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Birth Name: Maria Elaine Bello
Date of Birth: April 18, 1967
Place of Birth: Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA
Height: 5' 5"
Best Known For: ER, Coyote Ugly
|Maria Bello Biography
Maria Bello was born on April 18, 1967, in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Her father, Joe Bello, was a contractor and her mother, Kathy Bello, was a teacher and school nurse. She has two siblings; a brother, Christopher, and a sister, Lisa. Bello was a varsity cheerleader at Archbishop John Carroll High School for Girls outside Philadelphia. After graduating, she attended Villanova University, where she studied law and political science.
Bello began her acting career on stage, appearing in off-Broadway plays, such as The Killer Inside Me, Small Town Gals With Big Problems and Urban Planning. She then began acting on television, winning guest roles on episodes of The Commish (1991), Nowhere Man (1995), Misery Loves Company (1995) and Due South (1994).
Bello's big break came when she was cast in the spy show Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 1996, as Mrs. Smith. The show was cancelled after just eight weeks on the air, but it gave Bello some of the exposure she had been looking for. Continuing with television jobs, she soon won a guest role, playing pediatrician Dr. Anna Del Amico on the hit medical drama ER. The show's producers were so impressed with Bello's performance that she became a regular on the series. During her stint on ER, she won a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of the Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series.
ER exposed Bello to wider audiences and brought her opportunities to appear in films. Her first film role was in 1998's Permanent Midnight, opposite Ben Stiller. The following year, she played a prostitute who helps Mel Gibson's character in the revenge flick, Payback.
In 2000, Bello was seen with Gwyneth Paltrow in the comedy Duets, followed by Coyote Ugly, in which she played Lil, the tough bar owner, a role that garnered her a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress in a Comedy/Romance.
She appeared in a few lesser known films before acting alongside big shots William H. Macy and Alec Baldwin in 2003's The Cooler. Her performance in the film earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. The following year, she appeared opposite Johnny Depp and John Turturro in Secret Window, a thriller based on the Steven King novel of the same name.
In 2005, Bello was cast in the remake of the police thriller Assault on Precinct 13, as psychiatrist Alex. That same year, she earned critical praise for her performance in the drama A History of Violence, opposite Viggo Mortensen. In 2006, Bello played Polly Bailey, an alcohol lobbyist, in Thank You for Smoking, starring Aaron Eckhart. That same year, she starred in Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center, in which she portrayed Donna McLoughlin, wife of a Port Authority sergeant played by Nicolas Cage. Bello then appeared opposite Alison Lohman in the family drama, Flicka, a remake of the 1943 film-turned-television series My Friend Flicka.
In 2008, Bello will star in Downloading Nancy, in which she plays a woman who hires a man to kill her via the internet, but before he can get the job done, the pair fall in love. She will also appear in the romantic drama Yellow Handkerchief alongside William Hurt, and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor with Jet Li and Brendan Fraser.Bello is currently dating TV executive Dan McDermott. They have one son together, Jackson Blue McDermott, born March 5, 2001.
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