Marshall Bell

by Michael Cooper


Tulsans covet hometown celebrities like Hanson, David Cook, Gary Busey and Kristin Chenoweth. But we often overlook some of the more hidden personalities that call our city home. Notable character actor (in the truest sense) Marshall Bell, who flew under many a Tulsan’s radar, recently drew quite a bit of attention.

If you take a look at Bell’s filmography, you’ll find a long list of productions. His resume includes almost every successful 90’s television show, and plenty of memorable films like Capote, Rescue Dawn, and Hamlet 2. For me, it was the entertainment value of films he had more substantial roles in, like Total Recall, Dick Tracy, and Nightmare on Elm Street 2.

But that was then. Recently, Bell collected a Lifetime Achievement award from Tulsa United, the city’s most notable film festival. Two years ago, he filmed a supporting role in The Rock and Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher.

When he enters the studio, I can’t quite find the Hollywood in him. Bell is a down-to-Earth guy, readily able to embrace all of his roles (in good films or not) that people would remember him in. He comments on how much growth he has seen in downtown since his last visit, and reflects on his youth spent here in the 50’s. He loves Tulsa and even announced it to a group of fans who showed up to see him receive his award. And Tulsa apparently loves him–our mayor recently declared a Marshall Bell day in honor of the actor.

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