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