If “Saved by the Bell” continues to be one of your all-time favourite ‘90s shows, you probably think you know everything about the antics of Zack Morris and the Bayside High gang. But the classic teen sitcom had plenty of guest stars that went on to become major celebrities, and you likely forgot they ever appeared on the show.
Sure, everyone knows about Leah Remini’s character, Stacey Carosi, who stole Zack’s heart during their summer at the Malibu Sands Beach Club, but do you remember Milo Ventimiglia’s turn as a hospital volunteer looking for love in all the wrong places in a later episode?
These are the 15 celebrity guest stars you might not remember from “Saved by the Bell,” so grab those pencils before Mr. Dewey gives a surprise test on the first day of school.
Leah Remini starred as tough talking Stacey Carosi, a love interest of Zack’s.
These days, Leah Remini is known for her starring role in “King of Queens,” but back in the early ’90s, she played Stacey Carosi, who couldn’t resist the charms of the newly single Zack Morris after the two worked together at the Malibu Sands Beach Club the summer before senior year. Stacey was a no-nonsense New Yorker but eventually softened as she fell hard for Bayside’s signature blonde hunk.
Carla Gugino played an early love interest for Zack in the middle school years
Before the gang made it to high school, they inexplicably attended middle school together in Indianapolis, before everyone relocated to the sunnier shores of Bayside. Gugino starred as Karen, a ninth grader who developed a crush on Zack at summer camp. The problem is, Zack lied about his age, which she discovered when she transferred to his school. She wasn’t impressed.
Casey Kasem starred as himself in two separate episodes
The legendary disc jockey made two guest appearances on the show. First, he showed up at The Max to host a dance competition, with Lisa and Screech winning top honours thanks to their brand new dance, The Sprain. Kasem appeared in a later episode as a narrator, when the gang forms a pop group, becoming global music superstars until the fame and fortune went straight to Zack’s mile-high blonde hair.
Tori Spelling played Screech’s longtime love, Violet Bickerstaff
Just before her breakout role as Donna Martin, on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” Spelling starred as the sweet Violet Bickerstaff, Screech’s only successful romance in the series. She was treated terribly by her former boyfriend, Maxwell Nerdstrom, and managed to break free of his shackles to find true love with Samuel “Screech” Powers … pocket protectors and all.
Milo Ventimiglia had a brief role in “Saved by the Bell: The New Class”
If you stopped watching the show when much of the original cast ended their run, you’re not alone, but you did miss out on some stellar guest stars. Ventimiglia is now known for his roles on “Gilmore Girls” and “This Is Us,” but back in the early ’90s, he was just starting out in his acting career with small roles in hit shows like “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class.”
He played hospital volunteer Greg in one episode, trying hopelessly to score a date.
Soleil Moon Frye played a gold-digging love interest of Screech’s in one episode
After her star-making role as Punky Brewster in the sitcom of the same name, the actress took a sinister turn as Robin, a superficial high schooler suddenly interested in Screech after he makes a ton of money off his successful spaghetti sauce business. Screech gives in to her every whim, before realising she’s taking advantage of his kindness. Robin is never to be seen again around the halls of Bayside High.
Christine Taylor was impressed by Zack’s SAT scores
Even though no one seemed bewildered by the fact that Zack got an impossible score on his SATs (that’s a 1502, by the way), he managed to impress Heather, played by a young Taylor in one of her earliest roles. Zack intended on seizing the opportunity to woo this new lady in his life, before she brought her boyfriend over for a study session in Zack’s room. Womp, womp.
Scott Wolf appeared on nine episodes of the show in various roles
Just before his breakout role on “Party of Five,” Wolf popped up in numerous episodes of “Saved by the Bell,” usually playing an unnamed extra in the background. Whether he was a waiter at The Max or singing with the gang at Glee Club, he seemed to always be around somewhere at Bayside.
Eric Dane’s first-ever role was on “Saved by the Bell”
Before appearing our TV screens in his most notable role as Dr. Mark Sloan on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice,” Dane was a young actor whose first-ever TV appearance was playing volleyball hunk Tad Pogue on the beach at the annual Malibu Sands volleyball match. It was a “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” moment that only true fans will catch.
Denise Richards played a damsel in distress falling for A.C. Slater’s biceps
Also in the gang’s summer of fun at the Malibu Sands is Cynthia, a beach babe played by Richards that pretended she was drowning so that Slater could save her. Certainly an unconventional way of picking up a date, but it worked, because he was hooked.
James Marsden played a popular kid in season one of “The New Class”
In the first season without the original cast, Marsden played Bayside’s homecoming king, Chad Westerfield, who ended up in a tangled love triangle between two ladies. He only appeared in one episode, but also had brief roles in other classic ’90s shows like “The Nanny,” “Blossom,” and “Party of Five,” before starring in blockbuster films.
Bridgette Wilson-Sampras played a ditzy but well-meaning love interest of Zack
Before acting on the big screen in beloved ’90s movies like “Billy Madison,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” and “The Wedding Planner,” Wilson-Sampras appeared in five episodes of SBTB as Ginger, the loveable but ditzy blonde that Zack kept coming back to when he wasn’t going steady with Kelly.
Tara Reid’s first TV role was also on “Saved by the Bell: The New Class”
In the ’90s, Reid appeared in tons of teen movies, from “Urban Legend” and “Cruel Intentions” to “American Pie,” but her first-ever role on the small screen came as Sandy in one episode of “The New Class,” in which she played a Bayside High cheerleader.
Gabrielle Union played two totally different characters on “Saved by the Bell: The New Class”
Union managed to play two different roles without anyone even noticing. She then went on to breakout roles in classic high school flicks “She’s All That,” “10 Things I Hate About You,” and “Bring It On,” but she got her start in the halls of Bayside High.
Gilbert Gottfried starred in the show’s series finale, “Wedding in Las Vegas”
It’s only fitting that the series ended with Zack and Kelly finally getting hitched at the ripe old age of 19, and true fans will know that Gottfried helped make it happen by giving the guys brief jobs as golf caddies to help Zack pay for his wedding. Of course, he’s most famous for his voice in roles like Iago in Disney’s “Aladdin,” but true fans won’t forget his brief role on “Saved by the Bell.”
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