Born on January 7, 1977, Dustin Diamond became a famous child actor with his role as Screech on the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell. He also starred in the series' spinoffs and TV movies. Years later he made news being featured in a sex video released on the web. He’s also appeared on the reality TV show Celebrity Fit Club and published a memoir, Behind the Bell.
Born on January 7, 1977 in San Jose, California, Dustin Diamond entered the world of acting as a child. In the late '80s, he appeared in the family film Purple People Eaters, the zany Big Top Pee Wee and the teen movie She’s Out of Control. He also had guest spots on the TV series The Wonder Years and It’s a Living.
In 1988, Diamond began playing the role of Screech on the Disney Channel’s Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which starred Hayley Mills as a middle-school teacher. After the series was cancelled, a few of the characters, including Screech, were transplanted to high school in the sitcom Saved by the Bell, co-starring Elizabeth Berkley, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Lark Voorhies. Taking place at Bayside High, the series became a popular component of NBC’s Saturday morning kid’s lineup and sometimes highlighted serious fare with its frothy storylines. The perennially on-another-planet Screech was popular for his oddball, earnest antics.
Even after its cancellation, Bell developed a large fan following, going in syndication on TBS for many years. Diamond starred in various Bell TV movies and a primetime 1993 spinoff, Saved by the Bell: the College Years, which ran for only one season. Saved by the Bell was followed by a daytime spinoff as well, Saved by the Bell: The New Class, in which Diamond reappeared as Screech, now a college student working as part of the school’s administrative staff. The show ran for seven seasons.
Life After 'Saved by the Bell'
Post-Bell, Diamond put out a 2001 instructional video, Dustin Diamond Teaches Chess, and flexed his musical muscles by playing bass with the alternative metal group Salty the Pocketknife, appearing on their 2003 self-titled debut. He also appeared on a number of TV shows like Celebrity Boxing, The Weakest Link and Hollywood Squares, and worked as a stand-up comedian.
In 2006, Diamond made news as portions of a sex video featuring the actor with two women were leaked onto the internet to much media attention. Initially publicly protesting the clip, he later signed a deal with its distributor to take a cut of the profits. The video was officially released with a rather alarming title. Later allegations surfaced from the broker of the deal that Diamond had intended for the clip to be released all along, and that he may have used a body double.
Then in 2007, Diamond gained more notoriety as a contestant on Celebrity Fit Club, a VH1 reality program where various media personalities vied to lose weight in a contest format. He was known for his on-air arguments with fellow cast members and volatile persona.
In 2009, Diamond published a tell-all memoir called Behind the Bell by Transit Publishing, focusing on his experiences on the set of his childhood hit. Former cast mates distanced themselves from Diamond, and he was noticeably absent in a Saved by the Bell reunion story for People magazine. Years later, in September 2012, Diamond was named in court documents as having allegedly received a large sum of money in loans from a Ponzi scheme.
In December 2014, Diamond was arrested in Wisconsin for allegedly stabbing a man during a fight in a bar. According to the police, the actor was charged with recklessly endangering safety, carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct. The wounds the man Diamond allegedly stabbed were not life threatening. Earlier that same year, the Lifetime network aired a TV movie The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story based on his book Behind the Bell.
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