Who Is Kristen Bell?

Born in Michigan in 1980, Kristen Bell studied musical theater at New York University and made her Broadway debut while still a student. In 2004 Bell landed her breakout role, the title character on the TV series Veronica Mars. This led to work in films like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Couples Retreat and Get Him to the Greek, as well as a leading voice role in the Disney megahit Frozen. Bell later starred in the series House of Lies and The Good Place.

Kristen Bell Photo
Kristen Bell

Husband Dax Shepard & Children

Bell began a romantic relationship with fellow actor Dax Shepard in 2007. The pair announced in 2012 that they were expecting a child together. The couple welcomed daughter Lincoln Bell Shepard in March 2013 and married in October of the same year. In December 2014, they welcomed a second daughter, Delta Bell Shepard.

In February 2019 the couple announced the launch of their plant-based baby product line, Hello Bello.

Movies, TV and Theater Roles

'American Dreams,' 'Everwood,' 'Spartan,' 'Deadwood'

In 2002 Bell's career got a jolt when she was cast in a Broadway production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, which starred Laura Linney and Liam Neeson. Soon after, she moved to Los Angeles from Michigan and immediately landed a guest role on the hard-hitting crime show The Shield as the girlfriend of a gang member.

With her career starting to roll, Bell soon appeared on NBC's American Dreams and the WB Network's Everwood and in TV movies. In 2004 Bell was in David Mamet's Spartan and had a recurring role on HBO's hugely popular drama Deadwood. But for another reason, 2004 would be the year that would change Bell's life: She landed the lead role on the new TV show Veronica Mars, which would run for 64 episodes and draw a rabid cult following.

'Veronica Mars'

Over the course of the show's four seasons, Bell was nominated for several awards and took home the Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television in 2006. The success of Veronica Mars led Bell to film parts, and a year into the series she reprised her role in Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical in a Showtime adaptation, following that with roles in small films such as Deepwater (2005), Fifty Pills (2006) and Pulse (2006). (To boot, in 2006 PETA named Bell the World's Sexiest Vegetarian and Maxim added her to a plethora of "sexiest" lists as well.)

'Gossip Girl,' 'Heroes'

While keeping busy with films, Bell managed to find even more television success in 2007 (the year Veronica Mars came to an end) when she took on narration duties on Gossip Girl and joined the hit show Heroes.

'Forgetting Sarah Marshall,' 'Couples Retreat'

Set on doing it all, in 2008 Bell hit movie theaters with her first major box-office success: the romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, in which she played the title role (a role she reprised in a 2010 sequel of sorts, Get Him to the Greek). She followed Sarah Marshall with Fan Boys (2009), a small, well-received comedy, and Couples Retreat (2009), another comedy, this one co-starring Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau and Kristin Davis. Also in 2009, Bell took on voiceover work in the family film Astro Boy, and 2010 saw her appear in the romantic comedy When in Rome.

'House of Lies,' 'Frozen'

From 2012 to 2016 Bell starred in Showtime's House of Lies. The series focused on the morally questionable actions of a group of management consultants, with Bell, as Jeannie van der Hooven, involved professionally and romantically with the ringleader, played by Don Cheadle.

Amid her run on House of Lies, the actress featured prominently in Disney's Frozen (2013) as the voice of Anna, a princess who helps hunt down her gifted but tormented older sister, Elsa (Idina Menzel), to save the kingdom of Arendelle.

The resounding success of the film fueled the creation of Frozen 2, which also made a huge splash by topping $350 million at the global box office during its November 2019 opening weekend.

'The Boss,' 'Bad Moms,' 'The Good Place'

In April 2016 Bell played the straight woman to Melissa McCarthy in the big screen comedy The Boss. She followed by co-starring in Bad Moms, opposite Mila Kunis, and reprised the role for the 2017 sequel, A Bad Mom's Christmas.

Her other films from this period include: The Disaster Artist (2017), CHiPs (2017), How to Be a Latin Lover (2017) and Netflix's Like Father (2018).

Meanwhile, the actress returned to the small screen in 2016 for a lead role in The Good Place, opposite Ted Danson. The afterlife-themed sitcom drew favorable reviews from critics, with Bell garnering a Golden Globe nomination for best actress in a musical or comedy in late 2018.

Early Years and Career

Born on July 19, 1980, in Huntington Woods, Michigan, Kristen Bell was raised in the Detroit suburbs and became interested in acting at an early age. By age 13, Bell had secured an agent and begun acting in commercials, appearing in TV spots for OfficeMax and United Way.

Bell attended Shrine Catholic High School in Royal Oak, Michigan, where she played Dorothy in a production of The Wizard of Oz and appeared in several musicals. After high school, Bell studied musical theater at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and made her Broadway debut while still a student, in a musical version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Off-Broadway, she took the lead role of Mary Lane in an adaptation of the legendary 1930s film Reefer Madness called Reefer Madness: The Musical. Her film debut came in 1998 in an uncredited spot in the indie film Polish Wedding, which was filmed in Detroit.


  • Birth Year: 1980
  • Birth date: July 18, 1980
  • Birth State: Michigan
  • Birth City: Huntington Woods
  • Birth Country: United States
  • Gender: Female
  • Best Known For: Kristen Bell is an American actress known for her roles on TV's 'Veronica Mars' and in such films as 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall,' 'Couples Retreat' and 'Get Him to the Greek.'
  • Industries
    • Film
    • Television
    • Theater and Dance
  • Astrological Sign: Cancer
  • Schools
    • Shrine Catholic High School
    • New York University

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  • Article Title: Kristen Bell Biography
  • Author: Biography.com Editors
  • Website Name: The Biography.com website
  • Url: https://www.biography.com/actors/kristen-bell
  • Access Date:
  • Publisher: A&E; Television Networks
  • Last Updated: November 25, 2019
  • Original Published Date: April 2, 2014