R.I.P. Dustin Diamond, who became a Nineties icon as Screech in Saved by the Bell

The former child star passed away at the age of 44.

The Everett Collection

Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) was undeniable the star of Saved by the Bell, the most popular kid in Bayside High, and the one talking to the camera as the narrator. But one could argue that Screech, played by Dustin Diamond, was the central character. 

Diamond was there from the very beginning when the teen sitcom began as Good Morning, Miss Bliss, set in Indiana, on the Disney Channel in 1988. When the show shifted networks (to NBC) and settings (to sunny California), Samuel "Screech" Powers came along for the ride. He was the comic relief, the Urkel. But much like Jaleel White on Family Matters, Diamond gained more and more of the spotlight as the series progressed. There were more kids out there who could relate to Screech than Slater, one would imagine.

When Saved the Bell ended in 1993, Screech matriculated to Saved by the Bell: The College Years, which lasted for a season. The franchise carried on, however, with Saved by the Bell: The New Class, which lasted a surprising seven seasons. Diamond appeared on that show for six seasons, returned to Bayside High to work as Mr. Belding's assistant. He was the only young cast member to hold a regular role in the original and The New Class, as if Spock had carried over to The Next Generation.

But like so many adolescent stars and Tiger Beat kids, Diamond struggled to say in the spotlight and hold his career together following the final bell of Saved by the Bell. (He did not take part in the recent reboot.) The California native appeared on reality competitions such as The Weakest Link, Celebrity Big Brother, and Celebrity Boxing 2, and ran into personal problems off-camera.

On February 1, Diamond passed away after battling cancer, according to TMZ. He was 44.

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Gregory 30 months ago
It was only a few years ago that Lark Voorhies admitted on MeTV that she had a secret crush on Dustin Diamond, although she might have actually said Screech.
Grynch_84 40 months ago
The "metv staff member" obviously doesn't know anything about Star Trek etc.

Dustin had a rocky life off the show and much of that was sadly publicized. A shocking quick end.
Barry22 40 months ago
RIP. He wrote a book about ten years ago or so about the show, and it caused a rift between him and the rest of the cast.
Krn Barry22 40 months ago
And then I believe he later said it wasn’t true.
Dario 40 months ago
Man, that's a shocker! 😨😨😨😨😨
dmzabooo 40 months ago
There were many hit pieces written about this dude over the years. Having said that I never was a fan of the show but those Hollywood tabloids are filth anyways. Besides You never know what has the hint of truth behind any of those publications. R.I.P. Dustin “Screech” Diamond after all those nasty hit pieces about you now you’re finally resting in peace.
MichaelofT 40 months ago
Ohhhh! Screech! Dustin will be missed for his heart of gold and sometimes naïve outlook on life. Rest in peace lovable, dorky friend
Jeffrey 40 months ago
That is a shock. I watched Saved By The Bell when it was originally on, but I didn't care for it now in reruns on MeTV. RIP.
DethBiz 40 months ago
RIP Dustin. Went so fast after his diagnosis. Saved By The Bell was one of the last fun shows. With modern tv the shows aren't allowed to be fun and there is only a strict short list of topics that people are allowed to joke about and you are supposed to think they are very funny. John Carpenter's They Live is more relevant today than it was in 1988.
dmzabooo DethBiz 40 months ago
So true! It’s amazing how the American public is folding to the overlord types!
Barry22 DethBiz 40 months ago
Kick ass and chew gum, my friend.
DethBiz Barry22 40 months ago
Well, I have seen a few people that looked like their head fell in the cheese dip back in 1957.
DethBiz DMZABO 40 months ago
Overlord and media types. I know I have been wearing my dark sunglasses a lot more than I used to. lol
CelticTwilight DMZABO 40 months ago
Well we finally got rid of overlord trump. But you're right there's still plenty of those Qanon crazies trying to overthrow democracy in the name of their dear leader.
rceschi2 CelticTwilight 39 months ago
What a boob.
denny 40 months ago
I had just heard a few weeks ago that he thought he might have stage 4 cancer. Seems to have came fast after diagnosis. Damn. RIP
jaelinsmith40652 40 months ago
Truth Hurts! but also That was just so pounding sad that I like about how he was very goofy, around in the high school and now in every episode he was just so flipping wild with that curly hair back in the 80s/90s. samuel screech powers is trumandous.
Jeremy 40 months ago
Are you kidding me!? Him!? How crazy is that!?
Panther22 40 months ago
Dustin Diamond AKA Screech was sometimes dorky and a pain with Lisa but one cool SBTB cast member
Cancer took another good actor RIH.
Andybandit 40 months ago
I never really liked saved by the bell. But screetch was my favorite.
mc1963 41 months ago
We loved you and with reruns we will continue. Prayers for the family.
texasluva 41 months ago
This is just terrible. These things happen far too many times over the course of our lives. To be sure Life is not fair. Though I was not but a part time watcher, just so sad. R.I.P. Dustin Diamond (Screech).
DIGGER1 41 months ago
NOOOOOO!!!!! Of all the "S.B.T.B." cast members & characters to leave this world, "WHY" did it have to be "DUSTIN DIAMOND", a.k.a. "SAMUAL 'SCREECH' POWERS"?

R.I.P., DUSTIN DIAMOND, B.01/07/1977--D.02/01/2021.

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