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What Happened to Zack on Saved by the Bell, Anyway? A Refresher on the Original
Mark-Paul Gosselaar has gone on to star in a number of roles since his Bayside days, including missing-persons drama Found, premiering on NBC this fall.
You might know him best from the 80s/90s hit show Saved By The Bell, but Mark-Paul Gosselaar is about to go from stealing hearts to stealing children as a terrifying kidnapper known as “Sir” in the new show Found, premiering Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 10/9c on NBC.
Found, a new missing-persons drama, stars Shanola Hampton as Gabi Mosely — a former missing person herself — who now leads a crisis management team to find missing people. The Found cast also includes Gosselaar, who stars as Mosely’s kidnapper. His new role is a far cry from the popular, handsome teenager he played on Saved By The Bell that turned him into a household name.
What happened to Zack Morris on Saved by the Bell?
Audiences first got to know Gosselaar at a young age. He played a junior high student when he first took on the role of Zack Morris, on what was called Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which ran for only one season before it was re-named and re-imagined as Saved By The Bell, which premiered in 1989. The show lasted four seasons, before it ran for a single season as the college spinoff, Saved By The Bell: The College Years, and eventually ended in 1994.
The character of Zack Morris was a stereotypical California boy — blonde hair, tanned skin, and stunning good looks that made teenage girls swoon.
Zack Morris had one main love interest during the series: Kelly Kapowski, played by Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. She and Gosselaar were also cast in Saved By The Bell: The College Years. Toward the end of that season, Zack proposed to Kelly and tried to give her a dream wedding, but it didn’t work out after wild bachelor and bachelorette parties, according to ScreenRant.
The cliffhanger of Zack and Kelly’s future spawned the made-for-TV movie: Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas, where the onscreen couple finally tied the knot. Lisa, played by Lark Voorhies, Screech, played by Dustin Diamond, and Slater, played by Mario Lopez, were all in the wedding party, while Jessie, played by Elizabeth Berkley, showed up at the last minute for the nuptials. The movie ended with Zack and Kelly going on their honeymoon.
Zack and Kelly's love story was relationship goals, and the two became a pop culture sensation. Thiessen even marked her fictional 27th anniversary to Zack Morris with an Instagram post back in Oct. 2021.
“Way to keep the love going. #friendsforever,” she captioned the snapshot of her and Gosselaar.
What happened to Zack on Peacock's Saved by the Bell Reboot?
The Saved By The Bell reboot on Peacock debuted in Nov. 2020, bringing Gosselaar, Thiessen, Lopez, and Berkley back to the halls of Bayside High. Nearly 30 years after the end of the original series, Zack Morris is now the governor of California — and in an ironic twist, the show very much imitated life at the height of the pandemic.
“The interesting thing was in the original script, Zack Morris as the governor takes a phone call … he was having a phone call about some sort of pandemic,” Gosselaar told Entertainment Tonight. “And that was written before we even knew about this. That was written last year .”
Gosselaar said becoming being Zack Morris again didn’t come easily, but he couldn’t wait to play the character again.
“Putting on the wig and saying those lines again, it wasn’t like jumping back into a character,” Gosselaar told Entertainment Tonight. “So much time has passed, so I was taking that week we had before the lockdown to sort of get back into character, to understand him.”
In the reboot, Zack and Kelly are still married, and have a son together who attends Bayside, Mac, played by Mitchell Hoog.
Thiessen credited her long history and chemistry with the cast, including Gosselaar, as part of what got them through filming the first season when the pandemic hit.
“I’m glad it was that show that I got to do that with because we were so comfortable with each other, we had such history with each other, so I think that really helped,” Thiessen told podcast Pop Culture.
Gosselaar will transform before audiences again when he portrays “Sir” in Found, premiering Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 10/9c on NBC. Until then, you can catch up on the reboot of Saved by the Bell, streaming right now on Peacock.