Ashley Bell Biography
Born: May 26, 1986
Date of Birth: May 26, 1986
A gifted and eclectic young actress with spirit and quirk, Ashley Bell is swiftly emerging as one of Hollywood's most sought after young talents with a passion for the performing arts and a skill for challenging herself with each role. On the big screen, she played a starring role in The Last Exorcism (2010) and also played a role in the comedy Stay Cool (2009) opposite Winona Ryder and Hilary Duff, which premiered at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. The film centers around an author who returns to his hometown to deliver a commencement address to a class of graduating high school students including the valedictorian (Bell), and has to deal with his feelings for an old flame (Ryder) as well as the advances of a student (Duff) who has the hots for him. More recently, she can be seen starring alongside Shawn Ashmore in the 2012 thriller The Day and is also reprising her role for a The Last Exorcism sequel.
On the small screen, Bell is recognized for her recurring role as Tonya on Showtime's Emmy-winning series The United States of Tara, in which she played a small-town teenager and friend to Tara's (Toni Collette) daughter Kate (Brie Larson). In addition to her film and television accomplishments, the versatile actress has been featured in a countless number of plays in Los Angeles and New York City. Bell has been described as a "joy to watch" by Backstage West and as a "scene stealer" by the Los Angeles Times for her portrayal of 'Frankie' in the play Voice of the Prairie at The Colony Theater in Los Angeles. The seasoned theater actress has been featured in an extensive list of drama including Arthur Miller's The Crucible and Shakespeare's Hamlet, playing Ophelia, a role for which she won Best Actress while studying at Cambridge University in England.
Bell's upbringing certainly had a hand in her talent and passion for the performing arts. Her mother, Victoria Carroll, is one of the founding members of Hollywood's historic comedy group The Groundlings, and her father is famed voice-actor Michael Bell who has lent his talent to G.I. Joe, Smurfs, and Nickelodeon's The Rugrats. Bell's grandparents made a living traveling cross country in the vaudeville circuit with The Keith-Albee Orpheum and Pantages Vaudeville Circuits, her grandfather even taught her mother routines to perform at the age of eight.
A graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with honors, Bell was handpicked to be mentored by Oscar-nominee Kathleen Turner.
In her spare time, Bell has taken up everything from competing nationally in fencing to performing in competitive ballroom dancing to horseback riding to boxing. A vegetarian, Bell is involved with multiple charities that focus on rescuing and adopting animals, and she has personally rescued a lovable golden retriever named Honor and a stout but endearing casanova cat named Bernard.