Although she made her film debut in the little-seen Pootie Tang, this plucky actress had much better luck with her subsequent projects. After studying at NYU's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, she quickly found stage work, including a leading role in the campy off-Broadway musical Reefer Madness, which was eventually turned into a TV-movie also starring Bell. The small screen ended up being her primary medium, and she had a number of guest appearances and TV-movies under her belt when she landed the title role of a teen-outcast-turned-investigator on Veronica Mars. Although Mars didn't fare too well in the ratings, the show developed a cult following and ran for three seasons on UPN and the CW, and Bell's portrayal of a high-school gumshoe who's wise beyond her years earned her a great deal of critical respect. She followed up that series with a reoccuring role on the NBC show Heroes and also returned to film with parts in the raunchy comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the romantic fantasy When in Rome. Off screen, Bell is also a vegetarian and an animal lover who has adopted three rescue dogs: Sadie, Lola and Shakes.
- Made her Broadway debut in 2001 in a musical version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, playing Becky Thatcher.
- Cast in the off-Broadway show Reefer Madness in 2001, reprising the role for the film version in 2005.
- Made her small-screen debut in 2003 in the season premiere of The Shield, playing a gang member's girlfriend.
- Named by Jane magazine as one of the 11 People You'd Most Like to See Naked.
- Performed the theme song to Fame at the 2005 Emmy Awards.
- Did volunteer work at a hospital in Brazil, where she helped two women give birth.
- Owns three dogs that she rescued from animal shelters.
- 2016, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Premium Cable TV Actress: Winner
- 2017, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Actress in a New TV Series: Winner
- Delta Bell Shepard — Daughter
- Kevin Mann — Ex-significant Other
- Tom Bell — Father
- Lorelei Bell — Mother
- Dax Shepard — Husband
- Lincoln Bell Shepard — Daughter
- New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, New York, New York, United States