Dustin Diamond, the actor behind Screech, one of the most lovable characters from the hit Saved by the Bell TV series, has passed from this world. May he rest in peace.
According to multiple sources like NBC News, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter, Dustin Diamond was diagnosed just 3 weeks ago with stage 4 lung cancer back in the middle of January 2021. He underwent treatment in an undisclosed hospital somewhere in Florida, but they were ultimately unable to save him. Now, less than a month later, the actor behind Screech from Saved by the Bell passed on today, February 1, 2021; at the tender young age of 44. It was far too soon for him.
In Memoriam: Dustin Diamond and Samuel “Screech” Powers
As you can probably guess, Dustin Diamond is best known for playing Samuel “Screech” Powers in the hit 1989 TV series Saved by the Bell. Even after the main show ended in 2000 with The New Class, Diamond never really ended up playing anyone else. He went on to play a few minor roles in comedy films, but mostly he ended up doing guest appearances in live-action movies and shows where he played himself. For Diamond, Screech wasn’t just his most defining role. In a lot of ways, the lovable little nerd was his only major role. And now…now it forever will be.
Samuel “Screech” Powers was actually one of two characters that appeared in Saved by the Bell all the way from start to finish. In fact, he actually appeared in the concept show that provided the basis for Saved by the Bell: Good Morning, Miss Bliss. In all incarnations though, he was fundamentally the same character. He was an awkward, nerdy boy who served as the show’s comic relief, but reveals that he does have hidden depths on occasion. His earnest and jovial personality combined with his quirkiness made him a very popular character among the fanbase. This is Dustin Diamond’s legacy to the world, and it should be cherished as such.
A Screech Memorial Episode on Saved by the Bell (2020)?
Given how there’s a 2020 Saved by the Bell revival/sequel series on Peacock, it’ll be interesting to see how they deal with Dustin Diamond/Screech’s death. Maybe they’ll have a special episode dedicated to him? They did mention that Screech was apparently an astronaut on the International Space Station. Maybe he suffers an accident in-show that results in his death?
Personally though, I hope that Dustin Diamond/Screech’s death won’t be turned into a comedy. It’s fine to have some comedy on other issues in that episode, but hopefully not at the death itself. It’s just far too serious an issue, and it’d be a bit distasteful. It should be a proper tragedy, not something to be made fun of. Granted, there’s no word that such an episode is even in production. Hopefully, the producers are at least considering it though.
On this day in February 1, 2021; Dustin Diamond/Samuel “Screech” Powers passed from this world. With him gone, an important piece of a lot of people’s childhoods has gone with him. May he rest in peace, and may Screech’s friends and fellow students of Bayside High welcome him, wherever he has gone.