Mario Lopez Jr. was born on October 10, 1973, in San Diego. He is an American actor, dancer, and television host who has appeared in several television shows, films, and Broadway productions. In “Saved by the Bell,” “Saved by the Bell: The College Years,” and the 2020 sequel series, he portrayed A.C. Slater. He has appeared in numerous projects, including the third season of “Dancing with the Stars” and the syndicated celebrity news magazine shows “Extra and Access Hollywood.” Lopez has previously hosted M.T.V’s “America’s Best Dance Crew,” and in 2012, he co-hosted “The X Factor” with Khloé Kardashian for the second season before becoming the show’s sole host for the third and final season. We help you celebrate his special day right here.
Mario Lopez was born in Chula Vista, San Diego, California, on October 10, 1973, the son of Elvira Soledad Trasvia and Mario Alberto López Pérez. Lopez grew up in a large Catholic household. A child prodigy, he began dancing at age three, learning tap and jazz. He also excelled at tumbling, karate, and wrestling at his local Boys and Girls Club when he was seven years old, including all the other activities his mother enrolled him in.
When Lopez was 10 years old, he was discovered by a talent agent at a dance recital. Before appearing on television, he worked in local ads and commercials. He made his acting debut in 1984, playing younger brother Tomás in the A.B.C. comedy series “a.k.a. Pablo.” He was picked for the role of a drummer and dancer on “Kids Incorporated” for three seasons that same year. In March 1987, he was cast as a Latino boy named Mario who faces deportation in the sitcom “The Golden Girls.” In 1988, he had a small role as Felipe’s friend in the film “Colors.” From 1989 to 1993, Lopez starred in the Saturday morning sitcom “Saved by the Bell,” as well as its spinoff series “Saved by the Bell: The College Years.” Lopez starred in the 1997 T.V. film “Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story” as Olympic diver Greg Louganis. Guest appearances followed in “Resurrection Blvd., Eve” in 2000, and “The Bad Girl’s Guide” in 2005. Lopez joined the cast of the daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful” in March 2006, playing Dr. Christian Ramirez.
Lopez and actress, and later, his wife Courtney Mazza, starred in “Mario Lopez: Saved by the Baby,” a V.H.1 reality show that premiered on November 1, 2010. Lopez also appeared as a reporter for Extra Sesame Street in the 2012 episode “The Veggie Monster” of “Sesame Street.” Lopez appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on February 4, 2015, alongside Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Elizabeth Berkley, Dennis Haskins, and Tiffani Thiessen in a “Saved by the Bell” reunion. In 2020, Lopez returned to the role of A.C. Slater in Peacock’s “Saved by the Bell” sequel. He later appeared as Colonel Sanders in “A Recipe for Seduction,” a Lifetime and K.F.C. short film, in December 2020.
Lopez makes his acting debut in the A.B.C. comedy series "a.k.a. Pablo," playing younger brother Tomás.
Lopez portrays A.C. Slater in the Saturday morning sitcom "Saved by the Bell."
During his acting career, Lopez graduates from Chula Vista High School.
Lopez stars in "Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story" as Olympic diver Greg Louganis.
Lopez appears as a plastic surgeon in the fourth season of F.X. Network's "Nip/Tuck."
In the episode “The Veggie Monster” of "Sesame Street," Lopez plays the role of a reporter for Extra Sesame Street.
Lopez appears with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Elizabeth Berkley, Dennis Haskins, and Tiffani Thiessen in a "Saved by the Bell" sketch with Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."
In Peacock's "Saved by the Bell" sequel series, Lopez reprises his role as A.C. Slater.
Why We Love Mario Lopez
He advocates for education
Lopez is an advocate for education, and as a father, supports school funding. He also makes sure that his children are well-educated and cultured. He also advocates that all children should complete their education before pursuing any career or goals.
He has impressive dance moves
Apart from acting, Lopez's dance moves are quite impressive. In 2006, he appeared on "Dancing With The Stars," partnering with professional dancer Karina Smirnoff. The two fell in love right away and began dating. Lopez posts TikTok videos where he and his family dance and practice, showing a wholesome and happy mood.
He supports many charities
Although Lopez has become extremely wealthy and famous, he continues to give back to the community and does his best to assist others in any way he can. He supports a wide variety of charities such as A Dog's Life Rescue, Best Friends Animal Society, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Broadway Barks, Celebrity Fight Night Foundation, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and Feeding America.
5 Surprising Facts
He Turned Down a “Playgirl” Offer
Lopez stated in 2008 that he was offered $200,000 to model for "Playgirl," but turned down the offer.
Fergie was his first kiss
Lopes was on "Kids Incorporated" in 1984, and it was here he had his first kiss; Fergie was also on the show at the time, and the two kissed during a kissing scene.
He was married for two weeks
Lopez's marriage to actress Ali Landry was well-publicized, but not for all the right reasons; the two married in April 2004 and divorced two weeks later.
He's a great wrestler
Lopez was a member of his high school wrestling team, finishing second in the San Diego Section and seventh in the state of California.
He authored children's books
Lopez has written a few children's books, one specifically for his daughter, "Mario and Baby Gia," and another titled "Mud Tacos."
Mario Lopez FAQs
Are Mario Lopez and Jennifer Lopez related?
Despite sharing the same last name, Lopez and Jennifer Lopez are not related.
When did Mario Lopez meet his wife?
In 2008, Lopez met Courtney Laine Mazza while both were working on the Broadway show “A Chorus Line.” The two revealed the story of how they met on their family’s YouTube channel, “Mario Lopez.”
Where does Mario Lopez live?
Lopez and his wife live in a beautiful home in Glendale, California, where they have lived with their three children since 2010.
Mario Lopez’s birthday dates