Class of '89
Just teens when they hung out in the halls of Bayside High, the cast mates of Saved by the Bell — clockwise from top left, Elizabeth Berkley, Lark Voorhies, Tiffani Thiessen, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Dustin Diamond and Mario Lopez — definitely dealt with their share of adolescent angst. “Did we have crushes on our costars? Absolutely,” Thiessen told PEOPLE in 2009. “But we were so young!”
The show premiered 30 years ago today, Aug. 20; to mark the anniversary, we’re catching up with the cast.
Mario Lopez, 45
Known as stud A.C. Slater, Lopez’s biceps drew plenty of attention on Bell, but it was his distinctive hair that raised eyebrows. “I liked my hair long because I wanted to look like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon,” the now-husband, dad-of-three and Access Hollywood host told PEOPLE. “I didn’t even know I had a mullet!”
Elizabeth Berkley, 47
Berkley, who appeared on Dancing with the Stars and CSI: Miami, and wrote an advice book for girls called Ask Elizabeth, had some of the show’s most memorable moments as tightly wound feminist Jessie Spano. “The ‘I’m so excited!’ episode [when Jessie uses ‘caffeine pills’] was so extreme,” the now-mom said. And the hair! “I practically went through a can of hair spray a show.”
Tiffani Thiessen & Mark-Paul Gosselaar, both 45
As Bell‘s golden couple Kelly Kapowski and Zack Morris, Thiessen and Gosselaar were like brother and sister — and a certain pair of dolls — off-screen. “Mark-Paul and I got to go to Paris [for a press tour],” recalled Thiessen. “We ate crepes, and my first sip of alcohol was with him. It felt at times like we were Barbie and Ken.” These days, both are back on TV, and he even guested on her Cooking Channel show Dinner at Tiffani’s (Lopez and Berkley did, too).
Lark Voorhies, 45
As fabulous fashionista Lisa Turtle, Voorhies said acting on the show had its perks — as well as its downfalls. “I wasn’t able to go to my graduation or prom,” shared the actress, who graduated to stints on soaps and sitcoms before reuniting with her SBTB costar Dustin Diamond in 2011 for the indie film Little Creeps. “Those moments we had to sacrifice, we made up for with each other.” Amid recent reports of erratic behavior, the star’s mother told PEOPLE Voorhies was diagnosed with bipolar disorder — a claim the actress denied.
Dustin Diamond, 42
Post-Bell life has been a bit tougher for Diamond, who played the gang’s silly sidekick Screech. The comedian appeared on Celebrity Fit Club — and starred in a porn video leaked onto the Internet in 2006. He then dished the dirt on his former costars in a 2009 tell-all called Behind the Bell. After a three-month stint in jail in 2016 — he was arrested for stabbing a man in a 2014 during a street brawl in Wisconsin — he appeared on The Dr. Oz Show that November to offer an apology to his costars. “I will say, guys, I think you’re fantastic, working with you has been just one of the icons of my life and I’m sorry that this has taken advantage of me — the book and other situations I’m sure we’ll talk about here. I’m still loving you guys.”