Tori From "Saved by the Bell" Quit Acting 25 Years Ago. See Her Now.
Shortly after coming in between Zack and Kelly, Leanna Creel left acting for good.
In the final season of Saved by the Bell in 1992, there was a new girl at Bayside High who created quite a few waves. Biker Tori Scott arrived on the scene only to get in the middle of end-game couple Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen), cause a battle between BFFs Zack and AC Slater (Mario Lopez), and even deliver Mr. Belding's (Dennis Haskins) baby in a elevator. But shortly after Saved by the Bell came to an end in 1993, Leanna Creel, who played Tori, quit acting. Now, it's been nearly 25 years since her last role, but Creel still can't escape Tori, who was even mentioned in the Saved by the Bell reboot recently. To see what Creel has been up to since then, read on.
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Leanna Creel got her start performing with her sisters, an identical triplet trio.
Monica Lacy, Joy Liefeld, and Leanna Creel are identical triplets from Fullerton, California. Monica and Leanna got their first major roles on Growing Pains in 1987 playing twins (Joy was an exchange student in Denmark at the time, according to the Los Angeles Times). But the three of them got their big break in the 1989 Disney movie special Parent Trap III with Hayley Mills and Barry Bostwick.
Looking back on the movie recently in an interview with Today, Leanna said the triplets had had a general meeting with Disney and Parent Trap III was written with them in mind. "They weren't thinking of doing a Parent Trap III with triplets until they met us," Joy added. "They basically wrote the three characters based off the first initial of our three names. So instead of Leanna, Joy and Monica, it was Lisa, Jessie and Megan," she said.
The third Parent Trap was a success, and the Creel triplets returned for a followup later in 1989 called Parent Trap: Hawaiian Honeymoon. Though there was supposed to be another sequel, Joy told Today it was nixed. "We were totally devastated," she recalled.
Leanna said that Disney began developing a series for the triplets, but it didn't work out since their characters were supposed to be part witch, which conflicted with their religious upbringing. "We should have said, 'We don't want to play witches,' because we were, at the time, very religious," she said. "We should have said at the beginning of the development process, 'We don't love that concept,' but we were just dumb and naive."
Later, the Creel triplets also starred together in a 1991 episode of the teen sitcom Parker Lewis Can't Lose, but after that they went their own ways. Monica and Leanna continued to act; in fact, Monica still does. Leanna went on to nab the role of Tori on Saved by the Bell and did two more single-episode TV stints, the last of which was Ned and Stacy in 1997, 23 years ago. After that, she said goodbye to acting for good.
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She also dated Kirk Cameron.
In a 1988 article in the Los Angeles Times, the Creels talked about their burgeoning career and also a bit about their personal lives. Leanna was a track star, senior class president, and homecoming queen at the time, and she revealed Growing Pains star Kirk Cameron accompanied her to her homecoming dance.
The two made a couple of red carpet appearances, but it's unclear how long the teen romance lasted. Clearly though, her sister took notice. "Leanna has such an awesome boyfriend, she's MVP in cross-country and track, she's senior-class president … everyone loves Leanna," Joy told the L.A. Times.
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Now, Creel is a filmmaker and producer and she owns a production company.
More than 30 years ago, Creel told the L.A. Times that when she grew up, she wanted to "be independent, maybe have my own business." She added: "I've been a little entrepreneur ever since I was a kid, raising chickens and selling eggs to our neighbors."
While she's not selling eggs these days, Creel has made her dream a reality. She runs the photo, film and video production company Creel Studio and she recently launched Vuse, a real estate app.
Leanna told Today that her interest in filmmaking began way back in her Parent Trap days, making Hawaiian Honeymoon with director Mollie Miller. "It was the first time I'd ever worked with a female director, and probably the only time for a long time after that, until I could hire one as a producer," Leanna said.
"I was showing a lot of interest with the camera crew and the cameras and the directing," she recalled. "I remember at the end, the crew gave me a T-shirt, and it was like me surfing on a surfboard with a camera on my shoulder. … The camera crew even recognized that I was going to be behind the camera."
Leanna told Today that after she graduated from film school and began producing, she wrote former Disney CEO Michael Eisner a note to thank him for kicking off her career. "I said, you know, just feeling really a lot of gratitude for those Disney movies," she said. "They allowed me to go to college and grad school and become a producer."
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She is married and has two sons.
Leanna has been with her wife Rinat Greenberg, a real estate agent with Compass in California, for 23 years. They married in 2004 and have two children together: 8-year-old Milo and 13-year-old Levi.
Neither of Leanna's kids have seen Parent Trap III, she told Today, but Levi has caught a couple episodes of Saved by the Bell, which continues to be her claim to fame.
"If you told me then that in 20 years, people would still recognize me from Saved by the Bell, I'd say, 'Shut up,'" Leanna told ABC News in 2015. "Even at the time, it was kind of campy and not necessarily something I'd want to be remembered for!"
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