Maria Elena Bello (born April 18, 1967) is an American actress and singer who has appeared in the movies Coyote Ugly, The Jane Austen Book Club, Permanent Midnight, Thank You for Smoking, A History of Violence, The Cooler and Payback. In television, she is known for her role as Dr. Anna Del Amico on the NBC medical drama, ER. She plays the role of Kathryn Fox.
Life & Career
Bello was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Kathy, a teacher and school nurse, and Joe Bello, a contractor. Her father is Italian American (with roots in Montella, Italy) and her mother is Polish American. She grew up in a working-class Roman Catholic family and graduated from Archbishop Carroll High School (Radnor, Pennsylvania). Later she attended Villanova University, majoring in political science. She intended to become a lawyer, but took an acting class during her senior year and was later cast in small off-Broadway plays, such as The Killer Inside Me, Small Town Gals With Big Problems and Urban Planning. She would guest star on episodes of The Commish (1991), Nowhere Man (1995), Misery Loves Company (1995) Due South (1994), and ER (1997–98).
Bello's breakthrough came when the producers Kerry Lenhart and John J. Sakmar cast her as Mrs. Smith in the spy show Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The show was cancelled after eight weeks on the air. Then came a guest stint on ER as the feisty pediatrician Dr. Anna Del Amico, in which she guest-starred in the final three episodes of the third season. Bello remained on the show for one season as a regular cast member, departing after the medical drama's 4th season. The actress went on into movies landing a role in Coyote Ugly. She was nominated for the Golden Globe award twice: for Best Supporting Actress in The Cooler (2003) and for Best Actress in A History of Violence (2005). She starred in The Jane Austen Book Club as Jocelyn.
In 2008, Bello starred in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor as Evelyn O'Connell. In December 2008, Bello began developing a drama for HBO. Besides starring in the new series, Bello will also serve as an executive producer. She starred in the 2009 Sundance film The Yellow Handkerchief, which was released in theaters on February 26, 2010 by Samuel Goldwyn Films.
In 2010 Bello guest starred in two episodes of Law & Order: SVU. In 2011, Bello starred in the television series Prime Suspect, which was canceled after 13 episodes.