We recognize Mario Lopez for his legendary role in the role of A.C. Slater on Saved By The Bell . But what many people don’t know is that Mario has a lot more to play than the part he played when he was a teenager.
Since then, he has acted in A Chorus Line on Broadway, started his career as a TV host, and written quite a few books. He got married twice, one of them being annulled, and that was just the beginning of his love life’s ups and downs until he finally settled down with his wife and had three children.
Mario has come so far from his Saved By The Bell days, and only from there has his career soared. These are four little known facts about the rise to fame of Mario Lopez.
A Quick Overview
On the Saturday-morning series Saved by the Bell, Mario Lopez became a teen idol as a girl-crazy jock after getting his start dancing on the youth-oriented variety show Kids Incorporated. He also appeared in all of the Saved by the Bell spin-offs (two TV-movies and two series), knowing a positive thing.
Lopez struggled with a succession of low-rent gigs in the late 1990s, including a spot in the Pacific Blue-like Baywatch. He then reinvented himself as an affable emcee in the 2000s, hosting series such as Pet Star and The View’s male talk-show answer, The Other Half, and specials such as Miss Teen USA, which introduced him to Ali Landry, the beauty queen.
Though they were married in 2004, a few weeks later, the marriage was annulled. He kept grinding away at his career amid the personal setback, and in 2006 when he was named runner-up in the third edition of the reality competition Dancing With the Stars, the dimpled hunk enjoyed a massive boost in popularity.
A few months later, as a reporter and weekend cohost, Lopez joined entertainment mag Extra, but in 2008 he was quickly promoted to sole host of the weekday shows. Lopez devotes much of his time to fitness while he’s not on screen and has published books sharing his fitness and nutrition tips.
Fact 1: A Witch Doctor Saved His Life
Young Mario was initially the picture of health. But things took a turn for the worse quickly. Lopez wrote in his 2014 autobiography, Just Between Us, that shortly after birth, he started to have digestive issues, shrinking to just four pounds.
While physicians administered IV hydration, they informed his parents that nothing more could be done. His father, desperate, reached out to a witch doctor near Rosarito, Mexico, who had been treating his spinal ailments years before.
A drink made from Pedialyte evaporated milk from Carnation, goat’s milk, and other unknown substances was mixed by the healer.
It worked: Lopez held it down and began to grow, so much so that he was proclaimed “the fattest boy you’ve ever seen in your life” by his mother.
Fact 2: He Was Good in Wrestling
Mario is not only a fantastic performer. He took up wrestling while in high school, and he was surprisingly good at it. He had an excellent wrestling record at school, and as you can see when he was on Saved By The Bell, all of the wrestling kept him in good shape.
Fact 3: He Was Called the ‘Pitface’
These days, those infamous dimples may be his hallmark, but they caused him nothing but problems as a child. “School children never told me dimples were cool,” he wrote. They were like, “Oh, you’ve got holes in your forehead!” “Holes in my face? Chula’s Little kids could be rough. Or, since my dimples are pretty deep, they’d call me Pitface.”
Fact 4: His Marriages Were Chaotic Until the Right One Came
Mario Lopez married Ali Landry, his long-time spouse, in 2004. For years, the two had been dating, so it was only logical that they were tying the knot.
Sadly, stuff crashed and burned very rapidly. Since Mario had cheated on Ali before the wedding, the two had their marriage annulled two weeks later.
Mario got married a second time in 2012, this time to Courtney Mazza, the actress. In A Chorus Line, the two met during his time on Broadway.
The two of them were married at a lavish wedding in Mexico, and this time things are going a lot smoother they are still together today.
Mario and his wife Courtney welcomed their third child, Santino Rafael Lopez, in July of 2019. The couple has two other children, Gia, who is nine, and Dominic, who is six. Mario didn’t mention if they are finished with having kids, but they’re probably one of the cutest families.
As if it wasn’t enough to act, steer, and wrestle, Mario Lopez tried to become an author and wrote a few children’s books. Truly impressive! To learn more about another famous Lopez, check out our article on Jennifer Lopez!