Maria Bello is an American TV and film actress most celebrated for her role in ventures such as ‘E.R.’, ‘The Cooler’, and ‘A History of Violence’. Born in Pennsylvania to a middle class family, Maria wanted to become a lawyer but later decided to become an actress. Upon moving to New York after graduation, she struggled for many years working in off-Broadway productions before landing a regular role in the television series ‘E.R.’. With a striking talent, it was not long before she made her debut on the big-screen in movies such as ‘Permanent Midnight’ and ‘Coyote Ugly’. Upon making the difficult transition from television to film successfully, Bello garnered widespread acclaim for her convincing portrayals of complex female characters. She gained much attention for her role in movies such as ‘Auto Focus’ and ‘The Cooler’, which established her as a competent actress. She further cemented her increasing reputation with the award-winning supporting role in the drama film ‘A History of Violence’. Later, Bello appeared in several commercial and mass appealing ventures such as ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’ and the comedy movie ‘Grown Ups’. It was followed by her return to small screen as the main lead of the police drama ‘Prime Suspect’. Blessed with an incredible beauty and remarkable talent, Bello continues to excel in her craft due to her unwavering commitment towards it.
Childhood & Early Life
Maria Elana Bello was born on April 18, 1967, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, to Joe Bello, a constructive worker, and his wife, Kathy Bello, a school nurse and teacher. She was the fourth child in his Roman Catholic family, with two brothers and a sister. ||P *She received her formal education and graduated from the Archbishop John Carroll High School. Later, she got enrolled at the Villanova University to pursue a degree in political science and become a lawyer. ||P *During one of her drama classes at the university, she became fascinated with the craft of acting and decided to pursue an acting career. After majoring in political science, she moved to New York City and appeared in some theater productions
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Upon arriving in New York, she appeared in small parts in several off-Broadway productions such as ‘The Killer Inside Me’, ‘Small Town Gals with Big Problems’ and ‘Urban Planning’
In 1995, she made her television debut in a minor role in Fox's TV series titled ‘Misery Loves Company’. In 1996, she landed the female lead role of a corporate spy in the CBS television series ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’
Although the show was cancelled after 13 episodes, she managed to gain attention with her performance and earned recurring role in the third season of NBC's acclaimed hospital drama titled ‘E.R.’. The next year, she was made a regular in the fourth season, playing a pediatrician ‘Anna Del Amico’
After gaining widespread acclaim with her television series, she moved to Hollywood and made her big screen debut with the 1998 movie ‘Permanent Midnight’. The following year, she played a hooker in the movie ‘Payback’
Then, she appeared in the role of the bar owner in the 2000 movie ‘Coyote Ugly’ and was later seen in movies such as ‘China: The Panda Adventure’ (2001), ‘Auto Focus’ (2002), and the thriller ‘Secret Window’ (2004).
In 2005, she starred in the crime thriller ‘A History of Violence’, directed by David Cronenberg. In the following years, she appeared in several movies including ‘Thank You for Smoking’ (2006), ‘World Trade Center’ (2006) and ‘Flicka’ (2006)
During the next two years, she featured in films such as ‘Shattered’ (2007), ‘The Jane Austen Book Club’ (2007), and ‘The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’ (2008).
In 2009, she appeared in ‘The Private Lives of Pippa Lee’ and ‘The Company Men’. The following year, she was seen in movies such as ‘The Yellow Handkerchief’ and ‘Grown Ups’, and also guest starred in two episodes of the TV series ‘Law & Order: SVU’
In 2011, Bello starred in the U.S. remake of British television drama series ‘Prime Suspect’ although the show was canceled by NBC after 13 episodes
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Next, Bello starred in the Kiefer Sutherland drama titled ‘Touch’ (2012-13). In 2013, she appeared in the film ‘Prisoners’ and the comedy movie ‘Grown Ups 2’. Later, she starred in the thriller ‘Demonic’ (2015)
In 2003, she appeared in the romantic drama movie ‘The Cooler’ and garnered much critical acclaim for her performance. Bello played the role of a cocktail waitress who falls in love with a gambler, and was greatly praised for her excellent portrayal
Another one of her brilliant performances was that of a wife whose husband's unknown past catches up with him, in the 2005 crime thriller ‘A History of Violence’. She bagged several awards for her raw and emotional acting in the film
Awards & Achievements
Bello won the ‘Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture Drama’ for her performance in the movie ‘The Cooler’ (2003). She also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
For her breakthrough performance in the 2005 drama movie ‘A History of Violence’, she won several awards including the ‘New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress’, ‘Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress’, and ‘Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress’
Personal Life & Legacy
Bello had a relationship with Dan McDermott, a T.V. executive. In 2001, the couple had a son together and later separated
In 2013, Bello reported about being in a same-sex relationship with her friend, Clare Munn