Mario Lopez, star of “Saved By the Bell”, signing copies of Mud Tacos
* 10/16/09 6:00 PM at Barnes & Noble – Lincoln Triangle. New York, NY.
* 10/18/09 2:00 PM at Book Revue – New York Avenue. Huntington, NY.
* 12/5/09 2:00 PM at Barnes & Noble – Grove Drive. Los Angeles, CA.
While this Hispanic heartthrob didn’t enjoy the same post-sitcom success as his longtime Saved by the Bell costar Mark-Paul Gosselaar, the personable if not particularly versatile actor didn’t fade into infamy like Elizabeth Berkley or Dustin “Screech” Diamond, either. After getting his start dancing on the youth-oriented variety show Kids Incorporated, Lopez became a teen idol as a girl-crazy jock on the aforementioned high-school-set, Saturday-morning series. Recognizing a good thing, he also appeared in all the Saved by the Bell spin-offs (two TV-movies and two series). In the late ’90s, Lopez struggled with a succession of low-rent gigs, including a role on the grade-Z Baywatch-like Pacific Blue. He then reinvented himself in the ’00s as an affable emcee, hosting series such as Pet Star and the male talk-show answer to The View, The Other Half, as well as specials like Miss Teen USA, which introduced him to beauty queen/commentator Ali Landry. Although they married in 2004, the union was annulled a few weeks later, reportedly due to Lopez’s infidelity. Despite the personal setback, he kept plugging away at his career, and in 2006, the dimpled hunk enjoyed a huge boost in popularity when he was named runner-up in the third edition of the reality competition Dancing with the Stars. Rumor had it that he also snagged himself a girlfriend: his dance partner Karina Smirnoff.