Actress and singer Bella Thorne was born October 8, 1997 to a Cuban-American family in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

She’s the youngest of four children, all of whom have become actors. Bella started her career as a child model, doing ads from infancy and eventually becoming a spokesperson for Texas Instruments. When she was just 9, Bella’s father died in a car accident. She later memorialized him at her quinceañera.

Bella began making TV and movie appearances in 2003, first as an uncredited sideline fan in the Matt Damon movie Stuck on You and then in shows including Entourage and The O.C.

In 2007, she landed her first major TV role, playing Margaux Darling on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money. She followed it up with a spot alongside Christian Slater and Taylor Lautner on NBC’s short-lived My Own Worst Enemy. In 2009, she had a role in the horror movie Forget Me Not, and starred in the web series Little Monk.

But it was 2010 that brought big breaks for Bella. First she won the spot of daughter Tancy “Teenie” Henrickson on HBO’s Big Love, and then she won a starring role on the Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up, which ran through 2013 and gained her much attention. The same year she also signed with Hollywood Records. She released her debut single, “Call It Whatever,” in 2014.

Post-Shake It Up, Bella has been staring on the big screen in movies including Blended, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and The DUFF. She also wrote a Young Adult novel called “Autumn Falls,” and has signed on for an MTV series called Scream.

Diagnosed with dyslexia as a child and having faced some bullying because of it, Bella does charity work for both the Dyslexia Foundation and StompOutBullying. She is a supporter of the Nomad Organization, which provides education, food, and medical supplies to children in Africa. And she has been an ambassador for the National Park Service and the #FindYourPark public service campaign.

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