Maria Bello

Maria Bello


Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Birth Name

Maria Elaina Bello


  • Maria Bello on Touch Season 2.
  • Maria Bello as Det. Jane Timoney on Prim...
  • Maria Bello as Det. Jane Timoney and Aid...
  • Maria Bello as Det. Jane Timoney on Prim...
out of 10
User Rating
83 votes



Maria Bello was born on April 18, 1967, one of four children raised in Norristown, Pennsylvania, by a school nurse mother and a construction worker father. She went to Villanova University, where she majored in political science. She had every intention of becoming a lawyer, but she took…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Maria has been nominated for two Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards: in 1998 she won Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for ER, and in 2004 she was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for The Cooler.

    • Maria's theatrical credits include After the Fact, Big Talk, His Pillow, A Life of the Mind, Out of Gas on Lover's Leap, and Young Frankenstein.

    • In the 2000 movie Coyote Ugly, Maria played a bar owner and bartender. In real life, she once worked as a bartender, as well as a dog walker and a house cleaner.

    • Maria attended Archbishop John Carroll High School for Girls in Philadelphia. She was a varsity cheerleader while she studied there.

    • In her 2006 film Flicka, Maria's character was scripted to pick up a snake for one of her scenes. You would never know it by watching the scene, but the director of the movie said in a DVD commentary that Maria is absolutely terrified of snakes. Allegedly, the actress prepared for this by carrying a rubber snake in her pocket for a while, and when the time came to do the real thing, she was completely natural. She even kissed the live snake, as you can clearly see when you watch the scene!

    • While starring on ER, Maria appeared once on NBC's "The More You Know" public service announcement. The topic she addressed was teen pregnancy.

    • Maria's height is 5'5" (1.65 m).

    • Maria has been nominated twice for a Golden Globe Award: in 2004 as Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Natalie Belisario in The Cooler, and in 2006 as Best Actress for playing Edie Stall in A History of Violence.

    • In 1992, Maria, along with actor Tim Lord and writer Jason Duchin, founded DreamYard Drama Project, a nonprofit arts and education program for urban kids that brings writers, directors, dancers, painters and musicians into public schools, juvenile centers, and community centers.

    • Maria was a bridesmaid at Andrea Bendewald's wedding in 2001, the same one at which Jennifer Aniston was the matron of honor.

    • In an April 2004 interview conducted by close friend Carrie-Anne Moss, Maria revealed that her best friend when she was a student at Villanova University was an Augustinian priest named Father Ray Jackson.

    • Maria has one son with ex-partner and scriptwriter Dan McDermott; Jackson Blue McDermott was born March 5, 2001.

    • It is a popular misconception that Maria practices Muay Thai (lethal) kickboxing. In a February 12, 2006 interview in the Santa Barbara Independent, Maria states that the rumor was sparked when she did some training in 1996 for the short-lived television series Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

    • Maria is of Polish and Italian descent.

  • Quotes

    • Maria Bello: (on working in Haiti with the group We Advance)It's to empower women throughout Haiti,... ...We have a women's clinic that sees 200 women a day. We do education classes, outreach classes on hygiene, health care, human rights and gender-based violence for hundreds of women a week.

    • Maria Bello: I never get to do light summer films. I tend to do things that are intense and anxiety-provoking. By the time I finish those films, I need to take a nap. I do actually gravitate toward the intense pieces, though. I like characters that are on the edge and also incredibly strong at the same time. I like when a character really teaches you something about yourself, and I find that I am learning something just about every single time. (Chicago Sun-Times; July 27, 2008 )

    • Maria Bello: (on the essential question she's trying to answer) I think one question can kind of encompass everything, which is what is my destiny? I've thought that since I was a young kid. And every day more, now I'm really realizing that the unfolding of a journey is an answer in itself. There's no end point that you get to and go, that's the one thing I'm supposed to be doing. (; September 23, 2005)

    • Maria Bello: The thing is I don't separate a character's sexuality from what she eats for breakfast. I'm not interested in living that cliché and living in that puritanical nature of things. I don't think that sexuality is something separate. It is like it has become a shadow part of ourselves, which I think is very unfortunate - I myself try to get that shadow out into the light. (Under Ground Online interview)

    • Maria Bello: (on winning and being nominated for awards) I think it's great. It makes me feel like wow because I think I am a simple person in so many ways. I love my work, I love what I do so all this icing on the cake is very good. (Under Ground Online interview)

    • Maria Bello: (on becoming a mother) After I had my son, the moment he came out of my body, I felt more love than I ever could have imagined, and more fear than I ever could have imagined. Because I can't even go to the space to think of if something happened to Jack, what I would do. (; October 1, 2005)

    • Maria Bello: Traveling always gives me a new perspective on life, myself and the world. Taking trips allows me to not only find answers outside of myself but inside as well.

    • Maria Bello: I think I take a film because I'm in the process of discovering something about myself. (; September 27, 2005)

    • Maria Bello: (on the lengths that a mother would go to protect her child) I don't think you understand what levels or what fears until you have a child of your own. I mean, I've never loved someone so much and I've never been so afraid in my life. And the truth is I would kill someone, whoever tried to hurt him. I would. I have no doubt about it. (; September 27, 2005)

    • Maria Bello: Where I came from, nobody was an actor. So I took a class, and I loved it. The next year I moved to New York City with 300 bucks in my pocket and a trash bag filled with clothes. (Interview magazine, April 2004)

    • Maria Bello: I want to make real good choices, to stretch myself, to be a really good human. I want to live life as art. (Oakland Tribune; August 6, 2006)

    • Maria Bello: I don't want to be one of these actors who can't act anymore because they don't live. (Interview magazine, March 1999)

    • Maria Bello: If you really let yourself live and have a lot of experiences, then those things don't leave you; they're part of you. Every character I play is a part of me. I never really feel like I'm making anything up. (Interview magazine, March 1999)

  • Great actress.

    Loved her in "Payback" and "Prime Suspect". Beautifull.
  • empty

    Maria Bello is really a talented actress. In every role she really makes you believe that she actually is the character she's portraying. This sense of realism is what makes her really stand out above the masses of the rest of actresses today. My favorite movie of her's is "The Cooler."