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Born: Apr. 18, 1967 Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA
Maria Elaina Bello was born on April 18, 1967 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. She attended Villanova University where she studied political science and pre-law courses. It was only after taking acting as an elective course that she discovered her love for the craft.
When she graduated with a political science degree in 1989, Bello moved to New York instead of attending law school and started gaining stage experience. During her time as a struggling actor, she co-founded the Harlem’s Dreamyard Drama Project, a nonprofit arts and education program that had artists working with at-risk kids.
She was first seen in the film Maintenance in 1992. Early on, Maria was seen mostly on television in guest starring roles and the lead in the series Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 1996 with Scott Bakula. She then spent time on ER from 1997 to 1998 as Dr. Anna Del Amico.
Since then the film world started calling and hasn’t stopped. She appeared in Permanent Midnight in 1998 with Ben Stiller and Payback in 1999 with Mel Gibson. 2000 saw her in Coyote Ugly alongside Piper Perabo and Duets with Gwyneth Paltrow. In 2002, Maria appeared in the Bob Crane biopic Auto Focus with Greg Kinnear and Willem Dafoe and followed that with The Cooler in 2003 with Alec Baldwin and William H. Macy.
In 2004, she worked with Johnny Depp in Secret Window and appeared in Silver City with Chris Cooper and Richard Dreyfuss. A busy 2005 saw Bello in Assault on Precinct 13 with Ethan Hawke and Lawrence Fishburne, The Sisters alongside Elizabeth Banks and Erika Christensen, The Dark with Sean Bean, A History of Violence with Viggo Mortensen, and Jason Reitman’s Thank You for Smoking with Aaron Eckhart.
The following year, Maria starred in World Trade Center with Nicolas Cage and worked with Tim McGraw and Alison Lohman on Flicka. 2007 saw Bellow in Butterfly on a Wheel with Pierce Brosnan and Gerard Butler, Nothing Is Private and The Jane Austen Book Club with Emily Blunt.
In 2008, Maria was seen in Downloading Nancy with Jason Patric and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor with Brendan Fraser and Jet Li. She also filmed The Yellow Handkerchief with William Hurt and Kristen Stewart. Though it made the festival circuit in ‘08/’09, it wasn’t released until 2010.
2009 saw Bello working with Robin Wright on The Private Lives of Pippa Lee and followed that with 2010’s The Company Men with Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones.