Mario Lopez, AKA Slater from Saved by the Bell, is not only married, but he’s expecting his third child. Lopez, 45, and his wife, Courtney, announced the new addition last January. The couple already has one girl and one boy, so the new arrival “will be the tie-breaker,” Lopez told Us Weekly.
Read on to find out a little more about Lopez, how he handles his growing family, and how Saved by the Bell continues to haunt him whether he wants it to or not.
Who is Mario Lopez?
Hailing from San Diego, California, Lopez was discovered by a talent agent at a dance recital when he was 10. His first gig was appearing in the short-lived ABC sitcom AKA Pablo. In 1989 he was cast as AC Slater, the popular jock on Saved by the Bell, with that series running until 1983. Other acting credits include the title role in Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story and a brief stint on The Bold and The Beautiful.
For the most part, Lopez has been known for simply being himself rather than acting. He appeared on the third season of Dancing with the Stars with his then-girlfriend Karina Smirnoff. The couple placed second to Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke. He has also had multiple hosting gigs, including The X Factor and the Miss America pageant. His regular gig these days is being the co-host of Extra, which he has done since 2008.
The most personally important job for him was appearing on Broadway in a revival of A Chorus Line. The role was important not so much for the Great White Way itself, but for the fact that Lopez met Mazza, his wife, there in 2008.
How Mario Lopez and his wife met
Lopez and Mazza recalled their first encounter, telling the story on their YouTube channel. “I remember it exactly. I met him on stage left, wing 1, right before the show started. I even remember what I was wearing, strangely enough,” she said.
Mazza hadn’t joined A Chorus Line yet, as she was coming from another show and still learning the dances at that particular time. When Lopez saw her perform later, he was even more smitten than he was at their first meeting. Their initial relationship was hesitant, but they liked each other enough to start a long-distance relationship until Lopez got the courage to ask her to live with him. The timing was everything,
“I was in the right place in my life as an individual,” he said. “Had I met her five, six years prior. I probably would have messed it up and it wouldn’t have worked out.”
The couple’s children are son Dominic Luciano, 5, and daughter Gia Francesca, 8. “I always try and make sure she’s happy and comfortable when she’s not pregnant, and even more so now,” he told Us Weekly.
What is Mario Lopez famous for?
No matter what Lopez does, he will probably always be known primarily for Saved by the Bell, although he usually rolls with it when people ask him to reprise it in some way. One of those people was Jimmy Fallon, who got Fallon and most of his co-stars to appear in a satire skit in February 2015, according to Business Insider.
Fallon tells the gang that he would move to New York to be a comedian — and maybe even “one day … date Nicole Kidman,” which was a reference to a viral video. Lopez shows the group he’s ready for the school dance by showing off a few steps, only Mark-Paul Gosselaar jokes: “Wow, Slater, with those moves, you could be a contestant on Dancing with the Dweebs!”.
When the cast got together again a couple of months ago, fans speculated that a full-on reboot was in the offing, but Lopez insisted they just liked to have dinner together.
“No, it wasn’t a reunion,” Lopez told Yahoo Entertainment. “It’s just that we all happen to coincidentally live close to each other.”
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