Tobin Bell was a prominent film and TV character actor who rose to prominence in 2004 as the chief villain, Jigsaw, in the first "Saw" movie. Born in Queens and raised in Massachusetts, Bell grew up in a very creative household. His mother was an actress, while his father was responsible for building the local radio station in his hometown of Weymouth, Massachusetts. However, despite having a longtime interest in performing, Bell set his sights on working in the field of environmental science. He earned his master's degree in environmental science from Montclair State University, and spent a brief period of his twenties working for the New York Botanical Garden. The burning urge to perform, however, never left Bell, and he quickly left his stable career to become an actor. He joined the iconic Actors Studio in New York, studying alongside Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn, and soon started to appear in various plays Off-Broadway. Bell did land some background work during this time in over two-dozen films shot in New York, but his work was mostly uncredited. It wasn't until he moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1980s that his screen acting workload really began to pick up. Over the next two decades Bell landed supporting roles in "Mississippi Burning" (1988), "Goodfellas" (1990), "The Quick and the Dead" (1995), as well as guest spots on TV shows like "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998) and "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006). His big break came in 2004 when he was cast as the lead villain, Jigsaw, in the horror film, "Saw." The film became a huge hit, spawning six sequels and multiple video games, in which Bell also lent his voice. Bell acted primarily in "Saw" sequels throughout the remainder of the decade, before taking a four-year break from acting in 2010. He returned to the big screen in 2015 with a supporting role in the crime thriller "Phantom Halo" (2015). The film was the directorial debut of Antonia Bogdanovich, daughter of Oscar nominee Peter, and also starred Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Rebecca Romijn.
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Essayed small role in "Mississippi Burning"
Appeared in Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas"
Landed breakout role as Jigsaw in "Saw"
Played lead role in Antonia Bogdanovich's "Phantom Halo"