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From Teen Heartthrob to Family Man: How Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s Look Has Evolved Over the Years

Mark-Paul Gosselaar's blonde hair as Zach Morris in Saved By the Bell may have been iconic, but it wasn't exactly easy to achieve. 

By Jill Sederstrom

When a young Mark-Paul Gosselaar burst on the scene in the late 1980s as endearing troublemaker Zack Morris on Saved by the Bellhe almost instantly earned heartthrob status. 

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Watch Found on NBC and Peacock.

With his blonde locks and devilish grin, Gosselaar had girls across the country swooning and soon became a symbol for the early ‘90s.

But when the iconic show wrapped up, Gosselaar ditched the bleached blonde hair for his more natural brown hue and set out to establish himself as a serious actor. In the decades that followed, as Gosselaar took on one role after another, his  looks have continued to evolve, whether it’s sporting some serious long locks or adding a beard into the mix.

Today, Gosselaar is a married dad of four, balancing family life with his new sinister role on NBC’s Found, where he plays “Sir” a kidnapper secretly being held captive by one of his victims.

In honor of the show’s upcoming premiere on Oct. 3, let’s take a look back at Gosselaar’s evolving style over the years:

Mark-Paul Gosselaar's Looks Over the Years

Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris on Season 1 of saved by the bell

A fresh-faced Gosselaar first made his debut as Zack Morris on 1988’s Good Morning Miss Bliss, which starred one-time Disney darling Hayley Mills as a middle school teacher navigating life along with her students. After just one season, the show was retooled into NBC’s Saved by the Bell, turning the focus to Zack and his friends. With his undeniable good looks, blonde hair, and effortless style, Gosselaar soon captured the hearts of tween girls everywhere. 

Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zachary 'Zack' Morris, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessica 'Jessie' Myrtle Spanoell

One of Zack's most iconic features was his beach-y blonde hair, but Gosselaar, pictured here on set with costar Elizabeth Berkley who played Jessie Spano, later confessed during an appearance on Live with Kelly & Michael that it wasn’t exactly natural. 

According to Gosselaar to achieve the look, he had to put “toxins on [my] hair for six years,” according to ABC News.

RELATED: How to Watch Episodes of NBC's Original Saved by the Bell

“People go, ‘Wow! You’re not blonde anymore,’” he said. “When was I ever blonde? That’s not real!”

Mark Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris on saved by the bell

As Saved by the Bell continued, Gosselaar’s character took on a more debonair look with a more structured hairstyle and blazer, still giving off those effortlessly cool vibes. 

Mark Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris and Tiffani Amber Thiessen as Kelly Kapowskie in 1992

When he wasn’t on set, Gosselaar, seen here in 1992 with costar Tiffani Amber Thiessen, seemed to adopt a more casual style as he wore a  football jersey and backward baseball cap. 

A scene with Zack Morris, Alex and Michael Rogers on Saved By The Bell: College Years

In 1993, Saved by the Bell made the move from Saturday morning television to prime time with Saved by the Bell: The College Years. Although short-lived, the sitcom continued to follow Zach and his friends as they transitioned into adulthood. 

Mark Paul Gosselaar wears a black turtle neck at the For Richer Or Poorer World Benefit Premiere

Fans were stunned when Gosselaar ditched the blonde locks for his natural and much darker shade. In 1997, he was spotted at the “For Richer or Poorer” World Benefit Premiere in Century City, California, wearing a black leather blazer over a turtleneck. 

Dennis Franz and Mark-Paul Gosselaar shake hands during 7th American Veteran Awards

Gosselaar successfully made the shift from child actor to dramatic actor after landing the role of Det. John Clark, Jr. on NYPD Blue. He’s seen here dressed to the nines at the 7th American Veteran Awards in Beverly Hills, California with costar Dennis Franz. 

Mark Paul Gosselaar attends the 76th Annual Drama League Awards ceremony

By 2010, Gosselaar had embraced a relaxed but still effortlessly charming style all his own. It was the same look he carried onto his new show Franklin & Bash, a legal buddy comedy that paired him with Breckin Meyer, the following year. 

Mark-Paul Gosselaar with his wife Catriona McGinn and their four children

By 2015, America’s teen heartthrob  had successfully transitioned into a devoted family man. He’s seen here in 2015 with his wife, Catriona McGinn, and his children at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s 26th A Time For Heroes family festival. 

Mark Paul Gosselaar Elizabeth Berkley Tiffani Thiessen Mario Lopez on Saved By The Bell

While he may have grown up, Gosselaar wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Zack Morris just yet. Much to his fans delight, he reprised the role in Peacock’s revamped Saved by the Bell, even grabbing the guitar for one last Zack Attack performance with costars Berkley, Thiessen, and Mario Lopez.

Mark Paul Gosselaar as Sir on Found

For his latest role as the ominous “Sir,” Gosselaar has transformed once again, this time sporting a dark beard. He first grew the facial hair while working on the show Pitch in an attempt to distance himself from his famous alter ego, Zack Morris. The new look wasn’t exactly a win with his wife, however. He hilariously called the look “a home-grown contraceptive.” 

“My wife hates it,” he confessed to reporters at the time, according to E! News. “She says I didn’t buy you with a beard. ‘I want the model without the beard.’” 

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