Mario Lopez “Saved By the Bell” Star turns 49 this week
Mario Lopez is an American actor who achieved immense popularity through his television shows. A man of many talents, Lopez was a child prodigy and started to learn dance at the tender age of three and acted in his first TV show at the age of ten. He was an amateur wrestler in high school and thus acquired an impressive physique which would help him get many acting roles later on. He became a teenage heartthrob with his portrayal of a high school athlete in the popular and long-running sitcom ‘Saved by the Bell’. More movie and television roles followed, but it was as a television host that Lopez achieved most successes. Having showcased his acting and hosting capabilities, he got a chance to exhibit his slick dancing moves in the reality show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and had a fabulous run in the show, eventually finishing runner-up. Not shy of venturing into new fields, Lopez revealed yet another facet of his personality and published a fitness book, two cookbooks and a children’s book. With his diverse body of work, Lopez has acquired a legion of loyal fans waiting eagerly for his next work.
Childhood & Early Life
Mario Lopez was born to Elvia and Mario Lopez, Sr. in San Diego, California. His mother was a telephone clerk and his father a municipal worker. Lopez started learning dancing at the age of three, and was discovered by an agent when he was ten years old. His first TV appearance was with the comedy series ‘a.k.a. Pablo’ in 1984. The same year, he got another role as a drummer and dancer in the kids’ show ‘Kids Incorporated’, in which he featured for two years.
In the next few years, he made some guest appearances in TV shows. In 1989, he got his first role as a regular in the sitcom ‘Saved by the Bell’, where he played the character of A.C. Slater. This role fetched him a lot of popularity, especially among the teenagers. He studied in the ‘Chula Vista High School’, where he wrestled for the school team and even participated in the state’s wrestling competition in 1991, where he stood seventh in California. He graduated from high school in the same year.
Although he started acting from a very young age, it was the sitcom ‘Saved by the Bell’ which made him a household name and a teen sensation. He starred in the show for five seasons and also in its two spin-off movies. In the show, he played A.C. Slater, a popular athlete in high school.
Lopez displayed his dancing prowess in the third season of the dance competition ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Competing with ten other teams, Lopez was paired with professional dancer Karina Smirnoff and the pair went on to finish as runner-ups in the show.
Awards & Achievements
In 1989, he was awarded the ‘Young Artist Award’ in the category ‘Best Young Actor in an Off-Primetime Series’ for his role in ‘Saved by the Bell’.
In 1994, he won a ‘Young Artist Award’ in the category ‘Outstanding Youth Host in a TV Magazine, News or Variety Show’ for hosting the reality show, ‘Name Your Adventure’. He was chosen as ‘People magazine’s Hottest Bachelor’ in 2008.