Maria Bello (born April 18, 1967) is an American actress and writer. She has appeared in the movies Permanent Midnight (1998), Payback (1999), Coyote Ugly (2000), The Cooler (2003), A History of Violence (2005), Thank You for Smoking (2006), and The Jane Austen Book Club (2007). On television, she is known for her role as Dr. Anna Del Amicoon the NBC medical drama ER (1997–1998). She starred as Lucy Robbins on the Fox series Touch alongside Kiefer Sutherland, in 2013.
Bello was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, to school nurse and teacher Kathy and contractor Joe. Her father is Italian American with roots in Montella, Italy, and her mother is Polish American. She grew up in a working-classRoman Catholic family and graduated from Archbishop John Carroll High School in Radnor, Pennsylvania. She majored in political science at Villanova University. Following graduation, Bello honed her acting skills in a number of New York theater productions.
Bello's early TV appearances include episodes of The Commish (1991), Due South (1994), Nowhere Man (1995), Misery Loves Company (1995), and ER (1997–98).
Her breakthrough came when she was cast as Mrs. Smith in the TV series spy show Mr. & Mrs. Smith, though the show was canceled after eight weeks. She then appeared in the final three episodes of the third season of ER as pediatrician Dr. Anna Del Amico and was a regular cast member during the medical drama's fourth season.
Bello moved on to movies, landing a role in Coyote Ugly (2000). 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 (2007) 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 2 episodes of Law & Order: SVU; the next year she starred in the TV series Prime Suspect, which was canceled after 13 episodes.
Bello sits on the board of The CQ Matrix Company. 2014 co-starred Frank Grillo in the James Wan produced thriller Demonic.
In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Bello founded WE ADVANCE with Aleda Frishman, Alison Thompson, and Barbara Guillaume, an organization that creates a grassroot movement empowering Haitian women to collaborate toward making healthcare a priority, and putting an end to GBV (Gender-based Violence) within their communities. The organization seeks to act as a central agency to network the organizations working on women's issues in Haiti and to provide urgent care to women victimized by the disaster. Currently their programs are headquartered in one health clinic and one community outreach center in Cité Soleil, Haiti.
In November 2013, Bello wrote about having a same sex relationship with her partner and then friend, Clare Munn. Bello has a son with former boyfriend Dan McDermott.