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'Cut & Paste' Podcast: Nancy Bell Slips Easily Between Soaps And Shakespeare

Nancy Bell, left, is interviewed by Willis Ryder Arnold and Nancy Fowler.
Stephanie Zimmerman
Nancy Bell, left, is interviewed by Willis Ryder Arnold and Nancy Fowler.
Cut & Paste

Nancy Bell has enjoyed a thriving soap-opera career and nabbed top TV gigs including “Law and Order" and “Star Trek." So what's she doing in St. Louis, reworking the words of none other than Shakespeare?

It all started five years ago, when Saint Louis University lured Bell away from the big time, with a teaching job. Now, she's a regular player in the local theater scene.

In this latest episode of our "Cut & Paste” podcast, Bell tells us how she began embellishing The Bard with a St. Louis twist. She also takes us to the beginning of her career — which required not only fancy footwork but also sturdy shoes.

Here’s a little more of what Bell revealed about herself:

  • Bell once worked as a telemarketer, selling death and dismemberment insurance: “It’s really hard to sell anything with the word ‘dismemberment’ in it ... Southern accents, I discovered, were always more effective.” Tweet #cutpastestl
  • Channeling Shakespeare’s Macbeth: “I have a murderer in me. I have violence in me. But I’m going to embrace those parts of me and show them to you so that we can all understand ourselves better.”Tweet #cutpastestl
  • On her role in "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?": "Being able to take a pristine white set, every single night, and completely trash it by the end of the play, I just loved every minute of it." Tweet #cutpastestl

The St. Louis Actors' Studio production of "The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?" with Nancy Bell and John Pierson
Credit John Lamb
The St. Louis Actors' Studio production of "The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?" with Nancy Bell and John Pierson

Look for new "Cut & Paste" (#cutpastestl) podcasts every few weeks on our website. Or catch them all, from the first one to the most recent, on the "Cut & Past" program page. You can also subscribe to “Cut & Paste” through the "View all Podcasts & RSS Feeds" link.

Watch Nancy Bell in a 1995 episode of "The Guiding Light," in which she plays a woman diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

Follow Willis Arnold on Twitter: @WillisRArnold

Follow Nancy Fowler on Twitter: @NancyFowlerSTL

Follow Nancy Bell on Twitter: @BellGirlSTL

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