logo
GettyImages
GettyImages

‘NCIS’ Maria Bello Was Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and She Treats It like a ‘Gift’

Aby Rivas
Jan 21, 2020
09:00 A.M.

Maria Bello, known as Special Agent Jacqueline "Jack" Sloane on the series “NCIS,” among other series and films, battled bipolar disorder since she was a child. However, she sees the disease as a gift, especially in her line of work.

Advertisement

Maria Bello’s views in life are not what most people would label “the norm,” and she couldn’t care less. She’s been fighting against all kinds of labels in her life for years, and that includes both her personal and professional life.

Maria Bello attends 10th Annual Lumiere Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on January 30, 2019 | Photo: GettyImages

Maria Bello attends 10th Annual Lumiere Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on January 30, 2019 | Photo: GettyImages

The 52-year-old is raising her son in what she calls a modern family; she is in a relationship with a woman but refuses to identify as a lesbian and calls a mental disorder that has been stigmatized for centuries a “gift.”

Here’s more about Bello’s exciting life.

MARIA BELLO’S BLOOMING CAREER

Maria Bello started her acting career in the early ‘90s, honing her acting skills in New York theater productions after majoring in political science at Villanova University.

Advertisement
Maria Bello attends the 4th Annual CineFashion Film Awards at El Capitan Theatre on October 8, 2017 | Photo: GettyImages

Maria Bello attends the 4th Annual CineFashion Film Awards at El Capitan Theatre on October 8, 2017 | Photo: GettyImages

She went on to land small roles in series like “The Commish,” “Nowhere Man,” and “Misery Loves Company,” and got her big break in 1996 when she was cast in the short-lived spy series “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.”

Following the cancelation of that show, Bello appeared as a guest on the medical drama “E.R” as Dr. Anna Del Amico. Still, the producers were so happy with her work that she became a regular on the series.

Maria has also appeared in popular films like “Payback,” “Coyote Ugly,” “A History of Violence,” “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,” “Prisoners” and “Lights Out.”

Maria Bello arrives at the premiere of New Line Cinema's "Lights Out" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on July 19, 2016 | Photo: GettyImages

Maria Bello arrives at the premiere of New Line Cinema's "Lights Out" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on July 19, 2016 | Photo: GettyImages

Advertisement

She also had leading roles in “Prime Suspect,” “Touch,” and has been portraying Agent Jack Sloane through the past three seasons of “NCIS.”

DEALING WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER

Maria Bello was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 28 years old. However, she has battled mental disorder since she was very young.

“Thank God I was [diagnosed], or I probably wouldn't be here right now,” she told The Straits Time in 2016.

Maria Bello attends the 59th Monte Carlo TV Festival : Day Three on June 16, 2019 | Photo: GettyImages

Maria Bello attends the 59th Monte Carlo TV Festival : Day Three on June 16, 2019 | Photo: GettyImages

Bello first opened up about her diagnosis in her 2015 book of essays, “Whatever...Love Is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves,” and later addressed it again while promoting her 2016 horror film “Lights Out.”

Advertisement

In the movie, Bello gave life to a depressed mother who had been admitted to a mental hospital as a child and is haunted by a ghost from the past.

For Maria who’s not a fan of horror films, bringing to life a person with a mental disorder was both a challenge and an opportunity. As she explained:

"I have the gift of bipolar disorder and having the experience of high highs and low lows and being able to draw from those experiences and showing it on the screen. I show how mental illness affects everyone in the family.”

Maria Bello attends the 2015 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC on April 18, 2015 | Photo: GettyImages

Maria Bello attends the 2015 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC on April 18, 2015 | Photo: GettyImages

A SUPERPOWER IN DISGUISE

Bello believes that things that people are used to seeing as diseases have the potential to become superpowers with newer medications.

Advertisement

“I've experienced things that most people don't experience,” she continued. “Thank God that people don't have to experience the lows, but for people to get to feel it through my acting is a gift. I'm in the right profession to have it."

On top of that, Maria mentioned to Entertainment Tonight that the feeling of being at the very top and the very bottom of human emotion has made her more empathetic as well.

Maria Bello attends the "Giant Little Ones" premiere during 2018 Toronto International Film Festival at The Elgin on September 9, 2018 | Photo: GettyImages

Maria Bello attends the "Giant Little Ones" premiere during 2018 Toronto International Film Festival at The Elgin on September 9, 2018 | Photo: GettyImages

MARIA’S MODERN FAMILY

Although Maria has dated men and has a son with her former partner Dan McDermott, in November 2013, she wrote an op-ed column on the New York Times talking about her “modern family” and her complicated views on sexuality and love.

Advertisement

At the time, Bello revealed she was in a relationship with her best friend Clare Munn and talked about coming out to her family and her son, and how it was the kid, Jackson, who gave her the courage she needed.

Advertisement

“One of my best teachers is my son, Jackson," Maria told ET. And continued:

"When he was 12 years old, and I told him I was in a romantic relationship with a woman who was like a godmother to him, I didn't know what he would say. He smiled at me and simply said, 'Whatever, mom. Love is love.'"

Back then, the media took Maria’s words as her way of stating she was a lesbian, but for the actress, that reaction was disappointing and missed the point of her essay.

“In my story, traditional labels don't seem to fit anymore for most people; they are limiting the possibility for me to become who I am meant to be,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I just don't define myself by who I have sex with.”

These days, Maria is no longer with Clare. She’s dating chef Dominique Crenn, who was included on InStyle’s list of “50 badass women” who are changing the world as the first woman to run a three Michelin stars restaurant in the U.S.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
info

The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on news.AmoMama.com, or available through news.AmoMama.com is for general information purposes only. news.AmoMama.com does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.

Related posts

Child Star Amanda Bynes Couldn't Stand Own Look & Left Hollywood in 2010 — She Finally Feels 'Confident' Now

April 24, 2024

Shana Render, Killer Mike's Wife, Is a Self-Named Entrepreneur & Real Estate Investor

November 12, 2023

This Ex-therapist Has Been a Great Actress' Spouse for Years & Stayed by the Star's Side after Her Car Crash

February 26, 2024

'NCIS' Agent Eleanor Bishop Became a Mom & Tried Out Another Hair Color Since Leaving the Show

November 11, 2023

‘The Young & the Restless’ Star Billy Miller Took His Life Just Before 44th Birthday, Leaving Letters by His Side

December 06, 2023

Woman Is Certain Her Husband Died until She Comes across His New Tinder Profile – Story of the Day

May 03, 2024

Two Years after Son Dies, Mom Hears Someone Knocking on Door Saying, "Mom, It's Me" — Story of the Day

February 19, 2024

My Wife of 9 Years Says That She Wants to Give up Our Daughters for Adoption

January 31, 2024

Three Out of 5 Siblings Died Abruptly before 43: Tragic Story of the Carter Family

April 29, 2024

Woman Is Sure Her Husband Died until She Comes across His New Tinder Profile – Story of the Day

November 03, 2023

Mark Harmon's Son's Wedding Photos Revealed for the First Time on Their 1st Anniversary

November 13, 2023

‘Girl Who Can’t Smile’ Was an Outcast Due to Relentless Bullying — At 25, She Is ‘Gorgeous’ & Works as a Model

November 26, 2023

Baffled Groom Sees His Ex Approaching Him Down the Aisle in a Wedding Dress

January 13, 2024

Conan Gray's Ethnicity: Singer's Interracial Parents Partly Raised Him in Japan

November 11, 2023