Catherine Bell - Biography & Career
Though she plays a true-blue American Marine investigator on CBS's J.A.G., Catherine Bell is actually London-born. But when her parents, Peter, an architect, and Mina, a nurse, divorced when Catherine was a toddler, she and her mother settled in Los Angeles, CA.
A self-described "geek," Bell thrived in math and biology in school, and in junior high once programmed a computer video game. She entered UCLA with the intention of being a pre-med major, but in her sophomore year found herself at a crossroads. Making a decision to take her life in a different direction, she began modeling in Japan, but after four months found the lifestyle damaging to her self-esteem and well being.
She returned to Los Angeles with a new goal: to prove herself as an actress. She soon found herself cast in guest spots on shows like Hercules, Dream On, and Friends. But it was a three-line part on the military drama J.A.G. - on an episode in which her character was brutally murdered - that changed it all.
Several months after that guest spot, Bell heard that the producers of J.A.G. were looking for a new female lead for the show. So she crossed her fingers and wrote a letter to executive producer Donald P. Bellisario, declaring her suitability for the role of Maj. Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie.
Intrigued, Bellisario decided to take a gamble, and Bell won the part. Her chemistry with male lead David James Elliot, who plays Lt. Cmdr. Harmon "Harm" Rabb, ensured that the show, which had been struggling in the ratings, would thrive on a new network. J.A.G. now holds a steady position in Nielsen's Top 20.
Her role on J.A.G. allows Bell to showcase her athletic skills - she's been kickboxing for over 10 years, and knows her way around a shooting range. In her off-camera time, her tomboyish nature comes to the fore when she throws herself into snowboarding, riding motorcycles, wakeboarding, and other extreme sports.
Bell shares her Los Angeles-area home with her husband, actor Adam Beason, and their two Italian greyhounds, Leo and Zoe.