Kristen Anne Bell (born July 18, 1980) is an American actress. Although her first film role was an uncredited appearance in Polish Wedding, Bell previously acted in stage and musical productions. In 2001, she made her Broadway debut as Becky Thatcher in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. After moving to Los Angeles, Bell landed various television guest appearances and small film parts before appearing in a lead role in the David Mamet film Spartan. She gained fame and critical praise as the title role on the critically acclaimed television series Veronica Mars from September 2004 to May 2007, a role that many critics and viewers felt should have garnered her an Emmy Award nomination.
During her time on Veronica Mars, Bell appeared as Mary Lane in the film Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, a reprise of the role she had played in the New York theatrical production of the musical on which the film was based. She also portrayed the lead role in Pulse, a remake of a J-Horror film. In 2007, she joined the cast of Heroes playing the character Elle Bishop, and Gossip Girl as the off-screen titular narrator. In 2008, she played the title character in the comedy movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. She has since appeared in a number of comedy films, such as Fanboys, Couples Retreat, and When in Rome. Bell was also the voice of Cora in Astro Boy and is the voice and face of Lucy Stillman in the Assassin's Creed video game series. Bell has received a Satellite Award and Saturn Award, and has been nominated several times for Television Critics Association Awards and Teen Choice Awards.
Bell was born and raised in Huntington Woods, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. She is the daughter of Tom Bell, the television news director for WOAI-TV in San Antonio, and Lorelei "Lori" Bell, a registered nurse. Bell is of Polish and Scottish descent. Her parents divorced when she was two years old, and she has two half sisters, Sara and Jody, from her father's second marriage. She has four step-siblings from her mother's second marriage to John Raymond Avedian, Laura, John, Matt Avedian, and Megan. Bell has strabismus, which affects her right eye. She inherited it from her mother, who had it corrected as a child. Bell claims that if she does not get enough sleep, it aggravates the ailment. She calls her right eye "Wonky".