Mario Lopez

Mario Lopez
Mario Lopez

Lopez at the 81st Academy Awards, February 20, 2009
Born Mario Michael Lopez, Jr.
October 10, 1973 (1973-10-10) (age 38)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor/Host/Author
Years active 1983–present
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse Ali Landry (April 24, 2004 - May 8, 2004), annulled
Partner Courtney Laine Mazza (2008 – present)
Children Gia Lopez
(born on September 11, 2010)

Mario Michael Lopez, Jr. (born October 10, 1973) is an American actor who has appeared on several television series, in films, and on Broadway. He is best known for his portrayal of the character A.C. Slater on Saved By The Bell, which 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 a celebrity guest host for the syndicated entertainment news magazine show Extra. He currently hosts America's Best Dance Crew for MTV.


Early life

Lopez was born in San Diego, the son of Elvia, a telephone clerk, and Mario Michael Lopez, Sr., who worked for the municipality of National City.[1] He was raised in a large Catholic family with a younger sister Marissa.[2][3][4] Lopez was a high school wrestler. In 1987, his freshman year, he took 7th place at the State tournament.[citation needed] He graduated from Chula Vista High School in 1991.

Acting career

Born in 1973 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.[5] 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 popular sitcom The Golden Girls as a Cuban boy named Mario who faces deportation. In 1989, Lopez was cast as A.C. Slater in the popular television sitcom Saved by the Bell, a role which lasted five years. Lopez's character was a masculine, athletic student, helping to garner the actor a sizeable teenage-girl fan base. After Saved by the Bell ended in 1993, Lopez went on to reprise his role as A.C. Slater in the short-lived spin-off series Saved by the Bell: The College 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.[6] Later that year, he 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 The George Lopez Show as a police officer in late 2006.

Lopez and his girlfriend, Courtney, have a reality show on VH1 called Mario Lopez: Saved By the Baby which premiered on November 1, 2010.[7]

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, despite scoring higher than them on average and despite "breaking all the rules" when he broke the hold on both his 2nd and 3rd week during his Quickstep and Tango.

Hosting duties

In 1992, he hosted his first series on NBC called Name Your Adventure, where teens got to live out their dreams (working at Ben & Jerry's, being a roadie for Richard Marx, etc.). One adventure involved a boy wanting to be a diver. His wish was fulfilled with Greg Louganis coaching him. This was the very first time Lopez and Louganis met before the movie.

In 1995, he took over the hosting duties from J.D. Roth when he became the new host of a kids game show, Masters of the Maze.

In 2001, Lopez was one of the co-hosts of the syndicated talk show The Other Half. The Other Half was a male version of the female ensemble talk show The View, featuring four male co-hosts, including Danny Bonaduce, Dr. Jan Adams, and executive producer, Dick Clark. During the run of The Other Half, Lopez hosted Pet Star on the Animal Planet channel from 2002-2005. He has also co-hosted ESPN2's ESPN Hollywood'

In 2003, he hosted America's Most Talented Kid on NBC. He also did a special episode featuring senior citizens showing their talent (America's Most Talented Senior). When the show switched to Pax, the titles pluralized (America's Most Talented Kids), and he was replaced by Dave Coulier.

On January 12, 2006, Lopez was announced as a celebrity guest host for the syndicated entertainment news magazine show Extra. His first assignment was covering the Golden Globes. In 2008, he became the permanent weekday host on Extra.

Lopez has also hosted prime time television pageants: Miss Teen USA in 1998, 2003 and August 2007;[8] Miss America in January 2007, 2009 and 2010; and Miss Universe in May 2007, giving him the distinction of being the only individual to have served in hosting capacity for both of the major pageant system organizations. The 2007 Miss Teen USA pageant Lopez hosted became particularly known for Caitlin Upton's incoherent response to a question posed to her in the final question round of the competition, the video of which became an Internet meme.

On December 5, 2006, Lopez was a guest speaker for Epcot's Candlelight Processional.

On March 12, 2007, Lopez auditioned in a not-for-air episode of The Price is Right to take over for the retiring Bob Barker.[9]

He also works part time as a boxing analyst for Top Rank Promotions covering Manny Pacquiao/Top Rank promoted fights worldwide.

He is currently hosting the MTV reality show America's Best Dance Crew and MTV's Top Pop Group. Lopez is both the host (with Carmen Palumbo) and co-executive producer of Sí TV's Dating Factory.

Lopez has signed a deal with Celsius, a popular calorie-burning functional drink, to be their spokesperson in 2010.

On August 28, 2010, Lopez hosted the Pageant of the Masters[10] in Laguna Beach, California.

On November 13, 2011, Lopez hosted the Grove Christmas Tree Lighting in Los Angeles.

Stage career

Lopez made his Broadway debut on April 15, 2008, in the revival of A Chorus Line in the role of Zach.[11][12]


Lopez has published two non-fictional books so far. The first one, 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). A cookbook, Extra Lean, with various recipes followed in early 2010 and became a New York Times bestseller.[13] A third book, Extra Lean Family, followed in May 2011. He plans to release a children's book entitled "Mario and Baby Gia" which will be released by Celebra Children’s Books (a division of Penguin Books), on September 27, 2011. The book will be about Lopez and his infant daughter Gia.[14]

Personal life

Lopez claims himself to be a committed Catholic.[2] He married Ali Landry on April 24, 2004, in a Catholic ceremony in front of 50 guests at the exclusive Las Alamandas resort outside Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.[15] Two weeks later their marriage was annulled over alleged infidelities committed by Lopez during the relationship.[15] He dated Karina Smirnoff, his DWTS partner, from 2006 to June 2008. Since Fall 2008, Lopez has been dating Broadway dancer, Courtney Laine Mazza. In March 2010, it was announced that Lopez and Mazza were expecting a child.[16] The couple's daughter, Gia Francesca Lopez, was born on September 11, 2010, in Burbank, California.[17][18]

Lopez identifies himself as a conservative politically.[19]


Year Film Role Notes
1984–1986 Kids Incorporated Mario TV
1986 Chartbusters Direct-to-video release
The Deacon Street Deer Hector TV movie
1987 The Golden Girls Mario 1987 (1 episode)
1987 The Last Fling Car rental clerk TV movie
1988 Colors Felipe's Friend
1989 Saved by the Bell A.C. Slater 1989-1993 (87 episodes)
1992 Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style A.C. Slater TV movie
1993 Saved by the Bell: The College Years A.C. Slater 1993-1994 (19 episodes)
1994 Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas A.C. Slater TV movie
1995 Saved by the Bell: The New Class A.C. Slater "Goodbye, Bayside Part 2"
1996 Depraved Jessie Mata
Fever Lake Steve Direct-to-video release
Saved by the Bell: The New Class A.C. Slater "Fire at the Max Part 2"
El Cóndor de oro BodyGuard2
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 Eastside Antonio Lopez
2000 A Crack in the Floor Lehman
Big Brother Trouble Coach
2002 Outta Time David Morales Alternative titles: The Courier
Out of Time
King Rikki Juan Vallejo Alternative title: The Street King
2004 The Soluna Project Antonio TV movie
2005 Aloha, Scooby-Doo! Manu Tuiama/Mainland Surfer (Voice) Direct to video release
2006 Unaccompanied Minors Substitute Minors watcher Film
2006–2010 Nip/Tuck Dr. Mike Hamoui TV
2007 George Lopez (TV series) Police Officer 2007 (1 episode)
2007 Holiday in Handcuffs David Martin TV movie
2008 Husband for Hire Marco TV movie
2009 The Dog Who Saved Christmas Zeus the Dog (voice) TV movie
2008 - Present America's Best Dance Crew Himself MTV
2010 Get Him to the Greek Himself
2010–2011 Mario Lopez: Saved By the Baby Himself VH1 (reality show)
2010 The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation Zeus the Dog (voice) [20] ABC Family TV Film, Sequel to The Dog Who Saved Christmas
2011 Honey 2 Himself Film
2011 H8R Himself Host
2011 The Talk Himself Guest


  1. ^ "Mario Lopez Biography (1973-)". Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  2. ^ a b "Q&A: Mario Lopez Suits Up in Women's Lingerie". Newsweek. Retrieved 2010-09-12. "Do you go to church? "Every week. Nice Catholic boy."" 
  3. ^ Quirk, Mary Beth (2010-10-13). "OK! EXCLUSIVE PIC: Mario Lopez & His Bundle of Joy!". OK!. Retrieved 2010-10-16. "“I come from a big, loud Mexican Catholic family,” Mario tells OK!." 
  4. ^ "Infidelities: Mario Lopez & Ali Landry". Latina. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  5. ^ Allis, Tim (1992-11-30). "Saturday's Star". People.,,20109196,00.html. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  6. ^ Kroll, Dan J. (2006-07-02). "Lopez's B&B Stay Over". Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  7. ^ "Mario Lopez Gets VH1 Reality Show". 
  8. ^ "Mario Lopez to Host Miss Teen USA Pageant". 2007-08-08.,,20050518,00.html. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  9. ^ Twomey, Colin (2006-11-09). "Which Host is Right?". The Harvard Independent. Retrieved 2007-03-18. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Pageant of the Masters". 2010-08-27. 
  11. ^ "PHOTO CALL: Mario Lopez Honored with Painting at Tony's Di Napoli". Playbill News. 
  12. ^ "Mario Lopez Joins 'A Chorus Line' on April 15". Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  13. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (2010-06-06). "Bestseller New York Times - Hardcover Advice & Misc. - 06/06/10". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  14. ^ "Mario Lopez makes childrens book". Retrieved July 10, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b Mark Armstrong, Ulrica Wihlborg (2004-05-12). "Landry, Lopez Split After 2-Week Marriage". People.,,636482,00.html. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  16. ^ Rizzo, Monica (2010-03-10). "Mario Lopez: I'm Going to Be a Dad! - Babies, Mario Lopez".,,20350291,00.html. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  17. ^ "It's a Girl for Mario Lopez & Courtney Mazza". 2010-09-12.,,20425204,00.html. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  18. ^ "Mario Lopez and Courtney Mazza Welcome a Baby Girl!". 2010-09-12. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  19. ^ "Mike Huckabee Interviews Mario Lopez - 05/08/10". YouTube. 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  20. ^

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jerry Rice & Anna Trebunskaya
Dancing with the Stars (US) runner up
Season 3 (Fall 2006 with Karina Smirnoff)
Succeeded by
Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson
Media offices
Preceded by
J. D. Roth
Host of Masters of the Maze
Succeeded by
series cancelled
Preceded by
Nancy O'Dell and Carlos Ponce
Hosts of Miss Universe with Vanessa Minnillo
Succeeded by
Jerry Springer and Melanie Brown
Preceded by
James Denton
Host of Miss America
Succeeded by
Mark Steines
Preceded by
Mark Steines
Host of Miss America
Succeeded by
Chris Harrison

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