Mario Lopez Jr. ( Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmaɾi̯o ˈlopes] ; born October 10, 1973 [7] ) is a Mexican American television host and actor. Lopez has appeared on several television series, in films, and on Broadway. He is known for his portrayal of A.C. Slater on Saved by the Bell , whom he also portrayed as a regular on Saved by the Bell: The College Years . He has appeared in numerous projects since, including the third season of Dancing with the Stars and as host for the syndicated entertainment news magazine show Extra . He has also hosted America's Best Dance Crew for MTV. In 2012, he co-hosted the second season of American version of The X Factor with Khloé Kardashian-Odom, and was the sole host for the third and final season.

Early life

Mario Lopez was born on October 10, 1973 in San Diego, California, to Elvira, a telephone company clerk, and Mario Sr., who worked for the municipality of National City. [8] He graduated from Chula Vista High School in 1991, where he wrestled for Chula Vista at the weight class of 160 lbs placing 2nd in the San Diego Section and 7th in the state of California in 1991 as well. He was raised in a large Catholic family of Mexican descent (from Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico). [9]



Mario Lopez's professional career began in 1984 when he appeared as younger brother Tomás in the short-lived ABC comedy series a.k.a. Pablo . [10] That same year, he was cast as a drummer and dancer on Kids Incorporated . In March 1987, he was cast as a guest star on the sitcom The Golden Girls as a Latino boy named Mario who faces deportation. He was cast in a small part in the movie Colors (1988) as Felipe's friend. In 1989, Lopez was cast as A.C. Slater in the television sitcom Saved by the Bell , a role which lasted five years.

In 1997, Lopez starred as Olympic diver Greg Louganis in the television movie Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story . The following year, he was cast as Bobby Cruz in the USA Network series Pacific Blue . Lopez left the series after two seasons and went on to guest star on Resurrection Blvd. , Eve , and The Bad Girl's Guide . In March 2006, Lopez joined the cast of the daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful playing the role of Dr. Christian Ramirez. On July 18, 2006, he was released from his B&B contract. [11] Later that year, Mario guest-starred as a plastic surgeon who drives Christian Troy to jealousy when he sees him naked in the shower in an episode of FX Network's Nip/Tuck during the show's fourth season, which began in Fall 2006. He also made an appearance on George Lopez as a police officer in late 2006. Lopez also guest-starred as a reporter for Extra Sesame Street in the Sesame Street episode "The Veggie Monster" in 2012.

Lopez and Courtney Mazza have a reality show on VH1 called Mario Lopez: Saved by the Baby which premiered on November 1, 2010. [12]

On February 4, 2015, Lopez reunited with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Elizabeth Berkley, Dennis Haskins and Tiffani Thiessen on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon , where they appeared in a Saved by the Bell sketch with Fallon. [6]

Dancing with the Stars

In the fall of 2006, Lopez signed on as a contestant on the third season of Dancing with the Stars on ABC with professional partner and then-girlfriend Karina Smirnoff who was making her series debut. They finished in second place, losing to the team of Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke.

Hosting duties

In 1992, he hosted his first series on NBC called Name Your Adventure . He hosts the serial tabloid Extra , as well as the MTV reality shows America's Best Dance Crew and MTV's Top Pop Group . In the 1995-96 season, he would host the second season of Masters of the Maze on what was then The Family Channel. Lopez is both the host (with Carmen Palumbo) and co-executive producer of Sí TV's Dating Factory . From October to December 2012, he co-hosted the Fox singing competition The X Factor along with Khloe Kardashian. [16] In September 2013, Lopez returned to the show as sole host for season 3 after Kardashian was not asked back as co-host. [6] The X Factor was cancelled on February 7, 2014. [6] Despite X factor's cancellation, Simon Cowell stated that he thinks X Factor will come back [6] From 2002 – 2005, he was the host of the Animal Planet show Pet Star, despite some difficulty with an allergy to cats. [6] Lopez hosted the Miss America pageant in 2007, 2009, and 2010.

Lopez has also guest co-hosted The Wendy Williams Show , [6] and MC'ed the gala benefit for the 2010 Pageant of the Masters arts festival in Laguna Beach, California. [6] Starting in 2012 Mario Lopez began hosting his own Nationally Syndicated Radio Show 'ON With Mario Lopez' for Premiere Radio. It streams online daily on iHeartRadio and airs in selected CHR and Hot AC stations (particularly on KBIG-FM/Los Angeles) throughout the U.S.

In August 2014, Lopez began hosting the Hot AC edition of the iHeartRadio Countdown.

Stage career

Lopez made his Broadway debut on April 15, 2008, in the revival of the musical A Chorus Line in the role of Zach. [6] [24]


Lopez has published three non-fiction books. The first, Mario Lopez Knockout Fitness , was published in 2008 and written together with Jeff O'Connell (who had previously written a fitness book with LL Cool J). [25] A cookbook, Extra Lean , with various recipes followed in early 2010 and became a New York Times bestseller. [26] A third book, Extra Lean Family , was published in May 2012. [27] He released a children's book entitled Mario and Baby Gia by Celebra Children’s Books (a division of Penguin Books), on September 27, 2011. The book is about Lopez and his infant daughter Gia. [28] [29]

Personal life

According to Mario Lopez, Fergie was his first kiss and the two were involved briefly while they were both on the show Kids Incorporated . [30]

In 1993 Lopez was accused of date rape, [31] but prosecutors found no evidence to support the allegation, and multiple witnesses "contradicted the woman's account of her encounter" with Mario. [32]

After six years of dating, Lopez married actress Ali Landry on April 24, 2004, in a Catholic ceremony at the Las Alamandas resort outside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, [33] but their marriage was annulled two weeks later. [33] In a 2011 interview Lopez admitted that the parting transpired after Landry discovered Lopez had been unfaithful to her days before the wedding at his bachelor party. [34] Lopez subsequently dated professional dancer Karina Smirnoff, his Dancing with the Stars partner, from 2006 to June 2008. [35]

In the fall of 2008 Lopez began dating Broadway dancer, actress and producer Courtney Mazza. Lopez and Mazza became engaged over the 2011–2012 New Year's weekend, [36] and married in Mexico on December 1, 2012. [37] They have a daughter, Gia Francesca (born September 2010), [38] [39] and a son, Dominic (born September 2013). [40]

Lopez stated that he is Catholic and goes to church every week. [41]

Lopez is a proponent of health and fitness, and was the cover feature for the November 2013 issue of FitnessRX For Men magazine. [42]


Year Film Role Notes
1984 a.k.a. Pablo Tomas Del Gato Main cast (6 episodes)
1984–1986 Kids Incorporated Himself (Dancer/Drummer) Seasons 1–3
1986 Chartbusters Direct-to-video release
The Deacon Street Deer Hector TV movie
1987 The Golden Girls Mario Episode: "Dorothy's Prized Pupil"
1988 Colors Felipe's Friend
1989–1993 Saved by the Bell A.C. Slater Main role, 87 episodes
1992 Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style A.C. Slater TV movie
1993–1994 Saved by the Bell: The College Years A.C. Slater Main role, 19 episodes
1994 Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas A.C. Slater TV movie
Bill Nye the Science Guy Himself Communication Cameo
1995–1996 Saved by the Bell: The New Class A.C. Slater Episodes: "Goodbye, Bayside Part 2", "Fire at the Max Part 2"
1995–1996 Masters of the Maze Host Season 2
1996 Depraved Jessie Mata
Fever Lake Steve Direct-to-video release
El Cóndor de oro Bodyguard 2
1997 Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story Greg Louganis TV movie
The Journey: Absolution Ryan Murphy
Killing Mr. Griffin Dave Ruggles TV movie
1999 Pacific Blue Bobby Cruz Main role (seasons 4–5)
Eastside Antonio Lopez
2000 A Crack in the Floor Lehman
Big Brother Trouble Coach
2001–2003 The Other Half Host
2002 Outta Time David Morales Alternative titles: The Courier
Out of Time
King Rikki Juan Vallejo Alternative title: The Street King
2002–2005 Pet Star Host
2004 The Soluna Project Antonio TV movie
2005 Aloha, Scooby-Doo! Manu Tuiama/Mainland Surfer Direct to video release; voice role
2006 Unaccompanied Minors Substitute Minors watcher Film
2006 Dancing with the Stars Himself Season 3
2006–2010 Nip/Tuck Dr. Mike Hamoui Recurring role, 8 episodes
2007 George Lopez Police Officer Sanchez Episode: "George Can't Let Sleeping Mexicans Lie"
2007 Holiday in Handcuffs David Martin TV movie
2008 Husband for Hire Marco TV movie
2008 MTV's Top Pop Group Host MTV
2008–2012 America's Best Dance Crew Host
2008 Robot Chicken A.C Slater Voice role; episode: " Boo Cocky "
2008–present Extra Himself Host
2009 The Dog Who Saved Christmas Zeus the Dog TV movie; voice role
2009–2010 Nip/Tuck Dr. Mike Hamoui Recurring role (season 6)
2010 Get Him to the Greek Himself
2010–2011 Mario Lopez: Saved by the Baby Himself
2010 The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation Zeus the Dog TV film; voice role
2011 Honey 2 Himself Film
H8R Himself Host
The Talk Himself Guest
2011–2012 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade Himself Host
2012 Sesame Street Himself (reporter) Episode: "The Veggie Monster"
Are You There, Chelsea? Himself Episode: " Dee Dee's Pillow "
2012–2013 The X Factor Himself Co-host (Season 2); host
The Chica Show Stitches Voice role
2013 The Smurfs 2 Social Smurf Film; voice role [43]
2013–2015 Nashville Himself 3 episodes
2014 The Dog Who Saved Easter Zeus the Dog Video; voice role
2015 The Dog Who Saved Summer Zeus the Dog Video; voice role
2015 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon A.C. Slater Episode: February 4, 2015
2015 Repeat After Me Himself 1 episode
2015 Celebrity Family Feud Himself
2015 Dinner at Tiffani's Himself Episode: "Come in For Comfort Food"
2016 Get Smurfy Social Smurf Film; voice role [43]
2016 Grease Live Vince Fontaine TV film
2016 Almost Royal Himself 1 episode
2016 Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Himself Film
2016 NCIS: New Orleans NOPD Officer Hernandez Episode: "Man On Fire"
2017 Candy Crush Himself Host [9]


Year Group Award Role Result Refs
1990 Young Artist Awards Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast Saved by the Bell Nominated
1991 Young Artist Awards Best Young Actor Starring in an Off-Primetime Series Saved by the Bell Nominated
1992 Young Artist Awards Best Young Actor Starring in an Off-Primetime or Cable Series Saved by the Bell Nominated
1993 Young Artist Awards Outstanding Hosts for a Youth Magazine, News or Game Show Name Your Adventure Won
1993 Young Artist Awards Best Young Actor in an Off-Primetime Series Saved by the Bell Won
1994 Young Artist Awards Best Youth Actor in a TV Mini-Series, M.O.W. or Special CBS Schoolbreak Special Nominated
1994 Young Artist Awards Outstanding Youth Host in a TV Magazine, News or Variety Show Name Your Adventure Won
1998 ALMA Awards Outstanding Individual Performance in a Made-for-Television Movie or Mini-Series in a Crossover Role Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story Nominated
1999 ALMA Awards Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Pacific Blue Nominated
2006 Imagen Foundation Awards Best Supporting Actor The Bold and the Beautiful Nominated
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Personality Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew Nominated
2010 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Personality Himself Nominated
2011 ALMA Awards Favorite TV Reality, Variety, or Comedy Personality or Act Mario Lopez: Saved By the Baby Nominated
2011 Young Artist Awards Mickey Rooney Award Himself Won