Way Back When: Kristen Bell

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We first took notice of Kristen Bell's particular brand of charmingly sassy and adorable in the television series 'Veronia Mars,' and we've loved her since with roles in films like 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall.' In today's Way Back When, we take a look at Bell before she was famous.

'Polish Wedding'

This is a bonus right here -- a young and totally uncredited Kristen Bell alongside Claire Danes (sans Cry-Face) in the 1998 film 'Polish Wedding,' about a really messed up Polish family whose daughter gets herself knocked up by their cop neighbor. Shotgun wedding! But look how cute Bell is in this clip:

'Pootie Tang'

Bell's first official film role was a small part in the comedy 'Pootie Tang,' written and directed by Louis C.K. Bell played a snotty record executive's daughter in the 2001 film, which was largely ignored at the time but has found something of a cult following these days.

'American Dreams'

We'd like to tell you what's going on in the clip below, but sometimes YouTube is a magical place where people upload things in Italian. We can tell you that Kristen Bell played Amy Fielding on the TV series 'American Dreams' alongside Brittany Snow in the episode titled "Act of Contrition." You can't understand what anyone is saying, but it's all very 50s and vintage and adorable.

'The O'Keefes'

Does anyone else remember this short-lived 2003 WB series about a family who home-schools their kids (including Joseph Cross of 'Running with Scissors' and Tania Raymonde of 'Lost')? No? Probably for good reason. Judge Reinhold played the quirky dad in this show that sought to capture the lives of those weird kids you knew who were home-schooled and how crazy their families were, and it's really just some dorky suburban white folks who are really into sweaters. But hey, Kristen Bell was there and credited as "Virginia's Owner," so either this was the name of a pet, or she owns the state of Virginia:

'The King and Queen of Moonlight Bay'

Bell starred with Tim Matheson, Sean Young, and Ed Asner in this film about a teenager who decides to spend her last year before college getting to know her dad after 17 years of being raised by her mom. In this scene she has a convo about sex with her dad that would be totally awkward and not even happening in real life:

'Everwood'

From one WB show to another... Bell played a perky, committed cheerleader in this episode of 'Everwood.' She hurts her arm and her mom's all worried, but she's like, "UGH, MOM, I AM FINE, OKAY?!"

http://youtu.be/kJfhl7bQTsU

'Gracie's Choice'

It's always delightful when we dig up an actor's Lifetime TV movies, like 'Gracie's Choice,' which starred Kristen Bell as the daughter of a drug addict (Anne Heche), who gets sent to jail and leaves her teen daughter to care for her three half-brothers and one half-sister all by herself. And then mom comes back and Bell is like, "UGH, MOM, I AM FINE, OKAY?!"

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