Bella Thorne, born Annabella Avery Thorne, is an American actress and singer, having played roles in many TV shows such as 'My Own Worst Enemy', 'Big Love', and 'Shake It Up'. She made herself known in 2003 with her first role in the film, 'Stuck on You', and went on to star in an additional 29 films to date. Her entrance into music began in 2013.
Bella Thorne was born in Pembroke Pines, Florida, to mother Tamara and father, Delancey, and was named after the Disney character, Belle, from Beauty and the Beast. She has three elder siblings, Kalli, Danille, and Remy – all of whom are also actors. Her father, who was of Cuban decent, passed away in a motorcycle accident when she was nine years old. She paid tribute to her late father at her quinceañera by saying, “My father always wanted me to have a quinceañera. So tonight not only am I honouring him, but everyone here is, too.” At the event, the guests ate Cuban food consisting of arroz, frijoles, plantains, steak, chicken, flan and tres leches.
At the ripe age of six weeks, Bella shot her first magazine cover for Parent’s Magazine. She attended a public primary school for a short time where she was severely bullied. It was then that her parents decided to home-school her. In the first grade, she was diagnosed with dyslexia and for that reason, began attending a Sylvan Learning center, which helped her immensely. It also helped her improve her reading and writing to such an extent that she was able to perform a grade ahead. She admits that it was her determination that got her through her dyslexia and that she persisted to read anything and everything while growing up. The star grew up in a Spanish-speaking household but after her diagnosis, began solely speaking and practicing English.
Bella’s first film role was in 2003 for the film Stuck on You. This role however was not a major one, yet allowed many other opportunities to open up for her. She went on to star in the TV show, Entourage, as well as the show, The O.C. where she played the younger sister of Taylor Townsend. Later, she took on a bigger role and joined the cast of Dirty Sexy Money as they begun their second season. For this TV show, which surrounds a lawyer and family man, Nick George, she played the role of Marguax Darling.
In 2008, Bella acted alongside Christian Slater and Taylor Lautner in the drama series, My Own Worst Enemy, playing the role of Ruthy Spivey. For this role, not only did she win a Young Artist’s Award, but she also considered it her breakthrough in the world of acting, as it allowed her to play her first reoccurring role. Later in 2008, she appeared briefly in an episode of October Road, playing the part of Angela Ferilli, a pre-adolescent female that the main character had a crush on. Her brother, Remy, also starred in the episode, playing the part of younger Eddie Latekka.
In 2009, Bella went on to star in a web series entitled, Little Monk. She played the role of Wendy, one of the monk’s classmates. Later in 2009, she starred in the horror film, Forget Me Not, playing the vengeful antagonist. After this, she went on to play a role in the film, Raspberry Magic – which proved to be a big success – showing premiers at the Cinequest Film Festival and the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.
In 2010, Bella began her role as Tancy “Teenie” Hnerickson on HBO’s, Big Love. After that, she was given a co-star role alongside Zendaya on the Disney Channel sitcom, Shake It Up (originally called Dance, Dance, Chicago). In it, she played the role of CeCe Jones, a dancer. At the time, Bella did not have any discernable dance skills, but spent six months (three dance classes every day) training extremely hard in order to do an excellent job. The show centred around a teen dance show (a show within a show). She began filming in Hollywood, California, in July 2010 and the show was aired on November 7 2010, on the Disney Channel.
In 2011, Bella put up her dancing shoes and began pursuing a career in music. She sang, alongside Zendaya, an electropop song entitled, Watch Me, which was produced by Ben Charles. The single was released on June 21 2011 through Walt Disney Records and made its way to number 63 on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs and number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100. Three months later, Disney announced that Shake It Up would be renewed for a second season and its episode count would be increased to 26 episodes in the season. In June of 2012, the show was renewed for a third season.
Also in 2012, Bella was cast in the Disney Channel Original Movie, Frenemies. The film took on the genre of teen comedy-drama and was based on the novel of the same name by Alexa Young. She played the role of Avalon Greene. Later that year, she went on to record the song, ‘TTYLXOX (Talk To You Later Hugs And Kisses)’, which was used as the soundtrack to Shake It Up: Live 2 Dance, Disney’s second soundtrack for the show, Shake It Up. The song reached 97 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts and it was then that Bella officially confirmed that she had signed a contract with the record label, Hollywood Records. In 2013, she completed her first album contained 11 songs. She admits that Britney Spears and Destiny’s Child were her inspiration.
In 2014, Bella hit the big screen once again and starred in the film, Blended alongside Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. She played the role of Sandler’s daughter. She also played a role in the film, Mostly Ghostly 2: Have You Met My Ghoulfriend? It was also in 2014 that she co-starred in the films, Alexander and the Terrible, and Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Additionally, Bella starred in a few TV shows that year, such as an episode on the fifth season of CSI and an episode of The Books of Shadows. Bella exceeded her talents that year by publishing her first novel, Autumn Falls – a book concerning a 15-year-old girl who finds success despite being bullied in school.
In 2015, Bella starred in the film, The Duff, whereby she played a high school antagonist. It was also in 2015 that she cancelled her debut album because she was unhappy with the final result. Instead, she released an EP called, Call It Whatever, which spent a total of seven weeks on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. She also went on to play roles in the films, Big Sky, MTV’s Scream (a TV adaption of the film of the same name), The Frog Kingdom, Shovel Buddies, and Keep Watching.
2017 is said to see the likes of Bella in the film, Midnight Sun.
Bella has proven to be a celebrity that is open and honest about her past, successes and shortcomings. She spoke openly about her struggles with dyslexia in an interview with American Cheerleader magazine in 2010 and revealed how much she adores her mother who has always been her number one supporter since being diagnosed. She is known for her hardworking and positive attitude, having gone one step ahead to do well despite her diagnosis as well as writing a book about her life. She is also a big advocate and contributor for the Dyslexia Foundation.
Bella has contributed considerably towards the Humane Society, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Nomad Organisation. The latter provides food, education and medical supplies to children in Africa. She is also an ambassador for Neutrogena.
In 2016, she came out as bisexual in a tweet following a Snapchat image of her kissing a woman. The announcement made her feel proud despite the pros and cons. She admits that a number of execs were not pleased with her announcement but that she is happy that she’s helped a lot of people come out to their family and friends.
Also in 2016, allegations were brought to light that she was cheating on her then-boyfriend, Tyler Posey.
Bella has only had two big romances to date, namely Gregg Sulkin from 2015 – 2016, and Tyler Posey from August 2016 – December 2016. During her relationship with Posey, she made headline news for allegedly cheating on him with Charlie Puth. The trio were said to be in a love triangle, despite Bella denying all accusations.
In August 2016, Bella came out as bisexual on Twitter after posting an image on her personal Snapchat of her kissing a woman. The girl in question was later discovered to be Bella Pendergast, Bella Thorne’s brother’s ex girlfriend. A fan tweeted her asking, “Are you bisexual?” to which the star simply replied, “Yes”. Her tweet gained mostly positive reviews, with fans congratulating her on her big news.
Written by: Helena Lorimer