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Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Catherine Bell Rings The Triangle
Starting Monday, Dec. 5, at 9 pm/ET, Sci Fi Channel will explore The Triangle — as in, yes, the inexplicable Bermuda phenomenon — over the course of a three-part miniseries event. Joining the likes of Eric Stoltz, Lou Diamond Phillips and Sam Neill in the ensemble cast, JAG alumna Catherine Bell plays Emily Patterson, a deep-ocean resource engineer driven by dire financial straits to contribute her expertise to a frustrated shipping magnate's daring effort to explain the oceanic mystery of the Triangle.
"After JAG ended, the first thing that happened for me was The Triangle, actually," the actress tells TVGuide.com. "I read the script and totally fell in love with it and decided to do it."
It was most fortunate that she had such a strong reaction because, Bell notes, "I only had three days to decide. I was moving into a new house and [needed to go] to South Africa three days later [to shoot the miniseries]."
That decision-making process and its resulting workload, she says, "was intense, but well worth it."
Whereas JAG was rooted in realistic military procedures, The Triangle (as well as Bell's forthcoming if truncated guest-starring gig on CBS' soon-to-fold Threshold) sent her into far funkier supernatural territory — and she liked it. "I've always been curious about and intrigued by [the Bermuda Triangle] since I was a kid," she says. "I just wanted to know, 'What is this crazy place where ships and airplanes disappear?' — because I know that there's more to life than meets the eye. I always want to know more."
As do Bell's avid fans. Namely, they want to know where they can spy the stunner after The Triangle comes and goes. "After nine years on JAG and three months in South Africa, I'm just enjoying time with my family," she reports. In addition to her Threshold turn, she says, "I am working on creating and developing my own sitcom, as well as some other projects."
A sitcom, really? Why? "Oh my god, after working 18 hours a day [on dramatic fare], sitcoms sound really nice," she explains with a laugh. "I did some sitcoms before JAG, and [appearing in the Jim Carrey comedy] Bruce Almighty was a blast. I like the lighter side of me, so I'd like to do some more of that and explore that."
Life of Catherine Bell
Though she plays a true-blue American Marine investigator on CBS's J.A.G., Catherine Bell is actually London-born. But when her parents, Peter, an architect, and Mina, a nurse, divorced when Catherine was a toddler, she and her mother settled in Los Angeles, CA.
A self-described "geek," Bell thrived in math and biology in school, and in junior high once programmed a computer video game. She entered UCLA with the intention of being a pre-med major, but in her sophomore year found herself at a crossroads. Making a decision to take her life in a different direction, she began modeling in Japan, but after four months found the lifestyle damaging to her self-esteem and well being.
She returned to Los Angeles with a new goal: to prove herself as an actress. She soon found herself cast in guest spots on shows like Hercules, Dream On, and Friends. But it was a three-line part on the military drama J.A.G. - on an episode in which her character was brutally murdered - that changed it all.
Several months after that guest spot, Bell heard that the producers of J.A.G. were looking for a new female lead for the show. So she crossed her fingers and wrote a letter to executive producer Donald P. Bellisario, declaring her suitability for the role of Maj. Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie.
Intrigued, Bellisario decided to take a gamble, and Bell won the part. Her chemistry with male lead David James Elliot, who plays Lt. Cmdr. Harmon "Harm" Rabb, ensured that the show, which had been struggling in the ratings, would thrive on a new network. J.A.G. now holds a steady position in Nielsen's Top 20.
Her role on J.A.G. allows Bell to showcase her athletic skills - she's been kickboxing for over 10 years, and knows her way around a shooting range. In her off-camera time, her tomboyish nature comes to the fore when she throws herself into snowboarding, riding motorcycles, wakeboarding, and other extreme sports.
Bell shares her Los Angeles-area home with her husband, actor Adam Beason, and their daughter Gemma, and their two Italian greyhounds, Leo and Zoe.
JAG: The American Military acronym for "Judge Advocate General"
JAG was also used as the title of an American adventure drama television show, produced by Belisarius Productions, in association with Paramount Television Network. The series first aired on NBC, but was canceled in 1996. Rival network CBS picked up the series and aired it for nine more seasons. Episodes are widely shown in syndication on cable and satellite networks throughout the entire world. The show has been criticized for using stock footage from other well-known military films, including Top Gun, The Hunt for Red October, and Clear and Present Danger.
The series underwent a change of direction following the September 11, 2001 attacks, incorporating the real-life War on Terrorism and associated military actions into many storylines.
In 2005, David James Elliott decided to leave the show to pursue other projects after not being offered a contract renewal from the show's producers. The show introduced new younger characters including former As the World Turns star Chris Beetem in an effort to unsuccessfully stave off cancellation. Regardless, CBS announced the cancellation of the show after ten seasons on April 4, 2005, the final episode aired April 29. The final episode "Fair Winds and Following Seas", saw Harm and Mac being assigned to different posts: Harm in London, and Mac in San Diego, California. They finally confront their feelings and decide to get married. The episode ends with them tossing a JAG challenge coin to decide who will give up their career to be with the other. Although we never see the outcome, as the screen fades to black the face of the coin is showing, which says: "JAG 1995–2005".
Catherine Bell Time Tunnel
Has a heart tattoo with the word "love" inside of it on her right ankle.
Voted #20 in FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2004.
Studied for awhile at UCLA, and wanted to be either a surgeon or a biomedical engineer.
Can speak fluent Farsi (Persian language).
When she was in her 20s, she had thyroid cancer and had to have her thyroid removed. She doesn't cover the scar on her neck because she thinks it's kind of cool.
Is very physically fit and loves all sports, particularly kick-boxing, skiing, and snowboarding.
Studies acting at The Beverly Hills Playhouse with Milton Katselas.
Was a contestant on "The Match Game" (1990) and introduced herself as Cathy Bell, a massage therapist.
Voted #38 in FHM 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2002. She was previously #84 in 2001.
She won $900, but didn't make it to the final Super Match round. Was also a contestant on "To Tell the Truth" and introduced herself (an impostor) in the same manner. She and the other two stumped the entire panel for a winnings of $3000.
Often plays roles in military movies. JAG, Black Thunder, Crash Drive, Men of War, An Officer and a Gentleman.
Before the 2001 NFL season began, in a survey of 70 celebrities who had nothing to do with football conducted by "The Sporting News," she correctly predicted that the New England Patriots would eventually beat the St. Louis Rams in the season-ending Super Bowl by the score of 20 to 17. This amazing prediction was made despite the fact that vast majority of "football experts" didn't think the Patriots would even make the playoffs much less get to the Super Bowl. She's the only person to have ever correctly predicted the participants in, winner, and final score of a Super Bowl before a season began in a published article in a major sports periodical or book.
She has actually played 5 different characters on JAG. She played Harm's old girlfriend Dianne Schonke, Mrs. Alexander Mackenzie in the episode Mutiny, Jenny Lake in Ghosts of Christmas Past, Ensign Beverly Tromatore in Each of Us Angels and of course Lt. Col Sarah Mackenzie
Signed on for a supporting role in the second half of the first season of "Threshold" (2005), but the show was canceled before any episodes were shot with her in the cast.
Gave birth to a daughter, Gemma on 16 April 2003
Contact Catherine Bell: Fan Mailing & Autograph Address:
The Gersh Agency
232 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, California 90210
Catherine Bell Fan Club,
PO Box 2000,