Jamie Bell is a BAFTA-winning British actor. He is perhaps best known for playing the title character in the film Billy Elliot (2000), for which he won the 2001 BAFTA Award for Best Actor.
Bell was born in Billingham, in the Borough of Stockton on Tees, England, where he grew up with his mother, Eileen, and older sister. His father, John Bell, a toolmaker, left before Bell was born. Bell was a pupil at Northfield School, then the Stagecoach Theatre Arts school. He was a member of the National Youth Music Theatre. In 1999, he was chosen from a field of over 2000 boys for the role of Billy Elliot, an 11-year-old boy who dismays his working-class widowed father and older brother by taking up ballet.
Bell acted as Honorary Jury President of the 2001 Giffoni Film Festival. Since his film debut in Billy Elliot, he has appeared as the crippled servant Smike in an adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby, a young soldier in Deathwatch, a teenager on the run in Undertow, a gun-toting pacifist in Dear Wendy, a disaffected Southern California teenager in The Chumscrubber, and the young Jimmy in the 2005 film version of King Kong. In 2007, he played the title character in Hallam Foe – for which he was nominated for the best actor award at the British Independent Film Awards – and appeared as himself in lonelygirl15 spin-off KateModern.
He had roles in two 2008 films: the sci-fi film Jumper and the World War II drama Defiance. Despite rumours to the contrary, he will not be appearing in Thea Sharrock's West End production of Equus.
In 2005 and 2006, Bell dated actress Evan Rachel Wood, with whom he appeared in the music video for Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends".
He currently lives in New York, and also owns a home in Chelsea, London.
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