Actor Mario Lopez has made it look easy on TV since breaking into the business at the age of 10. But on this Mother's Day, the Saved By the Bell star is reminded that he wouldn't have had the success he has had going on 40 years without his mom Elvia's guidance and tireless work ethic.
"I always say I wouldn't be the man I am today and would never have accomplished anything without my mom and her backing. I'm a child immigrant and my mom and dad came here not knowing anything about the entertainment industry. My dad worked for the city and my mom for the phone company, just blue collar folks," Lopez said on the latest episode of Yahoo Finance Presents.
Lopez, 47, grew up in the then relatively tough neighborhood of Chula Vista, California. He says his mom wasted no time keeping him busy with activities as a way to stay out of trouble.
"There was an opportunity for me to get into a lot of trouble in the neighborhood I grew up in, and especially being a kid. So she kept me very busy. And I was the only dance, wrestling, karate and drama kid I knew because I had an activity every day after school. And it eventually led to kind of falling into this business. So you know I owe everything to my mom. And I'm blessed to still have her with me," Lopez said.
To be sure, Lopez has done more than just fall into the TV business.
Lopez is best known for his role as buff high school wrestling star A.C. Slater in the iconic late 80s/early 90s TV series Saved By the Bell. After the show went off the air in 1994, Lopez went onto appear on Broadway and Dancing with the Stars as well as becoming a TV host. The father of three young children with wife Courtney Laine Mazza, Lopez is currently a host for Access Hollywood and has reprised his role as A.C. Slater on the reboot of NBC's Saved By the Bell.
The key to Lopez staying relevant after all these years in the entertainment industry boils down to just making it happen, he says.
"You never know what the next thing brings, so I've always sort of had guarded optimism and continue to have that hustler mentality. Not a day goes by that I'm not appreciative of what I've been able to do," explains Lopez.
A little bit of business wisdom from entertainment icon the late Dick Clark has helped Lopez throughout his career, too.
"You don't have to put yourself in one little box. You can be open to doing many different things, whether it's on Broadway or on television acting or as a host," Lopez says of the valuable advice he received from Clark. "And but he really wanted me to lean into the hosting because you could tell that I like people and had personality for it."
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