In her early 20s, Carla Gugino was a fresh-faced ingenue. She was completely convincing playing a first-year college student in 'Son-in-Law' and almost made us believe that she might fall for Pauly Shore. In her 30s, she reinvented herself as a sex symbol, appearing almost entirely naked to sensational effect in 'Sin City,' leading to roles in 'Watchmen,' 'Girl Walks Into a Bar,' which just debuted at SXSW, and 'Sucker Punch,' which opens wide on Friday. In the latter film, she plays Madam Gorski, an evil figure who is holding a group of young women against their will.

Gugino has demonstrated ample charm, a strong personality and rampant sex appeal in recent guest appearances on TV shows 'Entourage' and 'Californication,' which is oddly fitting, since she got her start in television. In her teens, Gugino was a model turned actress and only too happy, no doubt, to find work on two popular shows, 'Who's the Boss?' and 'ALF.' Between those two roles, she made a mark as an "older woman" who caught the eye of a younger man.
At the age of 17, she played a girl named Karen in a guest appearance in the "Summer Love" episode of 'Good Morning Miss Bliss.' The show starred Hayley Mills as the titular school teacher; her students included Zack Morris, played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar. The show aired for one season on The Disney Channel before moving to NBC and changing its title to 'Saved by the Bell.' Mills dropped out, the kids became the focus and the show became a hit.

Which is beside the point, except it will give you context if you're familiar with the show and/or wonder why kids from 'Saved by the Bell' show up in a similar school setting.

Back to Carla Gugino. Her character, Karen, shows up beginning at the 3:04 mark in the video below as a 15-year-old 9th grader who 8th grader Zack fell in love with during summer camp. He lied about his age, thinking he'd never see her again, so he's surprised when she suddenly appears. Miss Bliss convinces him that he should tell her the truth, and he's ready to confess when Karen invites him over to her house for a private pool party; her parents will be away and she has a "special bikini" to show him.

The episode continues with Karen catching on that Zack is lying and dumping him -- oops, sorry, spoiler! But that's also the end of Gugino's guest shot.

The show itself is nothing special, but it's kinda cool to see the sparks fly out of her when she confronts Zack. It's a brief appearance in a long-forgotten TV show, and a reminder of how grateful we are that she grew up into a fine actress who is quite prepared to kick our butt if we ever cross her.
categories Features, Video, Cinematical