Tobin Bell Bio: In His Own Words — Video Exclusive, News, Photos
Tobin Bell (born Joseph Henry Tobin, Jr.) is an American actor, whose most famous role is that of the villain John Kramer/Jigsaw in all eight movies of the Saw film series.
Bell was born in the Queens borough of New York City, but grew up in Weymouth, Massachusetts. His mother Eileen Julia Bell Tobin is an English-born actress. His father Joseph H. Tobin is an American of Irish heritage who created the radio station WJDA in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1947.
Bell has a brother and a sister as well. He is married to Elizabeth Bell, with whom he shares two sons: Justin and Cooper.
Bell majored in journalism in college, hoping to one day start a career as a broadcast writer.
TOBIN BELL BIO: AGE, EARLY CAREER, FIRST ‘SAW’ MOVIE
Bell (born August 7, 1942, Tobin Bell age: 75) played minor characters in films in the 1980s and 1990s. His first -ever speaking part came in the final scenes of the Oscar-winning, Meryl Streep-led 1982 drama Sophie’s Choice. He also played secondary roles in Mississippi Burning (1988), Goodfellas (1990) and The Firm (1993).
He also played antagonist Peter Kingsley in the second season of the hit thriller series 24 in 2003.
His breakout role, however, was in the first Saw movie in 2004. In the horror flick, Bell played serial killer John Kramer, aka “Jigsaw,” an engineer who tricks people by making them play psychotic “games” to escape from dangerous situations. Although it was a low-budget production, it was commercially successful and seven sequels were ultimately released: Saw II (2005), Saw III (2006), Saw IV (2007), Saw V (2008), Saw VI (2009), Saw 3D (2010), and Jigsaw (2017).
Jigsaw was met with mostly mediocre reviews.
Bell also provided his voice for two Saw video games, and was nominated for two MTV Movie Awards in 2006 and 2007 for playing the serial killer in the franchise.
TOBIN BELL: VIDEO INTERVIEW
In 2009, Bell sat down with uInterview for an exclusive interview on his role in Saw VI. Users submitted all the questions.
When one fan asked why he believed so many people enjoyed his character Jigsaw, Bell said: “He’s a multidimensional guy. He’s part philosopher, part scientist, he’s very interested in the human condition. He also has a lot of interesting ideas and concepts, and he’s also the driving force behind some amazing special effects that people enjoy very much.”
Bell also said he doesn’t suffer from nightmares about Jigsaw, despite what some fans may believe.
“I don’t take Jigsaw home with me,” he said. “He is himself a technician and I approach him from a very technical point of view.”
TOBIN BELL: QUOTES
“In the the late seventies and early eighties, I played background roles in thirty movies… Woody Allen movies, Scorsese films, you name it. Whatever was being shot in New York, I was doing stand-in and background work because I wanted to be close to the camera; I wanted to see what was going on.”
“‘Saw VI’ has a really interesting theme about the ripple effect. Everything you do affects the guy next to you, which affects the guy next to him, which affects her over here. And you might think that what you’re doing is not that significant, but just the way you respond to other people makes the world the way it is.”
“The only thing worse than working acting in an airplane is working in a prison – they’re cold, and the clanging and the noise, it just gets under your skin after a week.”
TOBIN BELL: RECENT WORK, NET WORTH
Despite the fact that he views his part in Saw as a “great blessing,” Bell also admitted he would someday like to be chosen for a completely different kind of role. Bell had a brief role in the famous soap opera Days of Our Lives in 2016 (where he played John Black’s hermit father Yo Ling) and currently provides the voices of cultist Doctor Alchemy and Savitar on Season 3 of The Flash, although he his not officially credited for these recurring roles.
According to celebritynetworth.com, Bell has a net worth of approximately $16 million.
In his spare time, Bell coaches a Little League baseball team and flag football.