Nancy Drew Wiki
Nancy Drew Wiki
This page is for the book character. For the video game character, see Bess Marvin (video game character).
This page is for the book character. For the 2019 TV series character, see Bess Marvin (2019 character).

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 Secret at Shadow Ranch.


In all of the incarnations of the character, Bess was born and raised in River Heights, with her cousin George Fayne and Nancy. Bess is often the character who is more timid and likely to complain.

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories

Bess is one of Nancy's best friends, who often accompanies her in her cases. She dates college student Dave Evans in the revised text.

Nancy Drew: Girl Detective

Bess now has a younger sister named Maggie, who is twelve years old.


Nancy Drew Mystery Stories

Bess is a bubbly, somewhat naïve young woman, who is easily frightened when involved in Nancy's adventures. Bess is a coward, who always fears the worst is going to happen, and insists that Nancy gives up several mysteries. However, she is a loyal friend, and nonetheless enjoys helping Nancy in her mysteries. Bess does sometimes surprise even herself with her bravery, and she occasionally deciphers clues that stump even Nancy.

Bess loves fashion and shopping, and is a true romantic. She often attracts young men, and is quite flirtatious. Bess also has a weakness for food, especially chocolate and ice cream. In the Mystery Stories, George often makes comments on Bess' weight and eating habits. Bess admittedly cannot stick to a diet, no matter how she tries.

In the Mystery Stories of the 1990s and early 2000s, Bess has gained an interest in computers.

Nancy Drew: Girl Detective

Bess remains mostly unchanged, although her technology skills are given to George. She is mentioned to be a skilled mechanic, although this skill is rarely shown throughout the series. Like Nancy and George, Bess has a rivalry with Deirdre Shannon.


Bess is described as being a pretty girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. She is also described as being slightly plump. She likes to wear various types of clothing and makeup.


Bess has appeared in the following Nancy Drew adaptions.

  • In The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977-1979), Bess is initially absent. Her character traits were combined with that of George Fayne, portrayed by Jean Rasey. In season two, Bess is portrayed by Ruth Cox in the two-part season premiere.
  • In the 1995 television series, Bess is portrayed by Jhene Erwin. Here, Bess is a columnist for an alternative newspaper, and shares an apartment with George.
  • In the 2002 television movie/pilot, Bess is portrayed by Jill Ritchie.
  • In the 2007 film, Bess is played by Amy Bruckner. However, her and George's roles are brief, only being seen within the first ten minutes of the film.
  • In Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, Bess is portrayed by Mackenzie Graham.
  • In The CW's Nancy Drew 2019 television series, Bess is portrayed by Maddison Jaizani.