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What The Teachers From Saved By The Bell Are Doing Today

Being a teacher at Bayside High must have been a rough gig. Between dealing with slackers like Zack Morris, meatheads like Slater, and whatever the hell Screech was, we can only hope they were compensated well for their hard work — and that's not even factoring in the countless students who disappeared after one episode. Some teachers appeared in several Saved by the Bell episodes. Others were only there for half an episode, but left an indelible mark anyway. Here, we'll be going over what's happened to the actors who portrayed them since they were part of the franchise.

For this list, we'll only be talking about educators that Zack Morris and his friends had — this includes cast members from Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Saved by the Bell, and The College Years. (Sorry not sorry, New Class — you may have run longer, but nobody cares about you.) We also won't be talking about the Peacock revival of Saved by the Bell, given that the series is so new. Also, as the title implies, we'll only be going over teachers — with all due respect to Mr. Belding and even Nurse Jennifer, we need to impose some limits.

Rod Belding (Ed Blatchford)

Few one-episode guest stars left a bigger imprint than Ed Blatchford did during his turn as Rod Belding, Mr. Belding's cool (read: irresponsible) younger brother. When he appears in "The Fabulous Belding Boys," Zack quickly idolizes this new free spirit substitute teacher — only to find out that Rod cares more about a fling than him and his friends.

Blatchford revealed on the Saved by Nostalgia podcast that, despite prominent roles in Last of the Mohicans and Nowhere to Run, he's far and away most recognized in his day-to-day life as Rod Belding. The role defined him enough that he starred in and co-wrote Saved by the Belding, a mockumentary about a group of misguided losers tracking down Rod. That's the last screen credit to his name — his acting career has been steadily dwindling for the last couple of decades, because he works in a different industry altogether now.

Blatchford has been a licensed real estate agent since 2000. He and his wife Laura form The Blatchford Group, currently part of luxury real estate brokerage Surterre Properties. They're based out of Orange County in California and list multi-million dollar properties. He might be offscreen now, but Blatchford hasn't left show business completely behind — in 2015-'16, he directed a theatrical production of The Rainmaker at the American Blues Theater in Chicago.

Professor Jeremiah Lasky (Patrick Fabian)

Patrick Fabian played Professor Jeremiah Lasky, the most prominent professor throughout The College Years. He developed a rapport with the Bayside alumni in his anthropology class and eventually became the object of Kelly's affections, leading to his kiss with Kelly, which remains one of the show's most infamous moments. Fabian, a young actor at the time, recalls getting lots of fawning fan mail after the first few episodes... only to start receiving exponentially more hate mail after kissing Kelly.

Fabian spent the ensuing decades picking up regular TV work and mid-size movie roles. Some might recognize him from his time on Veronica Mars as Professor Landy or Ted Price on Big Love. Others might have seen him starring in The Last Exorcism or Danny Trejo's direct-to-video Bad Ass movies.

Most, however, probably recognize Fabian from his most prominent role: Howard Hamlin on Better Call Saul. That's right, Fabian has shared the screen with both Jimmy McGill and Zack Morris — two similar men, all things considered.

Fabian still gets recognized as Professor Lasky, usually with a combination of nostalgia and resentment. As he told CinemaBlend, "If I go to my grave right now, they'll say, Better Call Saul, but it might just say 'He Kissed Kelly Kapowski' right on my tombstone. Which is not a bad way to go. If that's what you have to go with, I'll take it."

Mr. Testaverde (John Moschitta Jr)

Mr. Testaverde was a teacher so feared that the mere mention of his name caused kids to jump. Why was he feared? He taught his class way, way too fast — so fast that smoke started coming off his students' desks from them trying to keep up with him. This skill comes from actor John Moschitta Jr., who was hired specifically for the role — and was also one of the few performers on Saved by the Bell who would have already been recognizable to the kids watching.

Moschita is better known to a generation by his unofficial title, the Micro Machines Man. That's right, he's the fast talker who spent decades pitching everything from toys to FedEx to instant rice. He once held the Guinness World Record for World's Fastest Talker, measured at 583 words a minute — at least five times faster than the average human. Casting him as an intimidating teacher made perfect sense.

In the years since, Moschita has continued his pitch work and banked on his fame as the Fast Talking Guy. He still pops up on TV and in movies, usually as an auctioneer or roles that make similar use of his skills. He most recently appeared as himself in John Bronco, a mockumentary about a fictional pitchman.

Miss Bliss (Hayley Mills)

Miss Bliss was the genesis of the Saved by the Bell franchise, as the title character of Good Morning, Miss Bliss. She offered lessons of both the academic and life variety to a group of Indiana middle schoolers — including Zack, Screech, and Lisa. (How they all ended up in California is one of TV's Great Mysteries.) Miss Bliss was played by Hayley Mills, easily the most prominent name ever attached to a Saved by the Bell property, even if she didn't make the move to Bayside.

Mills is most recognized for her work as a Disney child star during the '60s. Her most memorable role — technically roles – remains twins Susan and Sharon in The Parent Trap. While she never quite maintained the megastar status she held as a child, she's had consistent and often prominent work over the past half century. She was in her early 40s while playing Miss Bliss, a Disney property at the time before NBC bought the rights.

In recent years, Mills has focused on theater and television. She starred in off-Broadway play Party Face in 2018 and played a major role in Acorn TV's 2019 original drama Pitching In. She's also a regular at nostalgia conventions, often appearing with her sister and fellow actor Juliet.

Mr. Dewey (Patrick Thomas O'Brien)

Patrick Thomas O'Brien played Mr. Dewey, the drab and deadpan math teacher. Unfazeable, even to Zack's endless shenanigans, Mr. Dewey commanded a certain level of respect that was rare at Bayside — even though he oversaw detention. O'Brien was already making his name as a character actor, including a memorable appearance as Satan in Weird Al's classic UHF, and Saved by the Bell helped solidify him.

Unlike most of the others on this list, O'Brien never left Hollywood or even slowed down his acting all that much — he still shows up on TV or in small roles, often a couple times a year. He's been on everything from Monk to JAG to Drake & Josh, and had a recurring role on the web series Theater People. Also unlike every other teacher listed here, O'Brien reprised his role — Mr. Dewey appeared again as part of The New Class and on the Saved by the Bell sequel series on Peacock.

Ms. Tina Paladrino (Joan Ryan)

Joan Ryan played Tina Paladrino, the quirky art teacher best friend of Miss Bliss. It was Ryan's first named TV role and she speaks highly of her experience on the show. She doesn't have many screen credits past Good Morning, Miss Bliss, but that doesn't mean she hasn't had a fruitful career. It's just largely taken shape on stage, in recording studios, and in post-production.

Ryan has had a long career acting on stage, with an emphasis on singing. Not long after Good Morning, Miss Bliss ended, she starred in the acclaimed Los Angeles production of Ruthless! She's since performed in starring roles at venues as big as Carnegie Hall and cabaret shows at intimate spaces like Green Room 42. She's also performed the national anthem at Lakers games.

Since the early '90s, Ryan has also co-owned Sounds Great, an ADR studio for television shows and movies. Their website shows dozens upon dozens of credits, ranging from Criminal Minds to Vice Principals to One Tree Hill. Watch any of those shows and one might hear Ryan in the background somewhere.

Ryan lived in Los Angeles for many years but relocated to New York around 2019, where she was performing shows as recently as March 2020.

Mrs. Wentworth (Carol Lawrence)

Carol Lawrence played Mrs. Wentworth, the teacher who assigned her class to research their family history. She was the one who oversaw Zack giving a lazy and offensive presentation on his Native American ancestor, only to force him to try again... and he gave a less offensive presentation that was, somehow, exponentially more offensive. Lawrence wasn't exactly a superstar, but she was a well known actor with years of TV and theater work before Saved by the Bell.

She hasn't had a screen credit since 2000, having gone largely into retirement. She had a brief theatrical comeback in 2013, playing a grandma in off-Broadway holiday play Handle With Care. Lawrence will always be associated with one role: Maria from the original Broadway cast of West Side Story. Decades after originating the role, she often appears at retrospectives and other productions. She was in attendance at a showing of the 2009 Broadway revival, which she called a "wonderful production," and again at the 2020 revival during previews.

Mr. Dickerson (Raf Mauro)

Raf Mauro played Mr. Dickerson, the teacher with the hardest midterm at Bayside. He haunted Zack and pals — so much so that he showed up during the Fresh Prince intro to taunt them with a rap — before having a breakdown and getting replaced by Rod Belding. Mauro hasn't exactly stopped acting, but he's definitely slowed down — his last screen credit was a bit part in the 2015 indie film Sky. In a 2020 interview on the Saved by Nostalgia podcast, Mauro spoke highly of his stint on Saved by the Bell and revealed what he's doing these days.

The Screen Actors Guild used to have a program called BookPALS, where actors would go into schools and read to students, and Mauro started volunteering with them. "That's faded away now," he said, "but I still volunteer and everyone who ever did it is still volunteering anyway with or without the program." He reads at three different schools every week. Occasionally the kids will recognize him from his old guest spots from shows like Full House that they saw on reruns. He says he often forgets about these roles until residual checks show up, but he's glad new generations of kids are loving the shows the same way the original generation did.

Mrs. Culpepper (Maris Clement)

Maris Clement played Ms. Culpepper, the nearsighted art teacher in "Masquerade Ball" who gets caught up in a mistaken love story with Mr. Belding. By the time she appeared on Saved by the Bell, Clement's career as an actress was coming to an end. She only has three more screen credits to her name after "Masquerade Ball," including a guest spot on The New Class as a different character, with her last role coming in 2001. That's because Clement was on the path to her current profession: a marriage and family therapist.

Clement had worked for a few decades on Broadway but phased that out when she worked towards her MA in psychology. She always had a knack for figuring people out, once revealing at a panel that she was the one who told Madeline Kahn — a co-star during a Broadway production in the late '70s — that the comic legend might have an anxiety disorder. Clement attended Pepperdine University between 1990 and 1993, with her Saved by the Bell appearance occurring at the halfway point in 1992. She got her marriage family therapy license in 1998, earned a Psy.D from Southern Cal in 2004, and has been a practicing therapist in California since.

Professor Rich (Victor Raider-Wexler)

Victor Raider-Wexler played Professor Rich, the popular and seemingly adventurous faculty member who confessed to being a coward just before dying on Zack's couch. His death teaches Zack to live a life full of danger and risk, a strange lesson given that Zack spent six full seasons of television disregarding his own safety. Even so, Raider-Wexler's brief performance left an impact on both Zack and fans.

Raider-Wexler is one of the most under-the-radar That Guy actors of the past quarter century. Instantly recognizable due to his hairline, distinct voice, and Chuck Schumer-style glasses, he's been showing up in bit parts on both the small and silver screen for years.

Raider-Wexler had recurring roles on Everybody Loves Raymond and King of Queens, but his most recognizable guest spot is probably Seinfeld. He played Dr. Wexler, best known as the surgeon during the Junior Mint incident and the man who broke the news of Susan's death. 

In recent years, Raider-Wexler has focused on voice acting. He can be heard as Frederic Estes in the Boss Baby franchise and as Vendel in Guillermo del Toro's Tales of Arcadia trilogy. He also has a long career voicing video game characters, most recently Mehrunes Dagon in Skyrim.

Professor Judith Trudell (Nancy Stafford)

Nancy Stafford played Judith Trudell, a professor who catches the eye of buzzkill RA Mike Rogers. Stafford was a well established actor by the time she appeared on The College Years — she first gained fame as Joan Halloran on St. Elsewhere and was fresh off leaving Matlock's Michelle Thomas when she appeared at Cal U. Stafford grew up in a religious household and had her faith renewed after a cancer scare. She's still busy, but not in a way noticeable to those who don't watch faith-based media.

Stafford almost exclusively works in Christian entertainment now. She still puts out a movie or two almost every year, usually produced by Christian studios like Pure Flix or MaraVista. She's written many religious books with titles like The Wonder of His Love and Beauty by the Book. She also sells her own jewelry line, with proceeds supporting Middle Eastern Christian TV station SAT-7.

Teachers we lost

Coach Snoski was played by Monty Hoffman, an under-the-radar comedian highly respected by his peers. He survived a cancer scare in the early 2000s but died in 2013 of causes not made public.

Science teacher Dr. Mertz — best known for offering the test that led to Kelly and Screech briefly dating — was played by Avery Schrieber, a veteran comedian best remembered for his Doritos commercials. Schrieber long struggled with diabetes, an illness that caused a heart attack in the mid-'90s. He died in 2002 of a second heart attack, having never fully recovered from the first.

Jack Angeles had the recurring role of Mr. Tuttle, but acting was more of a side gig. Angeles was a practicing attorney. He worked in private practice as well as for studios like Columbia and Paramount. He died in 2009 "suddenly and peacefully following a brief hospitalization," per his obituary.

Robert Guillaume played intimidating ethics professor Dr. Hemmings in an episode of The College Years. He was one of the most recognizable names to grace the franchise, best known for Soap, its long-running hit spinoff Benson, Sports Night, and voicing Rafiki in The Lion King. He died of prostate cancer in 2017.