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 54)
London, England
NationalityBritish, Iranian
CitizenshipBritish, American
  • Actress
  • model
Years active1991–present
Adam Beason
(m. 1994; div. 2011)
PartnerBrooke Daniells (2012–present)

Catherine Lisa Bell (born 14 August 1968) is a British-American actress and model 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 from 2008 to 2021.

Early life[edit]

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 working as an architect under contract to an oil company in Iran; Mina had travelled 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[3] where Bell was exposed to diverse influences. The family spoke Persian at home. Her 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".[3] Catherine enrolled at UCLA, where she considered a career in medicine or research. However, when she was offered a modelling job in Japan, where advertisers value "American beauty", she dropped out during her second 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 eight years at the Peninsula Hotel,[4] and her clients included singer Peter Gabriel. Bell's 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 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 the Lifetime movie titled Last Man Standing (2011).[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 2 April 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]

In 2022, Bell starred in the Lifetime film Jailbreak Lovers as part of its "Ripped from the Headlines" feature film which tells the story of how Toby Dorr snuck inmate John Manard out of prison in a dog crate which sparked a manhunt.[14]

Personal life[edit]

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.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

During the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, Bell took flying lessons in a Cirrus SR22.[18]

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, Gemma and Ronan.[19][20] They lived in a nearly 5,700 square feet (530 m2) faux-Tuscan-style mini-mansion in Calabasas, California.[21] The couple sold the house in 2010,[21] and publicly confirmed that they had separated sometime before September 2011.[22] They eventually divorced in 2011.[23]

Since 2012, Bell has lived with fellow Scientologist, photographer and party planner Brooke Daniells, together with their children, in Los Angeles.[24][25] In 2014, Bell paid US$2.05 million for a 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.[21]


Bell was raised Roman Catholic and attended an all-girls Catholic school (Our Lady of Corvallis High School in Los Angeles). She is a practicing Scientologist.[26] Bell has attested to attaining the Scientology state of Clear.[27] She has supported Scientology's Hollywood Education and Literacy Project.[28] 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.[29] 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 claims to promote human rights with a rap song.[30]



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Death Becomes Her Lisle's Body Double
1994 Men of War Grace Lashield
1996 Crash Dive Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Stark
1998 Black Thunder Lisa
2003 Bruce Almighty Susan Ortega
2005 Babak and Friends: A First Norooz Layla (voice)
2007 Evan Almighty Susan Ortega Uncredited
2016 The Bandit Hound Joanne
The Do-Over Dawn DiFazio


Year Title Role Notes
1991 True Colors Donna Episode: "Brotherly Love"
1993 Mother of the Bride Chastity Television film
1994 Dream On Kay Meadows Episode: "Those Who Can't, Edit"
1995 Vanishing Son Kelly / Rachel Episodes "Miracle Under 34th Street" / "Long Ago and Far Away"
Alien Nation: Body and Soul Cop Television film
Friends Robin Episode: "The One with the Baby on the Bus"
The Naked Truth Un­known Episode: "Comet Nails Star and Vice Versa!"
1996–2005 JAG Maj./Lt. Col. Sarah MacKenzie Main role (season 2–10)
As Lieutenant Junior Grade Diane Schonke, episodes: "Skeleton Crew" (1996),
"We the People" (1997) (archive footage), "Death Watch" (1998) (archive footage)
As Jenny Lake, episode: "Ghosts of Christmas Past" (1999)
As Mrs. Alexander MacKenzie, episode: "Mutiny" (2001)
As Ensign Beverly Tromatore, episode: "Each of Us Angels" (2003)
1996 Hot Line Cat Episode: "The Brunch Club"
1997 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Cynea Episode: "The Lady and the Dragon"
1998–1999 Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular Herself 2 episodes
1998 Cab to Canada Sandy Television film
1999 Thrill Seekers Elizabeth Wintern Television film
2003 Waking the Dead Sam James Episode: "Final Cut"
2005 The Triangle Emily Patterson Miniseries
2006 Company Town Maggie Shaunessy Unaired pilot
Threshold Dr. Daphne Larson Episode: "Outbreak"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Naomi Cheales Episode: "Choreographed"
2007 Still Small Voices Michael Summer Television film
2007–2013 Army Wives Denise Sherwood Main role
2008 The Good Witch Cassandra "Cassie" Nightingale Television film; leading role and co-executive producer
2009 The Good Witch's Garden Cassandra "Cassie" Nightingale Television film; leading role and co-executive producer
2010 The Good Witch's Gift Cassandra "Cassie" Nightingale Television film; leading role and co-executive producer
2011 Last Man Standing Abby Collins Television film; leading role and producer
The Good Witch's Family Cassandra "Cassie" Nightingale Television film; leading role and co-executive producer
Good Morning, Killer FBI Special Agent Ana Gray Television film; leading role; shown as part of TNT's Mystery Movie Night series
2012 The Good Witch's Charm Cassandra "Cassie" Nightingale Television film; leading role and co-executive producer
2013 King & Maxwell Joan Dillinger 2 episodes
The Good Witch's Destiny Cassandra "Cassie" Nightingale Television film; leading role and co-executive producer
2014 The Good Witch's Wonder Cassandra "Cassie" Nightingale Television film; leading role and co-executive producer
2015–2021 Good Witch Cassandra "Cassie" Nightingale Leading role and co-executive producer
2017 Home for Christmas Day Jane McKendrick Television film; leading role and executive producer[31]
High-Rise Rescue Beth Davis Television film; leading role and executive producer
Christmas in the Air Lydia Evans Television film; leading role and co-executive producer
2018 A Summer to Remember Jessica Tucker Television film; leading role and executive producer
2019–2020 NCIS: Los Angeles Lt. Col. Sarah MacKenzie Recurring role; 3 episodes; original main character from JAG
2020 Meet Me at Christmas Joan Television film
2022 Jailbreak Lovers Toby Television film[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cohen, Aryeh Dean (19 December 2008). "Off-base on Iraq". Jerusalem Post. p. 74. ProQuest 319670346.
  2. ^ "Catherine Bell". Archived from the original on 19 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Catherine Bell now acting less, playing mom more" Iran Times International 27 September 2013.
  4. ^ Cutler, Jacqueline (3 June 2019). "Catherine Bell of "Good Witch" Says it Takes More than Spells to Succeed". Media Village. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  5. ^ a b Knutzen, Eirik (15 June 2007). "TV Close-Up: Catherine Bell". Bend Weekly. Archived from the original on 3 May 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2007.
  6. ^ "Season 10, Episode 22: Fair Winds and Following Seas" TV Guide Retrieved 30 April 2017
  7. ^ Owen, Rob (31 May 2007). "Tuned In: 'Army Wives' is soap du jour". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  8. ^ Newman, Emily L.; Witsell, Emily (28 March 2016) The Lifetime Network: Essays on 'Television for Women' in the 21st Century McFarland & Company. p. 86. Archived at Google Books Retrieved 30 April 2017
  9. ^ "Catherine Bell Credits" TV Guide Retrieved 30 April 2017
  10. ^ Radish, Christina (6 June 2011) "Catherine Bell Exclusive Interview LAST MAN STANDING and ARMY WIVES" Collider
  11. ^ "Jennifer Aspen Segues From Screen to Hallmark Exec Producer". Deadline Hollywood. 12 August 2015
  12. ^ "Catherine Bell and Victor Webster Begin Production on "Love Finds Its Way" A Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Original World Premiere July 9" The Futon Critic, 20 March 2017
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2 April 2019). "Catherine Bell To Reprise Her "Mac" Character On "NCIS: Los Angeles"; Could "JAG" Reboot Be In the Cards?". Deadline. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Lifetime's Ripped-From-the-Headlines Summer Movie Slate Revealed (Exclusive)". The Wrap. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  15. ^ Betsy Model (October 1999). "Ma'am Yes Ma'am!". Orange Coast. pp. 32–37.
  16. ^ Jeff D'Alessio (31 January 2002). "The Sporting News". Archived from the original on 23 August 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
  17. ^ Barbara and David Mikkelson (4 February 2010). "The Bell Curve". Snopes. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  18. ^ "Lifetime's 'Army Wives' star Catherine Bell takes flying lessons during writers' strike" The Goshen News
  19. ^ Wihlborg, Ulrica; Michaud, Sarah (22 August 2010) "Catherine Bell Welcomes a Son" People
  20. ^ "Catherine Bell" TV Guide Retrieved 28 March 2014
  21. ^ a b c David, Mark (23 January 2015) "Catherine Bells Settles in Hidden Hills" Variety
  22. ^ Jordan, Julie (23 September 2016). "Catherine Bell and Husband Separate" People
  23. ^ Donnellan, Sara (7 May 2021). "'The Good Witch' Star Catherine Bell Got Divorced After 17 Years". Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  24. ^ "SCIENTOLOGY’S TOP 20 CELEBRITIES — in order of those most likely to defect" (26 September 2016) Retrieved 14 September 2017
  25. ^ Bosun, Bosun (29 June 2021). "Catherine Bell biography: The Good Witch movies, Brooke Daniells and net worth". Sidomex Entertainment. Archived from the original on 1 July 2021. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  26. ^ Zokaei, Mayar (Spring 2005). "Bell Hop". NYLA Magazine. Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  27. ^ Interview with Catherine Bell, Celebrity (Magazine of the Scientology Celebrity Centre Los Angeles), Issue 347 (April 2003)
  28. ^ Bell, Catherine. "Giving Back: This Month". Catherine Bell's Official Website. Archived from the original on 20 April 2006. Retrieved 8 June 2006.
  29. ^ Gumbel, Andrew (12 January 2006). "Scientology vs. Science". Los Angeles CityBeat. Southland Publishing. Archived from the original on 27 April 2006. Retrieved 8 June 2006.
  30. ^ "What Are Human Rights?: Human Rights Defined". Youth for Human Rights. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  31. ^ "Home for Christmas Day". Crown Media Holdings. Retrieved 26 June 2017.

External links[edit]