Coby Bell

Coby Bell Headshot


Birth Date: May 11, 1975

Age: 49 years old

Birth Place: Orange County, California

Coby Bell towered over most of his peers not just physically, but with his formidable acting chops and charisma as well. The California native rose to prominence by playing a police officer on NBC's "Third Watch" (1999-2005), an ensemble drama about the trials and tribulations of New York City's working-class heroes. A viewer favorite, Bell remained the only original cast member to star on "Third Watch" for six successful seasons. He showcased his acting range when he played a NFL star on "The Game" (The CW, 2006-09; BET, 2011-15), a half-hour comedy drama that tackled sports and sex.

In 2010, Bell joined the cast of the top-rated crime drama "Burn Notice" (USA Network, 2007-13) as a former counterintelligence expert who goes head-to-head with the series' burned spy (Jeffrey Donovan), the man responsible for his own termination. Bell's versatility with such multilayered roles served him well as a chameleon of sorts who became one of the more highly sought-after actors who could elevate any television project.

Coby Scott Bell was born on May 11, 1975 in Orange County, CA. The son of Broadway veteran Michael Bell, the future star was exposed to the entertainment industry at an early age. Bell graduated with honors from San Jose State University prior to embarking on his acting career. He made his first television appearance on an episode of "The Parent 'Hood" (The WB, 1995-99), a comedy series created by Robert Townsend. Bell followed up with numerous primetime cameos, including on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (The WB, 1997-2001; UPN, 2001-03), "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009), and "Smart Guy" (The WB, 1997-99) before landing a recurring role on the short-lived CBS drama, "L.A. Doctors" (1998-99). In 1999, the athletically built, 6'3"-tall actor switched from medical whites to NYPD blues with a breakout role on NBC's "Third Watch."

Bell played Officer Tyrone "Ty" Davis, Jr. on the ensemble drama, which followed police officers, firefighters and paramedics who work the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift commonly referred to as the "third watch." The series not only dealt with the struggles and relationships between characters, but also tackled real-life issues such as domestic violence, gang wars, and the 9/11 attacks. Of the five original cast members, Bell was the only actor to remain on the show throughout its six-season run.

After "Third Watch" ended in 2005, Bell remained a steady presence on the small screen with several guest appearances. The baritone-voiced actor landed his second series-regular role a year later when he was cast on "The Game." The CW comedy series, which was a spin-off of the long-running sitcom "Girlfriends" (UPN, 2000-06; The CW, 2006-08), followed three women - each of whom was in a relationship with a professional football player. Bell played Jason Pitts, a NFL star and the ex-husband of a bombshell (Brittany Daniel) who admitted to marrying him for his money. The couple's interracial relationship was frequently discussed on the show, both in comedic and dramatic ways. "The Game" fared moderately well in the ratings, but suffered after the network decided to remove half-hour comedies from its programming roster.

Despite the cast's viral campaign on YouTube to convince The CW to change "The Game" into an hour-long series and keep it on air, the show was cancelled in 2009. After a successful syndication run, BET decided to renew "The Game" and began airing new episodes in January 2011.

Bell returned to dramatic acting when he joined the cast of USA Network's "Burn Notice" during its fourth season. The top-rated and critically acclaimed drama starred Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen, a former secret agent blacklisted (or "burned") by the U.S. Government who uses his Special Ops training to help ordinary citizens. The series also featured stellar performances by Gabrielle Anwar as a former IRA operative and Michael's ex-girlfriend, Bruce Campbell as a semi-retired NAVY SEAL and Michael's longtime friend, and Sharon Gless as Michael's chain-smoking mother Maddie. Bell was cast as counterintelligence expert Jesse Porter, whom Michael unwittingly "burns" because of classified information he held on a terrorist.

Bell's character eventually joins Michael's team, only to discover it was Westen who initiated the burn notice. The action-packed and provocative series fared well with viewers and critics, and was one of the highest-rated basic cable shows of its time.

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