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Kristen Anne Bell is an American actress, singer, and director. She began her professional acting career by starring in stage productions while attending the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. In 2001, she made her Broadway debut as Becky Thatcher in the comedy musical The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and appeared in a Broadway revival of The Crucible the following year. In 2004, she appeared in the action thriller film Spartan and received critical praise for her performance in the television drama film Gracie's Choice. Bell garnered critical acclaim for her first major role as the title character in the teen noir drama television series Veronica Mars. For her performance, she was awarded a Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television. She reprised the eponymous role in the 2014 film continuation and the 2019 revival series.