It can't be easy growing up a teen star, having your most sensitive growing pains while being thrust into the limelight. The cast of Saved by the Bell is no exception, especially with their story newly exposed in Lifetime's The Unauthorized Saved By the Bell Story . People grow out of their awkward child actor period in their own ways; some continue with the acting thing, like Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who now appears on Franklin & Bash, some go on a public breakdown, like the porn-producing, tell-all-writing Dustin Diamond. Others stick to a more spiritual path, like Lark Voorhies, shown as a Jehovah's Witness in the film. But given all we know about the Lifetime film's veracity, is there credence to her portrayal?
In the Lifetime film, in a scene taking place on Voorhies' birthday, the actress is hesitant to open a birthday gift from co-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar citing her religious beliefs, since Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays. Despite all of the alleged false claims in the movie, this one is actually true.
Her religion has actually affected her career. Voorhies was released from her post- Bell role on soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful in 1996, when her religious beliefs prevented her from engaging in sex scenes. Voorhies confirms this incident and her beliefs on the About page of her website. Perhaps it's her spirituality that makes Voorhies happen to be the one cast member with less to say about Dustin Diamond, having even worked with him on an independent film in 2011. However Diamond did have something to say about Voorhies, speaking to People about the unsettling changes he noticed in her since their Saved By the Bell days.
While religion is such a personal matter, the Voorhies update that is really stealing media attention is her long-documented struggle with bipolar disorder, as reported by People. Diamond conveyed concern in the article profiling Voorhies, stating, "the person who said hi to me when she first showed up on-set was not the same person at the end of the night." Religiosity factors in the actress's now frenetic speech. In her People interview she refers to "prophecy" and is noted to have difficulty connecting with the interviewer.
Her book True Light is written with commas after every word, and seems to be a testament to her declining mental health. True Light and Voorhies' other books make reference to spirituality and the Bible, however the writing style leaves the work practically impossible to digest. As previously reported in Bustle, the way we treat mental illness still carries a great degree of stigma, and it's unfortunate to see a beloved icon of your youth descend into an illness she didn't choose and can't control. While People reports Voorhies lives a rather restrained life at home, she does remain active on Twitter, interacting with SBTB fans, and trying to keep up with what the kids are into these days.
She also seems to have relaxed her religious views a bit and openly accepts birthday wishes and birthday art from fans. One can only hope that with time and nurturing, Voorhies is able to get the help she needs and jump back into an active career.