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 re-locating to Los Angeles, Bell landed various television guest appearances and small film parts, before she gained fame as the title role on the critically acclaimed television show Veronica Mars from September 2004 to May 2007.
During her time on Veronica Mars, Bell reprised her role as Mary Lane in the film version of Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, a stage production she had taken part in. 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 offscreen titular narrator. Additionally, she played the title character in the comedy movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Bell has received a Satellite Award and Saturn Award, and has been nominated for a Television Critics Association Award and Teen Choice Award.
Bell was born and raised in Huntington Woods, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.