Mary Lou Belli is an Emmy® Award winning producer, writer, and director. She is the co-author of The Sitcom Career Book and Acting for Young Actors. She was a director for six consecutive seasons of Girlfriends, which aired on the CW network. She directed Living With Fran starring Fran Drescher; Misconceptions, starring Jane Leeves; Eve, starring hip-hop artist Eve; and the USA Networks hit show Monk, starring Tony Shalhoub. This season, Mary Lou is working on The Game and Reed Between the Lines, both on BET, as well as All Rise starring Cedric the Entertainer. Her third book, Directors Tell the Story, which she co-wrote with Bethany Rooney, has just been published by Focal Press.
She began her career directing shows like Charles In Charge, Major Dad, and Sister, Sister. Mary Lou received BET nominations for directing Girlfriends and One On One, as well as a Prism Award for Girlfriends.
After receiving a BA in theatre from Penn State, Mary Lou acted in musical theatre and soaps in New York, followed by a Los Angeles career producing and directing theatre. She has over 75 play productions to her credit, mostly World or West Coast Premieres, including Cecile Callan’s controversial Angels Twice Descending, optioned as a television movie by Fox; and Wil Calhoun’s The Balcony Scene, co-produced Off Broadway with her partner Ian Praiser at NY’s Circle Rep starring Cynthia Nixon, and then placed in development as a feature at TRISTAR.
Known for her work in children’s programming, Mary Lou coached on NBC’s Saturday morning hit Saved By The Bell: The New Class and went on to direct USA High, One World, Amber, and Amber And Fox’s Teenage Soap Tribes.
Among the awards Mary Lou holds the dearest is her citation from the late Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley for her work with abused children. She lectures frequently throughout the United States including many universities such as AFI, NYU, Northwestern, and University of Connecticut.
Click here to see Mary Lou’s full list of television credits on IMDb.