On July 28, 1972 Elizabeth Berkley was born.
She is best known for playing the role of Jessie Spano on the NBC television series, “Saved by the Bell,” a role she played for five seasons from 1989 – 1993, as well as in the reunion special “Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas.” Jessie Spano was often depicted as being extremely intelligent, outspoken, at times labeled a feminist, while facing her own inner issues that affected her confidence. In one of the story line arcs of “Saved by the Bell,” it is revealed that Jessie Spano was addicted to pills, having an addiction to over-the-counter caffeine pills. This was often considered one of the first times that “Saved by the Bell” tackled an issue that most young adults could relate to, breaking away from the normal “free spirited” vibe of the show.
After “Saved by the Bell,” Berkley had a few notable film appearances (e.g. appearing in the “First Wives Club” alongside Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, and Goldie Hawn), but her most notable film was in the infamous 1995 movie, “Showgirls,” in which she played exotic dancer Nomi Malone. The NC-17 film was panned by critics, and was considered a box office disaster, but has reached cult status due to its graphic nature: from violence, to nudity. The film itself, however, reached high levels of success after its release, grossing over $100 million in video rentals, becoming one of MGM’s top all-time best sellers. The film recently was listed as number 36 on Entertainment Weekly’s list of The 50 Cult Movies.