Catherine Bell is an amazing woman, an actress, a wife, and someone who devotes her time to very special charities. Some find it hard to believe that I, a man, consider her a role model, but I can think of few people who embody exactly what I want to be. Someone who works hard and long for what they want, and once they get it, they still have time for everyone else that matters in their life. And, on top of all that, still has time to care about those who are less fortunate. She is a wonderful woman, but even more, Catherine is a wonderful person. Catherine Bell was born in London, England on the fourteenth of August; when she was three her parents moved the family to Los Angeles. Catherine originally wanted to be an artist, but her mother wanted her to go to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) to study medicine.
While at UCLA Bell had done some modeling; she got into an acting class by "accident", once she was in she found that she "really, really loved it. It was a way to overcome my shyness, to express my feelings and emotions. And within six months to a year, I was hooked." Catherine says that when she did make the decision to become an actress that her mother and the rest of her family were very supportive of her and her decision; she also claims that she was not "discovered" and that it took nine years to "get that big break." Bell advises those with desire to act to "take acting classes.
Watch as many movies as you can, and if you have the chance at all, do theater. It's a great training ground. I didn't do a lot of it, but I know David had theater as his background and highly recommends it." When asked who the greatest role model in her life was, Bell chose her uncle. "We grew up in the same house, and he was a really great, hardworking, ethical person. A great role model!" In an online chat event, Catherine told her fans that part of her hiatus would be spent in Jamaica, and that she would "do everything from staying home and watching movies, making dinner with my husband - to motor bike riding, water skiing, all different types of sports." She also mentioned that the next spot on her vacation list is Italy because of its "museums, and the old buildings, and the history." She said she loves cold, rainy weather, and would like to have homes all over the world, because she cannot choose where she would like to live. "It was a very unusual experience. I loved it though!"
Catherine said of her playing two roles on JAG, Lieutenant Diane Shonke, in an episode of the first season, and then coming in to take a regular role as Major Sarah "Mac" MacKenzie. "I couldn't have been more thrilled that I was killed off in one episode and brought back as a series regular in the next." In her visit with her fans she also gave a peek into the antics that happen on the set. "David's a great jokester, and there are just fun, silly things happening all the time!
The main prank we play with props is for the people's birthday. The special effects people will put a little explosive in the cake so it blows up in their face. That's always great fun to play on a guest star, or one of the trainees or someone who's new." The actors are on set from fifteen to eighteen hours a day, ten months out of the year, filming and rehearsing; and filming for the fourth season begins the first week of July. Catherine and her husband, Adam Beason, recently bought a new house and have a puppy. Her husband used to be a stunt man, but currently he is working in computers. A former "squid" asked Catherine if she preferred Marine Green or Navy White, to which she answered, "Don't tell any Marines I said this, but I do think the Navy uniforms are pretty sharp! Our technical advisor is a 22 year veteran of the Corps and he's a real stickler!"
She also told those in attendance that her favorite episode was "The Stalker" because she was able to do more in depth acting than most episodes permit, because her character was dealing with he death of a loved one, was being stalked, and got drunk and fell off the wagon. Bell got to explore many different emotions that she doesn't get to explore on JAG on a regular basis. Catherine devotes some of her precious time, when free of filming, to charities and other causes.
She spends most of her time with Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, California, and the Buoniconti Fund, which is trying to find a cure for paralysis. The Buoniconti Fund was formed by Marc Buoniconti, who was paralyzed in a college football accident, whom Catherine describes as "an amazing man with an amazing spirit and zest for life!" The fund, like the American Paralysis Association, conducts massive research to find a cure "and they are getting very close." They have been successful in regenerating the nerve cells in lab mice, and actually making them walk again. Amazing isn't it? Catherine has also participated in fundraisers and auctions with the Children's Hospital in L.A. Although it has been tough with her schedule, she tries to stay involved.
Bell has meet several actual JAG lawyers, and most often hears that their job is nothing like what Mac and Harm do on the show; mostly, they say, they just behind desks and do paperwork. "But they love that we make them look so glamorous!" Bell claims that the most memorable thing that she will forever remember was getting the phone call that she had gotten JAG. "This huge life-changing moment of going from zero to ninety in two seconds! I don't have much of a personal life anymore. I miss having free time to just relax. Getting recognized is fun, and so far it hasn't gotten overwhelming. Learning to live with less sleep, and less of the fun things I like to do has been part of the change."