It doesn’t take a detective to deduce that Kristen Bell is a true quintuple threat—an actress, a singer, a producer, a philanthropist, and an entrepreneur.
Born in Huntington Woods, Michigan, Kristen started performing early. As a child, she once appeared in the pivotal dual role of “banana and tree” in a suburban Detroit theater production of Raggedy Ann and Andy, and later signed with an agent—netting some Detroit-area commercials. After starring in several high school productions, she headed off to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts to study musical theater.
While still an undergraduate, Kristen’s first big break arrived: the role of Becky Thatcher in a new Broadway musical adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (2001). A second Broadway turn—2002’s revival of The Crucible—came next, and soon Kristen took the leap and moved to Los Angeles, seeking work in TV and film.
She found success with the series Veronica Mars; running from 2004 to 2007, it followed a cynical high-schooler-turned-private detective and was beloved by critics and audiences alike. (It returned for a fan-demanded fourth season on Hulu in 2018.)
Kristen has juggled a remarkable diversity of work post-Mars. Her first Disney role was in animation—lending her voice to Hiromi in the Studio Ghibli classic The Cat Returns, for the film’s U.S. DVD release in 2005. On the small screen, she appeared on Heroes; narrated both iterations of Gossip Girl; voiced characters on animated series including The Simpsons and Family Guy; starred on the acclaimed comedy The Good Place (for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe® Award); and led the recent miniseries The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window. On the big screen, she has costarred in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008); Touchstone Pictures’ When in Rome (2010) and You Again (2010); Bad Moms (2016); Queenpins (2021); and many more.
From 2019 to 2020, Kristen executive produced and hosted the Disney+ series Encore!, which reunited cast members of high school musicals across the country to recreate their performance years—sometimes decades—after they were originally performed. As she told Disney twenty-three at the time, “Immediately, we all knew we wanted the show to be more than just a musical theater show; we wanted it to be a human show. We really wanted to focus on friendships, humor, making amends, and those awkward moments in life, giving people the freedom to look back together and laugh about them—all couched in something I loved: musical theater.”
And then, there’s Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen. Alongside fellow 2022 Disney Legend inductees Idina Menzel asQueen Elsa, Jonathan Groff as Kristoff, and Josh Gad as Olaf, Kristen voices brave, warm-hearted Anna of Arendelle in the 2013 Oscar®-winning phenomenon. “Anna is scrappy and weird and puts her foot in her mouth and is way overly excitable,” Kristen said at D23 Expo 2013, ahead of the film’s release. “And that’s kind of how I am. I wanted to bring who I was to this character, so she was very realistic and very relatable.”
Kristen has since reprised the role in several shorts, including Frozen Fever (2015), Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017), and Once Upon a Snowman (2020), as well the Oscar-nominated sequel, Frozen 2 (2019). She can also be heard as Anna in LEGO® Disney Frozen: Northern Lights (2016), Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018), and the video games Disney Infinity, Disney Infinity 2.0, Disney Infinity 3.0, and Kingdom Hearts III.
An avowed sloth devotee, she gave voice to Priscilla the sloth in 2016’s Oscar-winning Zootopia, and will be heard again in the upcoming Disney+ series Zootopia+. Elsewhere within the worlds of Disney, she’s been seen in the television specials Lady Gaga & The Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular (2013) and Mickey’s 90th Spectacular (2018).
Kristen has worked with numerous charities over the years, including the ASPCA, the Helen Woodward Animal Center, and the Gift of Life Marrow Registry. In 2020, she was honored with a Special Achievement Award at the 24th annual Webby Awards for her contributions to online COVID-19 relief and educational efforts.
She and her husband, Dax Shepard, founded the company Hello Bello, a family and baby product company making plant-based premium products at non-premium prices, in 2019.