If you were growing up in the during the late '80s to the early '90s, you may remember a little show called Saved By The Bell. The NBC hit teen sitcom was a light-hearted and fun television show that followed the lives of a group of high school friends, as well as their principal. Set in the semi-fictional Palisades, California, the high schoolers attend Bayside High School. Looking back, in recent years, the show has been called "informational and educational." Saved By The Bell has been named one of the "20 Best School Shows of all Time" by AOL TV. The show was originally called Good Morning, Miss Bliss, and was produced by the Disney Channel. Good Morning, Miss Bliss ran for only 13 episodes before it was axed. However, NBC picked up the series and retooled it as Saved By The Bell.
The series made its first big premiere, hitting television screens on August 20, 1989. The show ran for four seasons, and also spawned several one-off sequels. Some of them including The College Years and Wedding In Las Vegas. There are also other media entities that follow the characters, including novels, comics and even a soundtrack that features songs from the series.NBC had wanted to continue to ride the success that was Saved By The Bell. Thus, they created another series, Saved By The Bell: The New Class. This series featured a brand new group of children trying to navigate their high school lives. That specific series ran for 143 episodes but was ultimately canceled in 2003. But who can forget the original class from Bayside High School? Wondering what they have been up to lately? Well, you're about to find out!
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Peter Engel, the executive producer of Saved By The Bell, was actually looking for an actor to play on the show's pre-cursor, Good Morning, Miss Bliss. That show only lasted for 13 episodes, before being completely re-tooled into Saved By The Bell. The central character was to be Zack Morris, but Engel had a bit of a hard time casting the character. Shana Landsburg, Engel's casting director came across 14-year-old Gosselaar, and Engel was immediately struck by the actor's good looks and charm. A quick read-through was done, and Gosselaar immediately landed the role of Zack Morris. Engel describes Gosselaar's character as "would be that incorrigible kid who could lie to your face, letting you know very well that he's lying, and make you love him for it all the same."
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After the popular teen show went off the air, Gosselaar moved on to other projects. He starred in various television shows, made-for-TV movies, as well as a few films. Today, he stars as the main character Brad Wolgast in the FOX television thriller The Passage. He married former model Lisa Ann Russell in 1996, they had two children together. The pair split in June 2010. Currently, he is married to advertising executive Catriona McGinn, with whom he has two children. He enjoys sports cars, race car driving, dirt biking and piloting. Gosselaar competed in the Far West championships for track cycling at an event at the Encino Velodrome. He came in category 4/5 at the Sprint Championship event.
Image: Facebook / Saved by the Bell: NOW!
At the tender age of ten-years-old, Lopez began his long career after he was discovered at his dance recital. He was cast in local commercials and ads. From there, he went on to become a dancer and drummer for the television show, Kids Incorporated. It was in 1989 that he was cast as the character of A.C. Slater on Saved By The Bell. Producers originally wanted an Italian-American teen for the role. Someone who personified a "young John Travolta." But after many auditions, they opened the part up to other ethnicities. After his role as Slater was over, Lopez went on to star in various television movies and shows.
Image: Facebook / Mario Lopez
After Saved By The Bell wrapped up, Lopez went on to star in television movies and shows. He also made guest appearances on television shows. He has been a contestant on Dancing With The Stars. Lopez has held many hosting duties, including the Miss America pageant for the years 2007, 2009 and 2010. He is also the host of the long-running celebrity news show Extra! In addition to that, he has also written three books. He is currently married to Courtney Mazza, a dancer, singer, and producer he met during his short stint on Broadway's A Chorus Line. The pair married in December 2012. The pair currently have two children together, and it was announced in January 2019 that they are expecting their third child together.
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Dustin Diamond began acting as a child. But he almost wasn't cast as the iconic geeky Samuel "Screech" Powers. Mark-Paul Gosselaar was told to read through lines with a number of "Screech" hopefuls. However, it was Dustin Diamond that Gosselaar believed epitomized "Screech" in real life. But, producer Peter Engel, who had misread Diamond's headshot, had only learned after he signed Diamond onto the show that he was considerably younger than Engel had thought. This would have prevented him from becoming the "Screech" we all know and love. Diamond went on to star in the Saved By The Bell sequels up until their cancellations.
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After his stints on Saved By The Bell and all of its sequels were over Diamond went on to pursue stand-up comedy. He still occasionally does stand-up shows. He has appeared in several reality shows and has also made cameo appearances in shows and movies. Diamond has a special place in his heart for professional wrestling. He even appeared as a contestant on Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling. He also has been involved with Memphis Championship Wrestling in March and April of 2000. Since then, he has been involved in wrestling as a manager, referee, and even a tag-team partner.
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She was the high school heartthrob and love interest of character Zack Morris. In her childhood, Thiessen participated in beauty pageants and even won the Miss Junior America pageant in 1987. In 1988, she graced the cover of Teen magazine, as she had also won the magazine's "Great Model Search." 1989 proved to be a successful year for her as well, as she had won Cover Girl magazine's "Model of the Year." She landed the role of Kelly Kapowski and starred in that role for Saved By The Bell and the subsequent films, including Saved By The Bell: Wedding In Las Vegas.
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After Saved By The Bell wrapped, Thiessen went on to another well-known television show, Beverly Hills, 90210. She starred in that from 1994-1998. After that, she starred in various roles in television shows and movies. She owns her own production company, Tit 4 Tat Productions. She produced and directed the short film Just Pray. The film earned several distinctions at a few different film festivals. She is married to Brady Smith, with whom she has two children. Thiessen and interior designer Lonni Paul own a nursery furniture company, PetitNest. As of lately, she was cast as Lori Mendoza in the Netflix series Alexa & Katie.
From the time she was small, Elizabeth Berkley loved to dance. She loved it so much that she went to New York to train with choreographers and dancers. She took part in a few ballets, including Swan Lake, as well as appearing in some musicals. Berkley was also a teen model for Elite Model Management. After that, she began to pursue acting. She got her first big break when she landed a role in the television film, Frog. At age 17, she auditioned for the role of Kelly Kapowski, but ultimately that role was given to Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. Producers ultimately created the character of Jessie Spano for her.
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After Saved By The Bell and its subsequent sequels were over, Berkley wanted to break into film. She ended up auditioning for and landing the role of Nomi Malone, in the now cult-favorite Showgirls. She went on to star in various other (much less controversial) films. In 1999, opposite Eddie Izzard on the London stage, she was cast as the character Honey in Lenny. She has also appeared in quite a few television roles. In 2004 she landed her big break on Broadway in Sly Fox. She is a passionate animal rights activist and has worked with PETA in the past. She is married to artist Greg Lauren. The two have one child together.
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Voorhies began her acting career at the young age of two. Her mother took her to a talent agency, stating, "she was a natural-born ham." Although, at her first audition, she froze. Her mother put off pursuing her acting career until Voorhies was more comfortable in front of the camera. At age 12 she appeared in a commercial for Universal Studio's King Kong attraction. In 1988, she played a role in Small Wonder. It was that same year that she was cast as Lisa Turtle in Miss Bliss. When the show was re-imagined as Saved By The Bell, her role stayed the same.
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After Saved By The Bell wrapped, Voorhies went on to secure roles in shows such as Days of Our Lives and The Bold and the Beautiful. She has also guest-starred in various shows like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Family Matters and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She has been featured in various music videos. She even has her own alternative band called Third Degree. Voorhies has written and self-published three books, Trek of the Cheshire, Reciprocity, and A True Light. She has been married and divorced three times. She currently resides with her mother and continues to work on indie productions.
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Before his big break into acting, Haskins attended Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennesee at Chattanooga. He was a member of the cheerleading squad, as well as an athlete, playing basketball. He's a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Before he became Principal Belding, he was a participant on various game shows such as Scrabble and Press Your Luck. Before Saved By The Bell, he had appeared in Dukes of Hazzard in a few different roles. He auditioned seven times for the role of Principal Belding, before finally landing it in 1988 for Good Morning, Miss Bliss.
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Haskins followed through the whole series of Saved By The Bell: The New Class, up until the show ended in 2000. Since then, he has made his foray into music. That's right, our favorite loveable principal is a regular old crooner! In 2009, he released his first album, Karaoke With Your Favorite Principal Dennis. He covers everything from "Mustang Sally" to Billy Joel's "Piano Man." He has been honored with The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Most Distinguished Alumni of 2000 award. He also has a high school decathlon named after him, The Dennis Haskins Open. It is in its eleventh year.
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Creel is one of three identical triplets. She appeared with her sisters on The Wonderful World of Disney: Parent Trap III and Parent Trap: Hawaiian Honeymoon. After the graduation episode of Saved By The Bell, the show received notice of an order of another 11 episodes. However, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley already decided to leave the show. Producers didn't want Lisa (Lark Voorhies) left as the only female on the cast. The character Tori Scott was created. Though initially she was meant to act as a nemesis originally, she was also written as a love interest for him as well.
Image: Instagram / CreelStudio
Creel has definitely shed that bad girl image! She went on to appear as a guest in Beverly Hills, 90210, One West Waikiki, and Ned & Stacey. She went on to graduate from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in history. She then went to get her master's degree in film and television. Creel, a self-starter, began her own production company, Ignite Entertainment in 1998. Today, she runs Creel Studio, which specializes in travel, lifestyle, and food content. Creel married partner Rinat Greenberg on June 17, 2008, when California legalized same-sex marriages. The couple resides in Hollywood and have two sons together.
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The class of Bayside's favorite hangout is the restaurant "The Max." Real-life magician Ed Alonzo took up the art of magic at the age of seven. Alonzo was cast as the owner of the eatery. After Saved By The Bell, he made various appearances in many shows. Some of the shows include Murphy Brown, Xuxa, and Full House. He also had a role on How I Met Your Mother. He also appeared on Head of the Class, and Totally Hidden Video. From there, he went on to pursue his love of magic even further, mixing a little bit of comedy in with it, too!
Image: Instagram / edalonzomagic
Nowadays, Alonzo keeps busy with magic shows. He has even worked with some pretty big name entertainers, including Britney Spears, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, and Katy Perry, just to name a few. He has also made appearances in the show Modern Family. In 2018, a pop-up eatery called "Saved By The Max" opened up, with Ed Alonzo making a few appearances at the nostalgic themed Saved By The Bell restaurant. Alonzo has received many awards for his magical talent. He has won four awards from the Academy of Magical Arts. He is known as "The Misfit of Magic." Most recently, he appeared on the television series Masters of Illusion, which ran from 2017-2018.
Who was your favorite Saved By The Bell character? Let us know in the comments!