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AUTO FOCUS

In a remarkably short time, MARIA BELLO (Patricia Crane) established herself as a new leading actress with a formidable and beautiful presence. Bello segued effortlessly from the spy adventure series, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" (opposite Scott Bakula) into not only a leading role on NBC's award-winning drama "ER" but as a leading lady on the big screen.

Maria, best known for her Screen Actors Guild Award winning, leading role on "ER" as the passionate and headstrong pediatrician Dr. Anna Del Amico, has quickly emerged as one of Hollywood's up and coming film stars.

She co-starred in "Permanent Midnight" with Ben Stiller and Elizabeth Hurley, and she also costarred with Mel Gibson in Paramount's "Payback." Shot simultaneously during production of "ER," Bello played the female lead to Gibson's past and present encounters.

In 2000 she appeared in the film "Duets" with Gwyneth Paltrow, Huey Lewis and Scott Speedman. She also starred in Jerry Bruckheimer's highly anticipated "Coyote Ugly," portraying Lil, a tough talking entrepreneur who owns a Western style bar in New York City called Coyote Ugly.

In the fall of 2000 Bello returned from China where she was filming a special project, which was presented on the IMAX screen called "China: The Panda Adventure." It is the true story of one woman's incredible struggle to survive in the mysterious Chinese jungle, her determination to fulfill her late husband's destiny and her efforts to protect one of the world's rarest animals.

Based upon Ruth Harkness' autobiography Lady and the Panda, "China: The Panda Adventure" combines spectacular images of a foreign land and breathtaking scenes with Giant Pandas, with this incredible true story of hope, courage and triumph of the human spirit. It was released on the giant IMAX screen in the spring of 2001.

Prior to "Auto Focus," Bello filmed the dark comedy "100 Mile Rule," a story, which revolves around three salesmen from Detroit who come to Los Angeles for a seminar and become entrenched in far more than they ever imagined. "100 Mile Rule" is set to hit theatres later this year.

Bello's extensive theatre credits include the world premiere of "The Killer Inside Me," as well as "Smart Town Gals" at the Currican Theatre, "Big Problems" at the Theatre for New City, "Urban Planning" at the Theatre del Barrio, "A Lie of the Mind" at Columbia University, "His Pillow" and "Out of Gas on Lover's Leap" at T. Schreiber Studios, "Big Talk" at the Double Image Theatre, "Talked Away" at the West End Gate.

Bello also co-founded the Dream Yard Drama Project for Kids, a not-for-profit arts and education program for children in Harlem. Maria has toured Africa and Asia while continuing her studies in conjunction with her arts and education program for children.

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