Mario Michael Lopez Jr. was born on October 10, 1973, in San Diego, California and started his acting career in the TV variety show Kids Incorporated (1984) at the age of 10. Ensuing his brief role on Kids Incorporated, Mario quickly turned into a teen superstar when he landed a role as a jock on the hit TV series Saved by the Bell (1989) and the short-lived spinoffs The New Class (1993) and The College Years (1993).
Following his time as a teen sensation, Mario's career hit a small drought with performances in faceless productions, such as his portrayal of the Olympic swimmer Greg Louganis in Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story (1997). He soon transitioned to the role of a host on various projects, including The Other Half (2001), Pet Star (2002) and the 1998 Miss Teen USA pageant in which he met his future wife Ali Landry.
Mario's choice to pursue a career as a host paid off in 2006, when he found himself competing on the reality competition show Dancing with the Stars, starring as Dr. Mike Hamoui in the hit series Nip/Tuck (2006 - 2009) and becoming a co-host for the entertainment TV program Extra. In 2008, Mario made his Broadway debut in A Chorus Line, released his debut book Mario Lopez's Knockout Fitness and was crowned "Hottest Bachelor" by People magazine. He went on to release the children's book Mud Tacos (2009), the New York Times bestseller cookbook Extra Lean (2010) and its sequel Extra Lean Family (2011).
Mario's most recent projects include, cameo appearances in the TV comedy series Are You There, Chelsea? (2012), episode "Dee Dee's Pillow," in Sesame Street (2012) episode "Me Am What Me Am" and a co-host position on the reality competition show The X-Factor (2012).