There aren’t many child stars in Hollywood who maintained fame and wealth over decades like Mario Lopez. Lopez became famous in the 80s and 90s for playing the character A.C. Slater on NBC’s Saved by the Bell and other spin-off projects. Unsurprisingly, with his dimpled cheeks, Lopez had a growing number of female fans.
Although he hasn’t starred in big-budget television series or films in years, Lopez has been a co-host of the weekday TV entertainment news program Access Hollywood, which he joined in 2019. Entering his fourth decade as an actor and television personality, Lopez has worked with and made friends with A-listers across Hollywood. Here are 9 things you probably didn’t know about Mario Lopez.
Mario Lopez Began His Acting Career At 10
Mario Lopez was an active child growing up. At 3, he was already receiving training in jazz and tap. For those who knew him, Lopez was born to perform. Before he turned 10, Lopez had starred in local TV commercials and advertisements. However, Mario Lopez professional acting career officially began at 10. He was discovered by a talent agent who believed he was destined for far more than local commercials. Mario Lopez made his acting debut on ABC’s short-lived sitcom a.k.a. Pablo. Although a minor supporting role as younger brother Tomás Del Gato, it was a great way to kickstart his career.
He Was Raised In A Catholic Home
Religion has always played a central role in Mario Lopez’s life. Mario Lopez was born in Chula Vista, California, on October 10, 1973. The American actor was born to Mexican immigrants, Mario Alberto López Pérez and Elvira Soledad Trasviña. Mario’s father was born in Culiacán, Sinaloa, while his mother was from Tijuana, Baja California. Both parents were of Catholic faith and practicing Christians. Lopez was baptized and grew up as a practicing Catholic. Even as an adult, Lopez continues to take his Catholic faith seriously, attending Mass weekly whenever possible. In 2018, on a visit to Israel, a Catholic priest baptized Mario Lopez by immersion at the Jordan River.
Mario Lopez Has A Varied Ancestry
Mario Lopez is a proud first-generation Mexican-American with both parents born in Mexico. However, in 2012, a DNA ancestry test showed Lopez has an ancestry from across three continents. In Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s television show, Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., it was revealed Lopez’s genetic ancestry is 56% European, 41% Indigenous American, and 3% Sub-Saharan African.
Mario Lopez’s First Kiss Was With Singer Fergie
Mario Lopez has known singer and actress Fergie since they were kids. Lopez got his first kiss at age 10 with the singer, who, at the time, was still only known as Stacy Ann Ferguson. After a.k.a. Pablo was canceled after 6 episodes, Lopez joined the cast of the children’s television program Kids Incorporated. Lopez was a background dancer and musician for most of his time on the program. Stacy Ferguson was also one of the leads on the show. A romantic at heart, 10-year-old Mario Lopez presented Fergie with a letter and perfume. Although they only briefly dated while on Kids Incorporated, Fergie wasn’t only Lopez’s First Kiss but has remained a close friend.
Mario Lopez’s First Marriage Was Annulled After 2 Weeks
Mario Lopez’s first wife was model and actress Ali Landry. They first met in 1998 and dated for six years. Ali Landry is popularly known as the pageant Queen of Miss USA 1996. She also played the Doritos Girl in a 1998 Super Bowl commercial. Although Lopez and Landry had dated for six years, Lopez admits he realized he wasn’t in love with Landry a few hours before the wedding. Landry also admits she could tell something was off about Lopez, but both proceeded with the wedding. While they struggle to adapt to life as a married couple, when news of Lopez’s infidelity broke, it was more than enough grounds for Landry to push for an annulment. Mario Lopez was cheating on Landry at his bachelor’s party.
He Contested On Dancing with the Stars
Growing up, Mario Lopez was quite athletic. Yet, as much as he loved sports, he enjoyed dancing. Introduced to dance at age 3, it became second nature to him. When the opportunity came to compete on ABC’s dance competition show Dancing with the Stars, Lopez was more than eager to participate. Lopez was paired with professional dancer Karina Smirnoff. The pair finished as Runners-up on November 15, 2006, with Lopez believing they were robbed of a win.
Mario Lopez Has Hosted Several Top TV Shows
Besides his successful acting career, Mario Lopez made a name for himself as a television host. Lopez has hosted several American competition TV shows. The first time he hosted a show was in season 2 of the children’s television game show, Masters of the Maze, from 1995 to 1996. In the early 2000s, he hosted The Other Half (2001-2003), amongst others. After hosting the Miss Universe 2007, Lopez became one of the go-to television personalities to hire as host. He hosted America’s Best Dance Crew (2008-2012), Extra (2008-2019), and The X Factor (2012-2013). In 2020, Mario Lopez was called upon to host Miss Universe 2020.
He Is A Bestselling Author
Mario Lopez is a published author with four published books. His first book, Mario Lopez Knockout Fitness, was published in 2008. Two years later, his second book, Extra Lean (2010), became a New York Times bestseller. Lopez published third book is a children’s book centered around his relationship with his daughter. Mario and Baby Gia was released in September 2011, and his fourth book, Extra Lean Family, was published in May 2012.
Mario Lopez Is A Husband And Father Of 3
His first marriage to Ali Landry might not have worked out, but Mario Lopez later found love with Courtney Mazza. Lopez met Mazza backstage at a Broadway show, A Chorus Line, in the fall of 2008. The couple dated for four years before their marriage in 2012. Mario Lopez married Courtney Mazza in Punta Mita, Mexico, on December 1, 2012. The couple had their first child, Gia Lopez, in 2010 before they officially married. They have their second and third children, Dominic Lopez and Santino Rafael Lopez, in 2013 and 2019, respectively. For more information on famed TV hosts like Mario Lopez, read 10 things you didn’t know about David Bromstad.
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