Latinos Breaking Barriers Presents…
Mario Lopez, Jr. (born October 10, 1973) is an American actor of Mexican descent who has appeared on several television series, in films and on Broadway. He is best-known for his portrayal of the character Albert Clifford A.C. Slater on Saved By The Bell from 1989-1994.
He has appeared in numerous projects since including the 2006-2007 season of Dancing with the Stars and as a celebrity guest host for the syndicated entertainment news magazine show Extra.
Lopez was born in San Diego, the son of Elvia, a telephone clerk, and Mario Lopez Sr., who worked for the municipality of National City. Lopez was a high school wrestler, and graduated from Chula Vista High School in 1992. Lopez’ parents are from Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Lopez’s professional career began in 1985 when he appeared as younger brother Tomás in the short-lived ABC comedy series a.k.a. Pablo. 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 Golden Girls as a Mexican 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. 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.
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 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.
Lopez met Miss USA (1996), Ali Landry, when he emceed the 1998 Miss Teen USA pageant and she was a commentator. They were engaged during the summer of 2003 and married on April 24, 2004, but two weeks later she had the marriage annulled over alleged infidelities committed by Lopez during the relationship.
In 2007, Lopez became an official supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities and is a member of their celebrity board, called the Friends of RMHC. Lopez was named People magazine’s “Hottest Bachelor” in June 2008.
Mario admits to enjoying an occasional cigar. His drink of choice when in Rome or Mexico are margaritas, in the States his preference is vodka.