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]

Career

Acting

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]

Books

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]

Filmography

YearFilmRoleNotes
1984a.k.a. PabloTomas Del GatoMain cast (6 episodes)
1984–1986Kids IncorporatedHimself (Dancer/Drummer)Seasons 1–3
1986ChartbustersDirect-to-video release
The Deacon Street DeerHectorTV movie
1987The Golden GirlsMarioEpisode: "Dorothy's Prized Pupil"
1988ColorsFelipe's Friend
1989–1993Saved by the BellA.C. SlaterMain role, 87 episodes
1992Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian StyleA.C. SlaterTV movie
1993–1994Saved by the Bell: The College YearsA.C. SlaterMain role, 19 episodes
1994Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las VegasA.C. SlaterTV movie
Bill Nye the Science GuyHimselfCommunication Cameo
1995–1996Saved by the Bell: The New ClassA.C. SlaterEpisodes: "Goodbye, Bayside Part 2", "Fire at the Max Part 2"
1995–1996Masters of the MazeHostSeason 2
1996DepravedJessie Mata
Fever LakeSteveDirect-to-video release
El Cóndor de oroBodyguard 2
1997Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis StoryGreg LouganisTV movie
The Journey: AbsolutionRyan Murphy
Killing Mr. GriffinDave RugglesTV movie
1999Pacific BlueBobby CruzMain role (seasons 4–5)
EastsideAntonio Lopez
2000A Crack in the FloorLehman
Big Brother TroubleCoach
2001–2003The Other HalfHost
2002Outta TimeDavid MoralesAlternative titles: The Courier
Out of Time
King RikkiJuan VallejoAlternative title: The Street King
2002–2005Pet StarHost
2004The Soluna ProjectAntonioTV movie
2005Aloha, Scooby-Doo!Manu Tuiama/Mainland SurferDirect to video release; voice role
2006Unaccompanied MinorsSubstitute Minors watcherFilm
2006Dancing with the StarsHimselfSeason 3
2006–2010Nip/TuckDr. Mike HamouiRecurring role, 8 episodes
2007George LopezPolice Officer SanchezEpisode: "George Can't Let Sleeping Mexicans Lie"
2007Holiday in HandcuffsDavid MartinTV movie
2008Husband for HireMarcoTV movie
2008MTV's Top Pop GroupHostMTV
2008–2012America's Best Dance CrewHost
2008Robot ChickenA.C SlaterVoice role; episode: "Boo Cocky"
2008–presentExtraHimselfHost
2009The Dog Who Saved ChristmasZeus the DogTV movie; voice role
2009–2010Nip/TuckDr. Mike HamouiRecurring role (season 6)
2010Get Him to the GreekHimself
2010–2011Mario Lopez: Saved by the BabyHimself
2010The Dog Who Saved Christmas VacationZeus the DogTV film; voice role
2011Honey 2HimselfFilm
H8RHimselfHost
The TalkHimselfGuest
2011–2012Disney Parks Christmas Day ParadeHimselfHost
2012Sesame StreetHimself (reporter)Episode: "The Veggie Monster"
Are You There, Chelsea?HimselfEpisode: "Dee Dee's Pillow"
2012–2013The X FactorHimselfCo-host (Season 2); host
The Chica ShowStitchesVoice role
2013The Smurfs 2Social SmurfFilm; voice role[43]
2013–2015NashvilleHimself3 episodes
2014The Dog Who Saved EasterZeus the DogVideo; voice role
2015The Dog Who Saved SummerZeus the DogVideo; voice role
2015The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonA.C. SlaterEpisode: February 4, 2015
2015Repeat After MeHimself1 episode
2015Celebrity Family FeudHimself
2015Dinner at Tiffani'sHimselfEpisode: "Come in For Comfort Food"
2016Get SmurfySocial SmurfFilm; voice role[43]
2016Grease LiveVince FontaineTV film
2016Almost RoyalHimself1 episode
2016Popstar: Never Stop Never StoppingHimselfFilm
2016NCIS: New OrleansNOPD Officer HernandezEpisode: "Man On Fire"
2017Candy CrushHimselfHost[9]

Awards

YearGroupAwardRoleResultRefs
1990Young Artist AwardsOutstanding Young Ensemble CastSaved by the BellNominated
1991Young Artist AwardsBest Young Actor Starring in an Off-Primetime SeriesSaved by the BellNominated
1992Young Artist AwardsBest Young Actor Starring in an Off-Primetime or Cable SeriesSaved by the BellNominated
1993Young Artist AwardsOutstanding Hosts for a Youth Magazine, News or Game ShowName Your AdventureWon
1993Young Artist AwardsBest Young Actor in an Off-Primetime SeriesSaved by the BellWon
1994Young Artist AwardsBest Youth Actor in a TV Mini-Series, M.O.W. or SpecialCBS Schoolbreak SpecialNominated
1994Young Artist AwardsOutstanding Youth Host in a TV Magazine, News or Variety ShowName Your AdventureWon
1998ALMA AwardsOutstanding Individual Performance in a Made-for-Television Movie or Mini-Series in a Crossover RoleBreaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis StoryNominated
1999ALMA AwardsOutstanding Actor in a Drama SeriesPacific BlueNominated
2006Imagen Foundation AwardsBest Supporting ActorThe Bold and the BeautifulNominated
2009Teen Choice AwardsChoice TV PersonalityRandy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance CrewNominated
2010Teen Choice AwardsChoice TV PersonalityHimselfNominated
2011ALMA AwardsFavorite TV Reality, Variety, or Comedy Personality or ActMario Lopez: Saved By the BabyNominated
2011Young Artist AwardsMickey Rooney AwardHimselfWon