Remembering Dustin Diamond 1977 - 2021
Dustin Neil Diamond (January 7, 1977 – February 1, 2021) was an American actor, director, stand-up comedian, and musician best known for his role as Samuel "Screech" Powers throughout the Saved by the Bell franchise.
Diamond began acting as a child. He became known for playing the nerdy and lovable Samuel "Screech" Powers on the television show Saved by the Bell, a role he played for close to thirteen years from its beginning as Good Morning, Miss Bliss (1988–89) through its final incarnation, Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1994–2000). Continuing the series into college, Saved by the Bell: The College Years shows most of the cast transplanted into not only the same college, but also the same college dormitory, where Screech continued his typical misadventures. The College Years was canceled after one season. Diamond returned to Bayside High as Principal Belding's assistant in The New Class episodes, remaining with the show until its cancellation.
Diamond began doing stand up comedy after the end of Saved by the Bell, and toured on and off after that. He was also featured on a number of game and reality shows including The Weakest Link, and Celebrity Boxing 2. Diamond has also made several cameo appearances in films, including appearances in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star in 2003 and in Made in 2001. In 2009, he also played the part of "Alumnus Guy #1" in American Pie Presents: The Book of Love. In 2010, he had a supporting role in the sports comedy Tetherball: The Movie. In it, Diamond plays the Foul Mouths' down-on-his-luck coach. In 2014 Diamond played Bernardo, the castle guard, in the partially animated science fiction comedy Hamlet A.D.D.
In 2007 Diamond was a cast member of the fifth season of Celebrity Fit Club. During his run on the show, he came into conflict with former American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, country singer Cledus T. Judd, rapper Da Brat, the program's host, Ant, and the program's trainer, former USMC sergeant Harvey Walden IV. During one episode, Diamond mentioned what may have happened if he were to challenge Ant to "physical combat" and, after Walden defended Ant, Diamond subsequently said the same to Harvey Walden. Hearing this, Walden lost his temper on the show.
Diamond appeared as a contestant on Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling, broadcast on CMT. A huge fan and supporter of professional wrestling, Diamond was previously involved with Memphis Championship Wrestling in March and April 2000. He had many wrestling involvements after that as a referee, manager and even a tag team partner.
On January 14, 2021, Diamond's manager announced that Dustin had been diagnosed with small-cell lung carcinoma, and was undergoing chemotherapy in Florida. He died on February 1, 2021, at the age of 44, from that disease