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Jennie Garth Almost Played Tiffani Thiessen’s Role Kelly Kapowski on Saved By the Bell

Jennie Garth was almost Kelly Kapowski
Jennie Garth almost played former pal Tiffani Thiessen's role Kelly Kapowski on Saved By the Bell

Lifetime’s The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story didn’t leave audiences wanting more necessarily — but it did drop some interesting bombshells about the early ’80s and late ’90s TV classic! For one thing, Tiffani Thiessen’s now-ex BFF Jennie Garth was at one point in the running for her Kelly Kapowski role.

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The film, which aired on Labor Day, showed a fake casting photo of Garth in the running against Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley for Zack Morris’ (Mark Paul Gosselaar) leading lady. Garth was cut and executives decided to create the role of Jesse Spano for Berkley on the spot.

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Oddly enough, Thiessen, now 40, would join Garth, now 42, years later as vixen Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills, 90210 from 1994 to 2000. The stars became BFFs during the Aaron Spelling-created high school drama, but would later have a public falling out. Why? That mystery is still under wraps.

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“I was the one who was hurt, let’s just say that. I was the one who was hurt,” Thiessen said during a chat with Howard Stern on his Sirius XM show in July 2012. “It’s funny, our relationship started really rough and ended the way it started.”

Tori and Dustin
Tori Spelling and Dustin Diamond

“It’s water under the bridge,” she added. “I’ve moved on. I wish her well.”

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Thiessen also worked with Spelling’s daughter, Tori Spelling, on Saved by the Bell and Beverly Hills, 90210. In the film, (executive produced by Dustin Diamond) it was revealed that Tori was Diamond’s first kiss when she guest-starred on Saved by the Bell as his love interest Violet Bickerstaff. Spelling and Garth currently costar together in the ABC Family comedy Mystery Girls.

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