If you were a teenager in the mid to late ‘90s, chances are your Saturday mornings revolved around NBC’s TNBC programming block. It was anchored by Saved by the Bell. A sitcom about the shenanigans of a group of friends at Bayside High School in California.
For young aspiring actors during that time, an appearance on the show was almost mandatory. Between the original, The College Years, and The New Class, the series’ longevity meant that several of those young stars have gone on to become famous. It’s time to head back to high school with stars you forgot appeared on Saved by the Bell.
10 TORI SPELLING
For die hard Bayside fans, Tori Spelling was already familiar before she starred in that other ‘90s TV phenomenon Beverly Hills 90210. Spelling did three episodes as Violet Bickerstaff, a nerdy classmate Screech had a crush on.
She had a boyfriend, but quickly dumped him when she realized Screech was much nicer than the rich jerk she was dating. We should have known it was her on The Masked Singer, since Violet was a soloist in the glee club.
9 CHRISTINE TAYLOR
The Zoolander star popped up in the memorable episode “SATs.” When Zack scored 1502 on his SATs, Taylor played Heather, one of the many girls who wanted his help studying. Zack had big plans for his study date with Heather, unfortunately for him, she showed up with her boyfriend.
A lot of Heathers attended Bayside. We don’t know how they kept them all straight. Taylor made the teen show rounds, as she was a regular on Hey Dude, and also guest starred on Life Goes On and Blossom.
8 DENISE RICHARDS
Their summer jobs at the beach had the crew meeting several famous faces. As their time at the Malibu Sands beach club came to an end, lifeguard Slater attracted the attention of every girl on the beach.
One, played by Denise Richards, went to extremes when she pretended to be drowning, so he would rescue her. It worked and he took her to the final barbecue. As Richards’ fame grew, her appearance on Saved by the Bell was often the subject of conversation on talk shows.
7 LEAH REMINI
During season three, the friends got summer jobs at the Malibu Sands beach club. They had big plans for all the fun they would have, but the owner’s daughter had other ideas. As Stacey, Leah Remini had an answer for all Zack’s schemes. Of course, this was all a preamble to them becoming a couple.
Remini is now known for her years on The King of Queens, but you can see that same feisty personality in her six episodes on the show. Though Stacey and Zack had a tearful goodbye, the group didn’t mention their time at the beach club again.
6 ERIC DANE
Long before he became the subject of countless fan fiction stories as Grey’s Anatomy’s Dr. Mark Sloan aka McSteamy, Eric Dane’s very first acting job came during the big volleyball game at Malibu Sands.
Dane played the quintessential jerk that the gang has to beat to win the big game. He had a thing for Stacey and kept using cheesy lines to hit on her. Dane spent the ‘90s appearing on classic shows like The Wonder Years and Married...With Children.
5 SCOTT WOLF
Some characters were seen everywhere in Bayside. Though they never got a name, we saw them just as much as the main cast. Scott Wolf was one of these people, appearing as a background player in nine episodes. He was everyone from a waiter at The Max to a guy at the movie theater to a member of the glee club.
Before he hit the heartthrob jackpot on Party of Five, Wolf could be seen on Kids Incorporated, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, and Blossom.
4 JAMES MARSDEN
Anytime a character has a name like Chad Westerfield, we know we can’t trust him. Then known as Jimmy Marsden, the future Cyclops began his career on Saved by the Bell: The New Class.
Chad was a candidate for homecoming king, who pretended to be nice, but obviously he wasn’t. Come on, his name was Chad Westerfield. Of course, it was up to the new Bayside crew to reveal who he really was before the election. Marsden’s appearance is the only reason to watch The New Class’ first season.
3 GABRIELLE UNION
Fans of Gabrielle Union know she’s a renaissance woman who can do anything, so it’s no surprise that she got her start on The New Class. The actress guest starred in episodes during seasons 3 and 4 as the characters Hilary and Jennifer.
Her season 4 role as Jennifer revolved around the drama filled Sadie Hawkins dance. She was the girl one of the guys was interested in, but she only cared about coin collecting. The ageless Union looks exactly the same and could probably play her characters’ older sister nowadays.
2 CARLA GUGINO
Before there was Saved by the Bell, there was Good Morning, Miss Bliss. This show had former child star Hayley Mills as the junior high school teacher of Zack, Lisa and Screech. In the first episode, Zack found out the ninth grade girl he met during the summer had transferred to his school, and in typical Zack fashion, he kept the lie about his age going.
Carla Gugino played Karen, Zack’s first love, who wasn’t interested once she found out he was only in seventh grade. This was an early stop on Gugino’s road to saving the world with The Rock.
1 MILO VENTIMIGLIA
Sure he breaks our hearts every week on This is Us, but before Milo Ventimiglia was keeping Kleenex in business, he was lowly hospital volunteer Greg on The New Class. The kids head to the hospital, where hi-jinks and hilarity ensue, among them, Ventimiglia’s Greg constantly trying to get a date.
Obviously, things worked out for Ventimiglia, as he starred in Heroes and Gilmore Girls, but this appearance concluded his trifecta of ‘90s TV, which included guest roles on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.