By the time she to be twenty-four years old, actress Kristen Bell had actually a resume that many seasoned performers would envy. She had actually starred top top Broadway while quiet in college and also had several film credits under her belt through the at an early stage 2000s. Yet it was many thanks to the little screen and her debut together a teen supersleuth top top cable channel UPN's hit drama, Veronica Mars, that shot Bell native obscurity come stardom. Back the show, i m sorry premiered in September 2004, did not fare fine in the ratings,it struck a chord with a core team of watchers who immediately launched thousands of fan sites. And also even the most pessimistic critics to be wowed by the quirky new program, its exciting dialogue, and also especially the smart and also sassy Bell.




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indigenous Detroit to new York

Kristen Bell to be born on July 18, 1980, in Huntington Woods, a suburb that Detroit, Michigan, come mom, Lorelei, a registered nurse, and dad, Tom, a TV news director. Although her parents divorced when she to be still a toddler, in interviews Bell recalls that her childhood was a happy one. Her father remarried when she was four years old however still stayed close to his just child. Bell formed a bond v her new stepmother and also two stepsisters. "I really feeling close to both families," the actress revealed to Michelle Caruso in a brand-new York day-to-day News interview, "because i was break-up pretty evenly in between the two."

the was obvious from at an early stage that Bell had actually a talent for performing. Indigenous kindergarten with eighth grade, she attend Detroit's Burton International, a multicultural school for gifted children. She additionally took to sing lessons and also tap-dancing lessons. Bell admitted come Caruso the her initial attempts at acting were less than spectacular. When she auditioned because that her an initial part in a neighborhood theater manufacturing of Raggedy Ann and Andy, the would-be demonstrate "flipped out" and also cried. Regardless, Bell joined the cast "in the facility dual function of the banana in the very first act and the tree in the 2nd act."

when attending Shrine High institution in imperial Oak, an additional Detroit suburb, Bell ongoing to sharpen her acting an abilities by performing through Stagecrafters, a community theater troupe based in the exact same city. By period fourteen, Bell also had her very own agent but, as she told the Detroit News , the budding actress determined to remain in subway Detroit so the she could "live prefer a actual kid." Plus, Bell was beginning to make a name for it s her locally. According to her high college principal, cutting board Kirkwood, " was very enthusiastic, driven and also entertaining. It was clear that she would be one entertainer."

Shortly prior to high college graduation Bell was embraced to the Tisch institution of the arts at new York university (NYU). She


"Veronica has actually this inner toughness that says, 'I to be woman, listen me roar!'"


joy, however, was short-lived. In 1998, right prior to her eighteenth birthday, Bell's best friend, Jenny DeRita, was killed in a vehicle accident. Jenny had been a other Stagecrafter, and she was the one who really moved Bell to seek acting. "My whole human being was turned upside down," Bell told Michelle Caruso. The upper heart teen continued to be in she room for days and even thought about not going come NYU. V the help of her family Bell controlled to traction herself together and also headed for brand-new York in the loss of 1998, a various person. Together she called Caruso, "I realized my perspective had actually changed. Ns don't take points for granted anymore. The was accurate the begin of mine adulthood."


From phase to display

A trained soprano (high-pitched vocals), Bell studied musical theatre at NYU, showing up in several campus productions, including the music Hair. In 2001, throughout her an elderly year, she to be lured to the Broadway stage as soon as she to be tapped because that the duty of Becky Thatcher in The Adventures that Tom Sawyer. Bell made decision to quit school just four credits shy the graduating v her degree. Together she commented to Jennifer Armstrong of entertainment Weekly, "The weird thing is they gave me credit transaction for bringing world coffee together an intern, but they wouldn't provide me credit for gift on a Broadway phase every night."

In 2002, Bell continued her Broadway acting, showing up in The Crucible with Oscar-nominated gibbs Liam Neeson (1952–) and also Laura Linney (1964–). She also starred in an off-Broadway manufacturing of Reefer Madness. later that year, in ~ the urging that friends, Bell decided to head for Los Angeles. In ~ weeks, she landing a component in the season premier the the police drama The Shield; she also had a costarring function as Alison dodge in the Hallmark hall of Fame television movie The King and Queen that Moonlight only (2003).

after ~ that, Bell's job skyrocketed. In early 2004, having remained in California for tiny over a year, she take it the title function in the life time original movie Gracie's Choice, the story of a courageous high-school student that fights to take on her younger brother after your drug-addicted mom abandons them. The duty was Bell's

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very first big break, and also the character of Gracie touched she heart. The twenty-three-old Bell turn in a mesmerizing performance, and also critics predicted she would certainly be an actress to be reckoned with.


floor in Neptune

Bell also began 2004 through a recurring function as Flora Anderson in HBO's wild west drama, Deadwood. Bell's next leap to be to the huge screen, whereby she showed up in the thriller Spartan, written and also directed by legend American playwright David Mamet (1947–). Return her function as Laura Newton, the walk away daughter of the president of the unified States, was reasonably small, it brought Bell a good deal of exposure. In fact, the film attracted the fist of producer and also writer Rob thomas (1965–), who was casting a new television series called Veronica Mars.

Bell, however, was no a clear selection for the duty of the lively seventeen-year-old detective. Once Thomas created the series, he had not envisioned a five-foot-two, perky blonde with a sunny smile. Instead, the thought lot darker. Follow to Bell, who spoke through Craig Byrne's NeptuneSite, Thomas describes Veronica together a cross between pair Peaks, one edgy drama from the beforehand 1990s, and Dawson's Creek, the teen soap opera that Thomas created for in the late 1990s. Regardless of she blonde, girl-next-door looks, Bell beat out seventy various other hopefuls and also won the part of the teenager sleuth who is wise past her years. And also Thomas was glad he actors her. As he told Jennifer Armstrong, "Without Bell, Veronica wouldn't be the wry joy that the is."

The display is collection in the upper-class, seaside city of Neptune, California, where everything is no as picture-perfect together it seems. Veronica's best friend, Lilly Kane, is killed, and her sheriff dad, Keith Mars, accuses Lilly's powerful tycoon father of being the killer. Veronica's people is shattered. Her mommy abandons the family, and Veronica, as soon as one that the most well-known girls in ~ school, is all of sudden an outcast. By job she bravely stands approximately the taunts of she cruel classmates with the help of her new sidekick, nerdy Wallace Fennell. By night she turns right into a savvy sleuth that helps her father in his brand-new private investigation business. Her biggest instance is figuring out that really eliminated Lilly.

once Veronica Mars debuted on September 22, 2004, doubters went wild and heaped praise on thomas for his elaborate plot twists and also clever characters. Barry Garron of the Hollywood Reporter called it "one of TV's only bright spots." He additional enthused the the present "has comedy, deathly significant drama, parody and danger, ingredient not typically mixed together. The result is a brand-new TV flavor, and also it's delicious." The push was particularly kind to newcomer Bell. Follow to Variety's Phil Gallo, Bell "gives a multilayered performance, and also is as charismatic together she is tough and also intelligent." After only a couple of episodes, Kristen Bell to be a large hit on television.


pan favorite

once the display moved come its irreversible time slot ~ above Tuesday nights, much more and an ext viewers started tuning in till there was a faithful following. Thousands of Web sites, such together The holy place of Veronica Mars, sprang up nearly overnight. UPN released the official Veronica Mars Site, wherein fans might log top top to conversation


The original Teen Detective: Nancy attracted

Veronica Mars might be the brand-new girl sleuth the the twenty-first century, but the original teen detective, Nancy Drew, is currently over seventy-five years old. Although Nancy drew originally appeared in print in 1929 she tho shares countless similarities with her 2005 counterpart. Like Veronica, Nancy was initially a blonde; she comes from a single-parent home; she works closely with she father, Carson Drew, a well-known attorney; and she frequently solves instances assisted by her 2 friends, Bess Marvin and George Fayne. More importantly, according to "The history of Nancy Drew," Nancy, choose Veronica, is "the embodiment of independence, pluck, and also intelligence."

Nancy drew was the product of American author Edward Stratemeyer (1862–1930) and his Edward Stratemeyer Syndicate, a writing agency that churned out popular collection for young people. Favourite characters, such as the Rover Boys, Tom Swift, and the Bobbsey Twins, appeared in book after book, and also eventually became literary heroes. Because readers gobbled up the stories, and also Stratemeyer might not probably keep up v the demand, he hired a crew of ghostwriters (authors whose work is attributed to who else) who fleshed out his initial outlines.

Young female heroines were featured in ahead Stratemeyer series, however they were usually reasonably traditional. V the advent of Nancy Drew, a new kind of independent woman was born. The credit is given primarily to Mildred A. Wort Benson (1905–2002), who wrote twenty-three of the original thirty Nancy drew stories. (Although the name "Carolyn Keene" appears on the publication covers, it was merely the pen surname shared by the plenty of writers the Nancy Drew series had end the years.) according to "The background of Nancy Drew," Benson was exhausted of what she referred to as the "namby-pamby format of girls' collection books, and also she had no intentionally of characterizing Nancy together namby-pamby." The feisty ghostwriter thought that girls could do noþeles boys could do, and also she instilled that very same feistiness in she character.

Benson to be twenty-four as soon as she created the very very first Nancy Drew secret in 1929, The secret of the Old Clock, and also she continued to breath life into her favorite girl detective because that the next thirty years. Once she battered the syndicate in 1959, Edward Stratemeyer's daughter, Harriet, took up the pen and also wrote the majority of the initial series, which is composed of 175 books. The early Nancy drew mysteries room still being reissued by Simon … Schuster, i beg your pardon purchased the Stratemeyer Syndicate in 1984. The agency also produces a modern version the the series called Nancy Drew: Girl Detective, as well as other spin-off series, consisting of The Nancy drew Notebooks and also The Nancy drew Files.


through their favorite teen detective. By the finish of 2004, however, the fate that the show was in question. Although over 2.7 million viewers were watching the display every week, that was not doing fine in the Nielsen ratings, coming in a disappointed 122 out of 133 programs. (Nielsen ratings were developed by the Nielsen Media research firm in the early on 1960s, and also are provided to gauge what television mirrors Americans watch during what times.)

regardless of the lukewarm ratings, UPN gave the eco-friendly light to a full season the episodes. A gleeful Bell celebrated by buying her very first house, situated in Los Angeles. And also although committing come a weekly series meant long hours, sometimes stretching right into fifteen-hour work days, the twenty-something actress was not complaining. "I simply feel very lucky to be whereby I am appropriate now," she told beam Richmond of the Hollywood Reporter. Bell felt particularly fortunate to it is in working through such a wonderful cast and also crew. She became an especially close to actor Enrico Colantoni (1963–), who plays she father ~ above the show. "He's among the most generous individuals I've ever met," Bell said Craig Byrne, "and has actually really choose taken top top the function of dad in mine life."

Bell likewise felt happy to be play Veronica, whom she thought about to it is in a solid female character and a definite function model for young girls. " Veronica Mars is not choose anything rather on television," she commented throughout a chat on E!Online. "It's rare to watch girls that empowered. She's therefore scrappy and also such the firecracker. It's nice to have the ability to hold your own in a 'man's world'."


Feet quiet planted ~ above the floor

like Veronica, Bell is commonly described as energetic in her own right. And also in 2005, she was setting the entertainment people ablaze. In enhancement to her tv program, she starred in two feature films, Fifty Pills, a university comedy, and also the thriller Deepwater. Bell also appeared in Showtime's music comedy Reefer Madness. as she said Michelle Caruso, however, her priority was to "act she heart out to do Veronica Mars a hit."

offered her hectic work schedule, Bell has small time for anything else, but she does enjoy getting together with friends to song karaoke. She is committed to she dog, Lola, that perches under the director's time while she is working. She likewise carves out time to spend with she boyfriend, Kevin Mann, a high school swim coach and independent film producer. And, despite all the celebrity hype, the actress continues to be grounded. I'm not associated in the company of becoming famous," Bell said the Detroit News , "And that's the advice I offer to younger aspiring actors. Work-related onstage and also do the tiny roles. In the end it's not important to be seen. It's important to do."




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Periodicals

Armstrong, Jennifer. "Bell the the Fall." to chat Weekly (December 10, 2004): p. 36.

Flynn, Gillian. "Life top top 'Mars'." entertain Weekly (October 29, 2004): p. 59.

Gallo, Phil. "Review of 'Veronica Mars'." variety (September 20, 2004): p. 70.

Garron, Barry. "Review the 'Veronica Mars'." Hollywood Reporter (September 20, 2004): p. 20.

Richmond, Ray. "Spotlight: Kristen Bell (UPN's Veronica Mars)." Hollywood Reporter (December 2004): p. 26.


internet Sites

Byrne, Craig. "Interview through Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)." NeptuneSite (January 10, 2005). http://www.neptunesite.com/bellinterview.htm (accessed on respectable 10, 2005).

Caruso, Michelle. "Kristen Bell ring True: Why Star of 'Veronica Mars' might Take TV by Storm." brand-new York everyday News (September 12, 2004). http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain-ment/story/230876p-198293c.html (accessed on respectable 10, 2005).

"The history of Nancy Drew." The Nancy attracted Sleuth Unofficial web Site. http://www.nancydrewsleuth.com/history.html (accessed on august 10, 2005).

Madden, Mekeisha. "Huntington Woods aboriginal Is over the Moon certification in UPN's 'Veronica Mars'." Detroit News (September 22, 2004). http://www.detnews.com/2004/screens/0409/22/d01-280930.htm (accessed on respectable 10, 2005).

Nguyen, Lan N. "Kristen Bell's a difficult Act to Follow." iVillage Entertainment. http://entertainment.ivillage.com/celebs/interview/0,,73r3smcc,00.html (accessed on respectable 10, 2005).

" Veronica Mars' Kristen Bell Chats friend Up!" E!Online (November 8, 2004). Http://www.eonline.com/Gossip/Kristin/Trans/Veronica Mars/index.html (accessed on august 10, 2005).

Veronica Mars internet Site. http://www.upn.com/shows/veronica_mars (accessed on march 26, 2005).