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 2005.
Currently she stars in the Lifetime Television hit series Army Wives as
Bell was born in London, United Kingdom, the daughter of Mina, a personal
assistant and nurse, and Peter Bell, an architect. Her mother is Iranian
and her father Scottish. 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. 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.
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. 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 They have a daughter,
Gemma, who was born on April 16, 2003.
Bell was the grand marshal of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Dover
International Speedway on June 3, 2007.
In a survey of 70 celebrities by The Sporting News, she correctly
predicted that the New England Patriots would beat the St. Louis Rams in
Super Bowl XXXVI 20 to 17.
In August 2007, Bell and her husband put their Calabasas, California, home
on the market for $3.25 million and moved to South Carolina.
During the Hollywood writers strike, Bell took flying lessons in a Cirrus
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".
Although Bell was raised Roman Catholic and attended an all-girls’
Catholic school, she has since become a Scientologist. Bell has attested
to attaining the Scientology state of Clear She has supported
Scientology's Hollywood Education and Literacy Project. In December 2005,
Bell helped promote the gala opening of the Citizens Commission on Human
Rights, "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death" museum.
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.
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). 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 2005, 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
Bell appeared in the Sci Fi Channel miniseries The Triangle, presented in
December 2005, playing an ocean engineer. In 2006, she was nominated in
Saturn Award of 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.
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.
"Army Wives" .... Denise
Sherwood (49 episodes, 2007-2009)
- Fields of Fire (2009) TV episode .... Denise Sherwood
- Fire in the Hole (2009) TV episode .... Denise Sherwood
- Shrapnel and Alibis (2009) TV episode .... Denise Sherwood
- As Time Goes By... (2009) TV episode .... Denise Sherwood
- Need to Know Basis (2009) TV episode .... Denise Sherwood
The Good Witch's Garden (2009) (TV) .... Cassandra Nightingale
The Good Witch (2008) (TV) .... Cassandra Nightingale
Evan Almighty (2007) (uncredited) .... Susan Ortega - News Anchor
Still Small Voices (2007) (TV) .... Michael Summer
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" .... Naomi Cheales (1 episode,
... aka Law & Order: SVU (UK: promotional abbreviation) (USA:
... aka Special Victims Unit (New Zealand: English title) (UK:
informal short title)
- Choreographed (2006) TV episode .... Naomi Cheales
"Threshold" .... Daphne Larson (1 episode, 2006)
- Outbreak (2006) TV episode .... Daphne Larson
Company Town (2006) (TV) .... Maggie Shaunessy
Sci Fi Inside: 'The Triangle' (2005) (TV) .... Emily Patterson
"The Triangle" (2005) TV mini-series .... Emily Patterson
"JAG" .... Lt. Col. Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie / ... (206 episodes,
... aka JAG: Judge Advocate General (Australia)
- Fair Winds and Following Seas (2005) TV episode .... Lt. Col.
Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie
- Dream Team (2005) TV episode .... Lt. Col. Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie
- Unknown Soldier (2005) TV episode .... Lt. Col. Sarah 'Mac'
- Two Towns (2005) TV episode .... Lt. Col. Sarah 'Mac' MacKenzie
- Death at the Mosque (2005) TV episode .... Lt. Col. Sarah
Babak & Friends: A First Norooz (2005) (V) .... Layla (English)
"Waking the Dead" .... Sam James (1 episode, 2003)
- Final Cut: Part 1 (2003) TV episode .... Sam James
Bruce Almighty (2003) .... Susan Ortega
The Time Shifters (1999) (TV) .... Elizabeth Wintern
... aka Thrill Seekers (USA: alternative title)
Cab to Canada (1998) (TV) .... Sandy
Black Thunder (1998/II) .... Lisa
"Sin City Spectacular" (1 episode)
... aka Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular (USA: alternative
- Episode #1.16 (????) TV episode
Crash Dive (1997) (V) .... Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Stark
... aka Crash Dive: The Chase Is On
"Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" .... Cynea (1 episode, 1997)
- The Lady and the Dragon (1997) TV episode .... Cynea
"Hot Line" .... Cat (1 episode, 1996)
- The Brunch Club (1996) TV episode .... Cat
Hotline Volume 3 (1996) (V)
"The Naked Truth" (1 episode, 1995)
... aka Wilde Again
- Comet Nails Star and Vice Versa! (1995) TV episode
"Friends" .... Robin (1 episode, 1995)
- The One with the Baby on the Bus (1995) TV episode .... Robin
Alien Nation: Body and Soul (1995) (TV) .... Cop
"Vanishing Son" .... Kelly / ... (2 episodes, 1995)
- Long Ago and Far Away (1995) TV episode .... Rachel
- Miracle Under 34th Street (1995) TV episode .... Kelly
Men of War (1994) .... Grace Lashield
... aka Hombres de acero (Spain)
"Dream On" .... Kay Meadows (1 episode, 1994)
- Those Who Can't, Edit (1994) TV episode .... Kay Meadows
Mother of the Bride (1993) (TV) .... Chastity