Maria Elana Bello was born April 18, 1967 in Norristown ,PA.
One of 4 children, she has 2 brothers and a sister. Her father was employed in construction and her mother, a teacher who was a former school nurse. Her heritage is Polish/ Italian.
She attended Villanova University in Philadelphia: majoring in Political Science. In her senior year she took an acting class as an elective and fell in love with acting. She moved to New York City with $300.00 in her pocket and worked as a bartender, dog walker and cleaned houses.
Her extensive New York theater credits include "The Killer Inside Me", "Small town Gals With", "Urban Planning", "Big Problems", "After The Fact", "Young Frankenstein", "A Lie Of The Mind", "His Pillow", "Out Of Gas On Lover's Leap", "Big Talk", and "Talked Away".
Maria co- founded the Dream Yard Project For Kids, a non-profit arts and education program for children in Harlem. She has travelled to Africa where she spoke to children and gathered material for a book examining the values of children from different cultures.
Maria learned Moi Thai for her role as Mrs. Smith in the series Mr. & Mrs. Smith.