You may not be aware of this but Saved By the Bell began airing almost 30 years ago. Technically, the Disney Channel series Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which featured some of the cast in the same roles, began airing in 1988, but the show as we know it with its original iconic cast premiered on August 20, 1989. And recently, some of the stars got together for an unofficial reunion to mark the occasion a little early.
Seen in the photo above are (bottom left) Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who played the mischevious Zack Morris; (top middle) Tiffani Thiessen, who starred as cheerleader Kelly Kapowski, and to the left of her is Mario Lopez (wrestler A.C. Slater); and Elizabeth Berkley, who portrayed the super-smart Jessie Spano. The remaining individuals are their spouses. Here’s what these four have been up to since leaving the show behind in 1994, and a little about those not pictured.
Gosselaar’s role as Zack Morris was the common thread through most of the series. He started off with Good Morning, Miss Bliss, and stayed with it through the TV movie Saved By the Bell: Wedding in Vegas. He also made an appearance on an episode of Saved By the Bell: The New Class.
Gosselaar has continued to thrive on TV. He’s had lead roles on series like NYPD Blue, Raising the Bar, and Franklin & Bash. Though mostly drawn to dramas, Gosselaar has also shown up in his fair share of comedies, making guest appearances on shows such as Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 and Happy Endings. He currently stars on the thriller series The Passage.
Theissen starred on Saved by the Bell as Kelly Kapowski, the “all-American girl” type. Though she was missing for much of Season 4, she stayed on for Saved By the Bell: The College Years and concluded her character’s arc with Wedding in Las Vegas. She went from one teen series to another, landing a lead role on the drama Beverly Hill, 90210. Theissen left the show in 1998.
Theissen continued to do well in the world of TV, with recurring roles on popular series such as Two Guys and a Girl, Just Shoot Me!, and What About Brian. Her career slowed a bit in the mid-00s but picked up again when she landed a main role on White Collar. Theissen has appeared on numerous cooking shows and currently stars on the Netflix series Alexa & Katie.
Lopez played A.C. Slater, a jock with a good heart, throughout the entirety of the series, even appearing in two episodes of the spinoff The New Class. He continued to do well as an actor after that, landing roles on series like Pacific Blue and Nip/Tuck.
However, Lopez is best known as a TV host. He has been the face of Extra for over a decade and has also hosted shows like America’s Best Dance Crew and The X-Factor. Also known for his dancing abilities, Lopez competed on Season 3 of Dancing With the Stars and came in second place.
Berkley portrayed the straight-A student Jessie Spano throughout the original show (also appearing in few episodes of Season 4) and later returned for the Wedding in Vegas special. Likely eager to break away from the goodie-two-shoes character she was famous for, Berkley won the lead role in the 1995 drama Showgirls, which has since become a cult classic.
Aside from arcs on series like Titus and CSI: Miami, Spano has stuck to one-off TV films and guest appearances over the last 25 years. In 2013, she too competed on Dancing with the Stars, coming in sixth place.
The missing cast members
As demonstrated above, the cast changed over time, but according to most, there are three main cast members missing from the recent reunion. First up is Dustin Diamond, who played Screech through The New Class. Diamond has continued to act but is best known these days for his 2006 sex tape, his 2014 arrest and subsequent prison time, and his sort-of memoir Behind the Bell, which was the inspiration for the TV movie The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story.
Lark Voorhies portrayed the fashionable Lisa Turtle beginning with Good Morning, Miss Bliss. After the original cast left, she landed roles on soap operas like Days of Our Lives and The Bond and the Beautiful. However, her career fell off in the early-to-mid ‘00s. She then turned to writing, penning three books.
Finally, Principal Richard Belding was also not at the reunion. Of the cast, Dennis Haskins is the only one stayed on as a main cast member until the cancelation of The New Class. Following the end of the franchise, Haskins has primarily made guest appearances on comedies like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, How I Met Your Mother, and New Girl.