Luxe Life Blog
Mario Lopez celebrates his 38th birthday — and his daughter Gia’s 1st
When actor and Extra host Mario Lopez celebrates his 38th birthday this weekend in Las Vegas, he says that it will have an, ahem, extra-special significance.
“Birthdays happen every year, but my first daughter just turned 1 herself, so we’re both excited about celebrating hers and mine together,” Mario told me in an exclusive interview. “Being it’s her 1st birthday is very meaningful to me as I celebrate my own.
“And the getaway visit to Vegas gives me a chance for a real date night -- Courtney (Mazzo) will be with me. You really have no sense of the importance of family till you are celebrating like this with your own.”
Mario heads to The Strip for his birthday at Gallery Nightclub at Planet Hollywood on Saturday after dinner at Sugar factory American Brasserie in the adjoining Paris.
Mario, who also hosts the reality TV show H8R, which just premiered on The CW, released his second children’s book Mario & Baby Gia a week ago. “It’s becoming a series now, and I hope to write a lot more,” he told me.
“It’s awesome having a 1-year-old. Coming home to that big smile is the best thing in life possible. For me, it’s like living another childhood all over again. What an incredible experience.”
Daughter Gia and proud mom Courtney take prime place in Mario’s busy schedule. In addition to Extra and H8R, he’s also juggling MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew and returns to Las Vegas on Nov. 12 to cover the Manny Pacquiao fight at MGM Grand for HBO International -- another regular assignment when the cable network broadcasts boxing.
“I am truly blessed to be able to juggle it all,” he continued. “Courtney and Gia come first, though, at all times. I am very excited about that aspect of my life. There’s always time for them at the start and end of each day.
“I get up at 6 a.m. and always make it a rule to get in a workout session either before or after 8 a.m. at the studio for Extra. Then I go out, too, to visit station affiliates around the country. I love to work out there with them cross-country and at the same time meet the fans.
“It’s a six-day-a-week schedule, but the girls are always there at the beginning and end of each day -- and then we always share the remaining day of the week entirely together. That’s so important. I don’t want to lose any of that incredible magic of watching her grow up or miss anything when she’s learning and doing things for the first time.”
As if all those responsibilities aren’t enough, Mario’s published his workout book Mario Lopez Knockout Fitness and a cookbook Extra Lean that’s a New York Times bestseller. The busy author, actor and spokesman returns to Las Vegas on Oct. 14 to support best friends Eva Longoria and Giselle Fernandez at their benefit Padres at the Tropicana.
Eva hosts and honors my friend, former NBC news anchor Giselle. I’ll join Mario there with Jessica Alba, Sugar Ray Leonard, Felicity Huffman and Andy Garcia at the annual gala fundraiser to assist the fight against childhood cancer. Their weekend includes a celebrity poker tournament, a Club Nikki party and a VIP reception with AEG Live executives.
Mario summed up: “It’s a great balance to life -- a time to give back and do good for the children and a time to celebrate. I am blessed with a beautiful family. These are the happiest days of my life.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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