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Amanda Bynes

Drake Bell Biography

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Birth Name: Drake Bell
Born: 06/27/1986

Born Jared Drake Bell on June 27, 1986 in Orange County, CA, Bell grew up in a household already accustomed to the spotlight, as his mother, Robin Dodson, was a champion billiards player. At age five, Bell made his professional acting debut in a commercial for Whirlpool appliances, followed up by appearances on television series like "Home Improvement" (ABC, 1991-99) and in features like "The Neon Bible" (1995). At age 13, Bell enjoyed a brief scene-stealing moment as the boy who expresses his displeasure with Tom Cruise by giving the finger in "Jerry Maguire" (1996).

More episodic work followed on shows like "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC, 1995-2004), "The Pretender" (NBC, 1996-2000) and "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1990-98), at the same time Bell landed his first lead role in the low-budget fantasy, "Dragonworld: The Legend Continues" (1999). That same year saw Drake's career blossom in significant directions. He was cast as John Cusack's son in the HBO western "The Jack Bull," and from that experience, was hired again to play a younger version of Cusack in the comedy "High Fidelity" in 2000. Also in 1999, Bell became a series regular on "The Amanda Show" (Nickelodeon, 1999-2002), a sketch comedy series built around the comedy talents of its star, Amanda Bynes. One of Bell's co-stars was Josh Peck, and the pair - Bell, tall and handsome, Peck, shorter, manic, and heavier - earned considerable fan acclaim during their tenure on the show.

In 2001, Bell co-starred with Roger Daltrey, the legendary vocalist for The Who, in the independent feature "Chasing Destiny." A longtime classic rock fan and budding guitarist, Bell elicited private music lessons from Daltrey while shooting the film. The end result of this inspirational tutelage was the formation of Bell's own band, Drew 24/7, launched in 2003. The band eventually appeared on the popular Nickelodeon sketch comedy series "All That" (1994-2005) to much approval from Bell's growing fanbase of teenage girls.

In 2004, producer Dan Schneider reunited Bell and Peck for their own Nickelodeon series, "Drake and Josh" (2004- ), a lighthearted comedy show which showcased both Peck's comic chops and Bell's musical pursuits. In addition to performing on the show, Bell also composed the series' theme song. To no one's surprise, the program was a hit with teen audiences, and Bell was well on his way to attaining heartthrob status - which was further cemented by his role as rocker Fefe Dobson's romantic interest in her music video for the single "Don't Go" in '04.

The following year, Bell returned to feature films as one of the 19 younger cast members in the remake of "Yours, Mine and Ours" (2005). He also released his solo CD debut, Telegraph, that same year, and began composing the music for the Nickelodeon series "Zoey 101" (2005-), starring former "All That" star Jamie Lynn Spears.

Unfortunately, what seemed like a banner year ended on a frightening note when Bell was injured in a car crash on New Year's Eve. He suffered a broken jaw, fractured neck, the loss of several teeth and a sizable scar on his chin. After surgery and much physical therapy - and to the relief of young girls everywhere - Bell returned to work on his series, and in 2006, celebrated the airing of the TV movie, "Drake and Josh Go to Hollywood," on Nickelodeon. Bell, who also operated his own record label, Backhouse Records, began working on a feature film which would again star himself and Peck.