'Saved by the Bell's Tori Has Actually Been Pretty Busy Since Vanishing from the Series
Sorry, Girl Meets World, your premiere might still be a day away, but we've already moved on to a much juicier 90s-inspired tale. It was recently announced that Lifetime will produce The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story, and that TV movie is pretty much the only nostalgia-inducing thing we care about this summer. But in our excitement, Saved by the Bell fans seem to have forgotten about one (kind of) important person: Tori Scott. Played by Leanna Creel, Tori was featured on Saved by the Bell for most of its fourth season, the last one before the title tacked on The College Years, then suddenly disappeared, never to be seen again. That was Nov.1992, so where has Tori, I mean Creel, been since then? She's actually kept quite busy.
Of course before we get to what Creel is doing now, let's go back to that fourth season of Saved by the Bell, when she played the series' tough rebellious character— we could tell because she wore a leather jacket. The reason for Tori's brief arc and sudden disappearance is much less exciting than any guesses you might've already had. She wasn't fighting with other cast members or dealing with the issues common among child stars, Creel was just serving as a placeholder while two of Saved by the Bell's main stars worked on their contracts.
NBC ordered additional episodes of the season, but Tiffani Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley, who played Kelly Kapowski and Jesse Spano, respectively, but wouldn't sign their new contracts at first. According to Pajiba, Creel was brought in as Tori to replace their characters and once everything was settled she just simply didn't return. That season's finale, centered around the group's high school graduation, had been filmed before the contract dispute, which is why Thiessen and Berkley appear in it while Creel does not. If you need help remembering Tori, or just want to revisit that amazing early 90s fashion, check out the fan video below.
After her stint on Saved by the Bell was over, Creel only had two other credited acting roles, one as a guest star on Ned & Stacey, and the other in the 2000 film The Cell, which stars Jennifer Lopez and Vince Vaughn. But Creel had a lot going on offscreen. She received her Master's degree in Film and TV from UCLA and co-founded the production company Ignite Entertainment, which Lionsgate acquired in 2000. She then opened a photography company, Creel Photo, in 2004 and film studio, Creel Films, in 2007. As of last year, Creel is running Creel Studio, which encompasses the photo and film companies and works on a variety of media-related projects.
Here's what Creel looks like more recently, courtesy of a 2011 video in which she discusses her experience as a camera operator on the documentary Mistura: The Power of Food.
Yes, those unforgettable curls are long gone. However n her personal life, Creel has done much more than update her hairstyle. In June 2008, when gay marriage was legalized in California, she married her partner of 10 years, Rinat Greenberg. Greenberg was pregnant with their first child at the time and their son Levi was born just three days later.
As for that Saved by the Bell movie, according to TMZ, Creel thinks making a cameo would be weird, however she still plans on watching the movie when it premieres Sept. 1 and even has an idea of who should play her: Ellen Page. Based on the newcomer status of the main cast, that doesn't seem very likely, but hey, Creel certainly knows her way around the film industry, so maybe she'll pull it off.
As for us fans, let's just hope that Creel is actually included as a character in The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story. Tori didn't last very long on the original series, and we'd really like to see more of her and that iconic leather jacket.
Images: NBC, Patricia Perez/Vimeo