle Under 34th Street" as Kelly,
Episode #2.12: "Long Ago and Far Away" as Rachel
Men of War 1994Grace Lashield
Dream On 1994Kay MeadowsEpisode #5.09: "Those Who Can't, Edit"
Mother of the Bride 1993Chastity
Death Becomes Her 1992Lisle's Body Double Isabella Rossellini
True Colors 1991DonnaEpisode No. 2.08: "Brotherly Love"

See also

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