The popular sitcom Saved by the Bell (1989-1993) endearingly depicted the passions and predicaments of a bunch of teenage pals at Bayside High School. If you were a fan of the show, you recall Lisa Marie Turtle, a character played to the hilt by actress Lark Voorhies. Her admirers want to know what she has been doing since Saved ended.
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Voorhies. Saved was about teens having lighthearted fun, but Voorhies’ own life has sometimes been troubled. She encountered mental health issues that had to be dealt with. Voorhies also had a marriage that lasted just six months.
We took a deep dive into what went awry for this talented lady and how Lisa Turtle is now.
Voorhies Has Experienced Many Career Ups And Downs Since Her Role As Lisa Turtle
The 1990s were a busy period for Voorhies professionally. There was seldom a time when she didn’t have an acting gig lined up.
Guest-starring and recurring roles came her way. Not only did Voorhies have acting opportunities on daytime soaps, but she also revisited the part that made her famous, Lisa Turtle.
She seemed to be in demand several years back. Voorhies guest starred on TV shows like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Family Matters, and The Parkers. She landed recurring roles in soap operas Days of Our Lives and The Bold and the Beautiful.
She reprised her role as Lisa Turtle in Saved by the Bell: The College Years, Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas, and Saved by the Bell: The Next Class.
Everything looked so promising for her. Then Voorhies decided to take a different path for a while.
She Took A Hiatus From Acting Between 2002 And 2008
Voorhies opted for a detour from her acting career for several years. She wasn’t idle, though—she went to college. Voorhies then returned to acting with a role in an episode of Robot Chicken (2008), followed by one in a thriller, The Next Hit, that same year.
Voorhies appeared in two Christian films, Measure of Faith (2011) and Closer to God: Jessica’s Journey (2012). She also co-starred with fellow Saved by the Bell alum Dustin Diamond in Little Creeps (2012).
Voorhies was still keeping her hand in the business and doing something she gravitated to and did well: acting.
Her Most Recent Appearance Was In The Saved by the Bell Reunion In 2020-2021
Jimmy Fallon liked Saved so much that in 2015, he had some of the show’s cast members on The Tonight Show for a hilarious throwback sketch. Many of Saved’s stars participated.
Mario Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Tiffani Thiessen, Dennis Haskins, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar hammed it up alongside Fallon, who rocked a ‘90s-style mullet.
Judging by the audience’s full-throated whoops and hollers of delight, the skit got a thumbs-up from everyone.
Speculation was rampant as to why Voorhies was not part of Fallon’s Saved rewind. Her publicist told E! News that as much as Voorhies would have liked to join in the fun, her “intense work schedule” prevented her from participating.
When Voorhies appeared on The Dr. Oz Show in 2020 with her mom, Tricia Holloway, and her psychiatrist, Dr. Shahla Modir, Oz asked Voorhies how she felt about not being invited to be part of an upcoming Saved reboot.
With great composure, she read from a prepared text: “I have to admit I did feel a bit slighted and hurt when I was not invited to be part of the Saved by the Bell reunion as well as other cast members’ events,” Voorhies stated.
“Yet of course, I also realized that [my mental health] may have played a major part in that factual decision. With that in mind, I am truly thankful for having had the chance to work on a show that has been so successful.”
It was a gracious and restrained reply from Voorhies, given the heart-wrenching circumstances. When Oz asked her how she would react to being included in the reboot’s cast, she said, “Elated and happy.”
Voorhies did ultimately play Lisa Turtle on three episodes of the new Saved iteration. It’s hard not to wonder if that erased the disappointment she experienced at initially being left out.
She Has Struggled With Mental Health Issues
In 2012, it seemed as if something was badly amiss with Voorhies. She behaved peculiarly in a video interview with Entertainment Tonight when she had difficulty putting her thoughts together coherently and responding to simple questions. Some attributed her strange demeanor to possible drug use, which she denied.
Her mother revealed to People that Voorhies had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Voorhies pushed back and refuted that.
She did, however, reveal a diagnosis of schizoaffective thought disorder, a condition that can cause disorganized thinking and problems with verbalizing thoughts.
Two years before Voorhies appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, he said that his staff grew concerned when they conducted a pre-broadcast interview with her.
Wanting to help her, Oz got Voorhies together with Modir for professional assistance. She was finally able to come on his show to discuss her progress and aspirations for the future.
She acknowledged during her on-air interview with Oz that she was sometimes fearful about leaving her house. She hoped to act again if and when treatment for her condition made it possible for her to do so.
Meanwhile, Voorhies found herself fending off rumors that she had the autoimmune disease lupus. In an odd turn of events, someone who said they were Voorhies created a bogus Instagram account in her name in 2015 and posted that she had had lupus since 2007 (per People). Voorhies’ rep denied it and said the actress did not have an Instagram account.
Voorhies Sued The National Enquirer For Claiming She Had A Drug Problem
Voorhies had to fight off even more false information about herself when The National Enquirer published a story in June 2005 that claimed she had been hospitalized for a cocaine habit.
She sued the publication for libel, saying that the scurrilous story caused her to lose professional opportunities. Voorhies’ doctor also denied the article’s assertions.
Voorhies’ attorney, Cyrus J. Nownejadi, reportedly told TMZ that she dropped her lawsuit against The National Enquirer and “the matter has been resolved.”
She Had A Tumultuous Marriage In 2015
There was more heartache on the way for Voorhies, this time in the form of a painfully short-lived marriage. TMZ announced that Voorhies had tied the knot in Las Vegas with a man named Jimmy Green, who they said was a music engineer she crossed paths with on Facebook.
Green told the outlet that he and his bride had an April 1 commitment ceremony, followed a month later by the Vegas nuptials. He said there were plans in the works for yet another ceremony, this time with family members and friends in attendance.
The storm clouds gathered quickly, however. According to People, Voorhies’ mother got a temporary restraining order against Green just days before news of his and Voorhies’ Vegas wedding was made public.
The reason why Holloway sought the restraining order is unclear, but Green reportedly had previous run-ins with the law. Court documents allegedly said that there was an arrest warrant for him in Tucson, Arizona for threatening to intimidate and disorderly conduct.
Her mother’s actions against Green did not seem to alienate the actress from Holloway. People reported that “Lark and her mother are spending more time together,” according to her rep.
In October 2015, People reported that Voorhies had filed for divorce from Green in Pasadena, California due to irreconcilable differences, court documents stated.
Voorhies Has Self-Published Three Books
In her spare time, Voorhies took up writing and self-published three books: Reciprocity (2010), Trek of the Cheshire (2011), and True Light (2011).
Lark Voorhies attained tremendous popularity on television, thanks to her effervescent personality and a great role on Saved by the Bell. Her mental illness has made it challenging for her to keep her career momentum going.
She seems to have made substantial progress, however. We hope that Voorhies continues on the road to health and makes it back to the small screen again soon.