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Bess Marvin

Bess Marvin
Nancy Drew Mystery Stories character
First appearance

"The Secret at Shadow Ranch"
Created by

Edward Stratemeyer
Mildred Benson
Portrayed by

Ruth Cox (The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries)
Amy Bruckner (Nancy Drew: The Mystery in Hollywood Hills)
Nickname(s) Bess (everyone she knows)
Miss Bess (Gilbert Buford, as seen in the Nancy Drew game, Legend of the Crystal Skull)
Species Human
Gender Female
Occupation Student
Family Mr. Marvin (father)
Mrs. Marvin (mother)
Maggie (sister)
Relatives Uncle Zak (uncle, as heard from Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake)
Bet Rawley (aunt, as seen in The Secret of Shadow Ranch)
Ed Rawley (uncle, as seen in The Secret of Shadow Ranch)
George Fayne (cousin)
Dick Milton (cousin)
Nationality American

Elizabeth "Bess" Marvin is a character in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. She is one of Nancy Drew's best friends, along with George Fayne, who is Bess' cousin. Bess and George are introduced to readers in the 1931 novel,The Secret at Shadow Ranch. Bess was originally described as having beautiful hair (later described as blonde), slightly plump, pretty, and blue eyed. She is very feminine, and is easily frightened when involved in Nancy's adventures. Bess believes that every crook has a good reason for committing his/her crime. Bess always fears the worst is going to happen and insists that Nancy give up several mysteries. She is somewhat flighty, fickle, and a bit of a flirt - quite the opposite of cousin George, who is more practical, steady, and very much a tomboy. Bess flirts with every cute or handsome boy she meets. Despite her fears, she is a strong sleuth in some volumes, even taking a proactive role in the capture of criminals on occasion.

Bess loves to shop, and has a weakness for food. She has an extreme love of ice cream and other desserts. In most volumes in the series, George makes at least one comment on Bess' diet. Bess, admittedly, cannot stick to a diet, no matter how she tries, and frequently talks about food. Bess often is seen involved in the same activities as Nancy, at a lower skill level, including dancing, art, music, acting, and stunt horseback riding.

Her boyfriend is Emerson College student Dave Evans. In the original series, she has no steady boyfriend until the 1952 volume The Mystery at the Ski Jump. The continuity was changed during the series updates, and he appears in the revised versions of some earlier entries in the series. Bess is a true romantic. She is loyal, and she always enjoys helping Nancy, albeit with some trepidation. Although George considers her a coward, Bess does sometimes surprise even herself with her bravery, and she occasionally deciphers clues that stump even Nancy!

In the Nancy Drew movie of 2007, Bess was played by Amy Bruckner.

In the television series The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977–1979), Bess was played by Ruth Cox.

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