Even though she does not quite have a household name, British-born American actress Catherine Bell has earned her stripes in front of the camera. Since the early 1990s, she has appeared in a variety of roles, most notably that of Lt. Col. Sarah Mackenzie in the CBS sitcom, JAG (1997-2005), a role she reprised in the tenth season of NCIS: Los Angeles (2019). The actress is also widely known for appearing as Cassandra “Cassie” Nightingale in Hallmark’s The Good Witch films series.
But while Bell receives little attention for her work in front of the camera, she has made the front page of tabloid newspapers for both her religious beliefs and romantic relationships.
A Breakdown of Catherine Bell’s Career
Catherine Bell had considered a career in medicine or research while growing up. To this effect, she enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles where she hoped to acquire a related degree. Things, however, did not pan out as she had imagined as she began modeling while pursuing her studies. In her sophomore year, the young girl opted to drop out entirely from school to take a modeling job in Japan.
Following the completion of that gig, Bell returned to the US in order to try her hand at acting. She enrolled at the Beverly Hills Playhouse for training while she took up a job as a massage therapist to make ends meet. One of her many high profile clients as a masseuse was English singer Peter Gabriel who sort of helped her achieve her dream of appearing in front of the camera.
Catherine Bell’s first acting role came in the short-lived 1990 sitcom, Sugar and Spice, where she had a minor role that saw her only speak one line to Gabriel. Following this, she appeared in the 1991 Fox sitcom, True Colors, and then played the nude body double of actress Isabella Rossellini in Death Becomes Her (1992).
The year 1994 saw Bell appear in Men of War and in an episode of the adult-themed comedy, Dream On. Things began to fall into place in her career in 1995 when she appeared in a three-line role in an episode of JAG. The series which was supposed to be carried by NBC was canceled, leaving room for CBS to pick it up and restructure. This restructuring allowed for the inclusion of the character of Sarah Mackenzie which Bell auditioned for and won. She went on to play this role for the subsequent nine seasons of the series, from 1997 to 2005.
List of Her Recent Works
Following the end of JAG, Catherine Bell starred as Denise Sherwood, the wife of a U.S Army lieutenant colonel in the Lifetime drama series, Army Wives (2007-2013). The actress then played the lead character of Cassie in all the films from Hallmark’s The Good Witches series; The Good Witch’s Gift (2010), The Good Witch’s Family (2011), The Good Witch’s Charm (2012), The Good Witch’s Destiny (2013), and The Good Witch’s Wonder (2014). In addition to her acting role, she also served as a co-executive producer of all.
In recent years, Bell has received credit for both her acting and production roles in works like Home for Christmas Day (2017), Christmas in the Air (2017), High-Rise Rescue (2017), and A Summer to Remember (2018).
How She Got Involved in Scientology
Catherine Bell has over the years been exposed to numerous religions. Her maternal grandparents, who helped her mother in raising her, were Muslims. Regardless of this, the young girl was raised Roman Catholic as she attended an all-girls Catholic School. She also attended Baptist Summer Camps.
The actress has since abandoned her previous beliefs to become one of the many celebrities that subscribe to the beliefs of Scientology. She has been very open about her practice of Scientology and has supported the course devotedly. Among other supportive commitments to the faith, she featured in Scientology’s 2006 human rights music video titled “United”.
Bell has over the years undergone various classes of training in the religion to so far attain the level of “Clear”. A report emanating from former Scientology executive Mike Rinder, however, claims that Catherine will never exceed Scientology’s “Clear” level. This is a result of her divorce and subsequent romantic involvement with a fellow woman which he said has rendered her a “persona non-grata” with the church’s leader.
Worthy of note at this point is the fact that Catherine Bell has been living with a woman, fellow Scientologist, photographer, and party planner Brooke Daniells since 2012.
What We Know About Her Family
Catherine Bell’s family comprises of her two kids and her aforementioned lesbian partner. The actress had two children from her marriage to screenwriter and actor Adam Beason whom she met during the filming of Death Becomes Her in 1992. The two had hit it off without much ado and subsequently married on May 8, 1994.
The first of Bell and Beason’s children are daughter Gemma, who was born in 2003. The second child, a son named Ronan was born in 2010. The family lived in a 700-square-foot faux-Tuscan-style mini-mansion in Calabasas, California before they sold the house in 2010 and separated thereafter. Their divorce was finalized in September 2015.