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Mark-Paul Gosselaar Biography

Mark-Paul Gosselaar


Date of Birth
1 December 1974, Panorama City, California, USA

Birth Name
Mark-Paul Harry Gosselaar


5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Biography
Mark-Paul Gosselaar was born March 1, 1974 in Panorama City, California. His father, Hans Gosselaar, who is from the Netherlands, is of German and Dutch Jewish descent, and was a plant supervisor at Anheuser-Busch. His mother, Paula (van den Brink), is of Dutch-Indonesian background; she worked as an airline hostess. His parents are divorced. He has an older brother, Mike, and two older sisters, Linda and Sylvia. In 1989, after a career with small movies and commercials, Gosselaar started in the teen hit Saved by the Bell (1989), co-starring Tiffani Thiessen who played his girlfriend, Kelly Kapowski, throughout the show's run. The characters eventually married each other after the show and its spin-off, Saved by the Bell: The College Years (1993) , ended production.

He starred with Geena Davis in Commander in Chief (2005) for executive producer Steven Bochco, with whom he also worked when he starred as detective John Clark in Bochco's critically-acclaimed drama NYPD Blue (1993) Gosselaar's other television credits include TV movies Atomic Twister (2002), The Princess & the Marine (2001), For the Love of Nancy (1994), Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas (1994), She Cried No (1996), Dying to Belong (1997) and Born Into Exile (1997).

On the big screen, Gosselaar appeared in Dead Man on Campus (1998), as well as the independent films Beer Money (2001) and Sticks and Stones (2008).

In 2019, Mark-Paul began starring on the show Mixed-ish (2019). He returned in a supporting role for the revival Saved by the Bell (2020), with Mitchell Hoog as his son.

Gosselaar's sporting interests include cycling, motocross and auto racing. He is also an avid pilot. Gosselaar lives outside of Los Angeles. He married model Lisa Ann Russell in 1996 in Maui, Hawaii. The two divorced in 2011. In 2012, he married advertising executive Catriona McGinn. He has two children with Lisa and two children with Catriona.

  • Has competed as a celebrity race car driver.
  • Older brother Mike and older sisters Sylvia and Linda, are all three born in The Netherlands.
  • Spoke fluent Dutch at home as a child.
  • Children: Michael Charles Gosselaar (b. January 31, 2004) and Ava Lorenn Gosselaar (b. May 7, 2006). Both were born in Los Angeles, California.
  • Still keeps in touch with his Saved by the Bell (1989) co-star Mario Lopez.
  • Lists Saved by the Bell: Running Zack (1990), the episode where Zack explores and learns about his Native American heritage and forms a close bond with a local Indian, as his favorite episode of Saved by the Bell (1989).
  • Colored his hair blonde in every episode of Saved by the Bell (1989).
  • Uncle of Chris Gosselaar.
  • Spoke the last line of NYPD Blue (1993), in which he referred to the recently-promoted "Sergeant Andy Sipowicz" as "Boss".
  • He has played the same character (Zack Morris) in five different series: Good Morning, Miss Bliss (1987), Saved by the Bell (1989), Saved by the Bell: The College Years (1993), Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1993) and Robot Chicken (2005).
  • First husband of Lisa Ann Russell.
  • His father is from The Netherlands, and is of Dutch Jewish and German ancestry. His mother is from Bali, Indonesia, and has Dutch and Indonesian ancestry. His paternal grandfather was from a Dutch Jewish family whose ancestry can be traced back to the 1700s; his patrilineal line goes back to his four times great-grandfather, Jacob Nathan Gosselaar, who was born, c. 1733, in Rotterdam.
  • His wife, Catriona Gosselaar (Catriona McGinn), is an advertising executive.
  • He and his wife, Catriona Gosselaar (Catriona McGinn), welcomed their first child, son Dekker Edward Gosselaar, on September 30, 2013, in Los Angeles.
  • Announced that his wife, Lisa Ann Russell, is expecting their 2nd child, a girl, in March 2006. [January 2006]
  • Announced he and his wife, Catriona Gosselaar (Catriona McGinn), are expecting a baby together in September 2013 to People Magazine. His third. [March 2013]
  • His Dutch Jewish paternal great-grandparents, Hartog "Herman" Gosselaar and Hester van Emden, were killed in The Holocaust. They died in the Sobibor extermination camp, in Nazi-occupied Poland, on April 9, 1943.
  • His wife, Catriona Gosselaar (Catriona McGinn), gave birth to their second child together (his fourth child), a girl named Lachlyn Hope Gosselaar, born on February 17, 2015.
  • Born just two days before David Faustino, in the same month of the same year.
  • In a 2019 chat on TV with host Andy Cohen, he was asked when he had last spoken to former Saved by the Bell (1989) costar Dustin Diamond, and quickly responded "1994". That fit into the timeline where the famous cast (along with Mario Lopez, Tiffani Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley, and Lark Voorhies) filmed together for the last time in 1994 on a two-hour TV movie, Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas (1994). They also reunited in Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1993) episode, Saved by the Bell: The New Class: Goodbye Bayside: Part 2 (1994) that same year in late 1994. They recently reunited briefly at a convention in 2019 in Canada where they took photo ops promoting the show's 30th anniversary.
  • He is a ninth cousin of Dutch actor Michiel Huisman, through their shared Dutch Jewish eight times great-grandparents, Samuel Speyer and Abigael Levie.
  • Quotes
  • I always have this feeling that I'm losing everything, so I'm a real saver.
  • But I plan on dedicating specific training to track this winter for the next racing season.
  • The biggest challenge has been simulating a tornado with wind machines and dirt and debris. Right when you walk on the set, you feel the energy of a tornado. But the hardest thing is trying to get dialogue out in all of that.
  • I have always had good strength in my legs from working out with weights. I have also been riding a bike of some sort for most of my life and have good agility.
  • But my passion is racing cars. It's what I like to do in my off time.
  • I want to keep a mysterious side to me.
  • I think racing and riding are two different elements of cycling. You either want to or not depending on what you want to get out of it.
  • I haven't done a lot of action movies, so it's kind of fun to get to do a lot of stunt work.
  • I don't want to be known as somebody that everybody knows about.
  • I die pretty much every year. I find it amusing.
  • Actors are not all there when it comes to things like relationships. The thing about us is we still greatly enjoy each other. If it weren't for her support it would be hard for me to do what I am doing now.
  • We recycle everything in my house. I'm not into any particular organizations, but I'm doing my part and that makes me feel okay.
  • This is one of the hardest industries to be married.
  • The first thing I did was a print ad for Century Plaza. I was five.
  • I'm always worried about my money for some reason.
  • Some people say it might be good for your career to die and then come back again. I have died many ways, car crashes, motorcycle crashes, etc. But, I am still alive.
  • Road racing at the moment because it's still so new to me. I like the fact that they are longer and teamwork is important. I guess the same is true for track, it's just that I have used track this year as a training device to improve my sprinting in road racing.
  • Lisa understands me. I'm very complex, but I have trouble opening up to people. I tend to keep things to myself. All my life, I've been kind of shy - opening up is always a challenge and Lisa can understand that.
  • I have a hard time watching the shows now. It is like opening up a yearbook when you were in junior high. I think everybody looks back at their photos and cringe, and I get to experience it with everybody else in the world looking at mine.
  • After 4 years on NYPD Blue it has been nice to have the summer off and spend time with family and friends. There are a few projects I am interested in and plan to be working this fall.
  • When they do bring on new people, it's good for the show. It's like getting a new toy. The writers enjoy it because it's a whole new character that they can write for, one that they aren't used to writing for. They can try different things.
  • That may be a factor because we are the older show; we have been on the air for a while. Is it our day? Is it time to hang it up? But it seems that the show still continues, and we still enjoy being here. And that's a very important element.

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