Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News. Posted by Lexi Schwartz
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Entertainment
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News.
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
social
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Dustin Diamond

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Famous For:
Saved By the Bell, Saved By the Bell: The College Years and Saved By the Bell: The New Class
Networth:
$500,000
Currently Known For:
Actor, Musician, Comedian
Famous Years:
1988 - 2000
Birthdate:
January 7, 1977
Dustin Diamond


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  famous for:
Saved By the Bell, Saved By the Bell: The College Years and Saved By the Bell: The New Class

  networth:
$500,000

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“I’m a shepherd, not a sheep and I’ve always prided myself on being a leader and not a follower.” Winning over audiences with his psychedelic clothes and complete lack of common sense, Dustin Diamond might have been only slightly less whacky than his popular character, Samuel “Screech” Powers” on Saved By the Bell. Getting his start as Screech on Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Diamond was only one of two actors who were invited to reprise their roles in the spinoff series, Saved By the Bell, which first took the air in 1989. As the show attracted younger audiences, Diamond rose to stardom and appeared in spinoffs like Saved by the Bell: The New Class and Saved By the Bell: The College Years before his stardom seemingly came crashing down when a sex tape and a violent outburst generated negative publicity and a few months behind bars. Recently released from prison and sentenced to probation, let’s take a look at Diamond’s rise and fall in the spotlight! Advertisements:

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Dustin Neil Diamond was born on January 7, 1977 in San Jose, California where his father taught digital electronics with a computer processing firm and his mother worked as a computer operator at Pacific Bell. Recognizing his interests in acting early on, Diamond was 10 years old when he made his acting debut in episodes of The Price of Life, American Playhouse, It’s a Living and Yogi’s Great Escape. In 1988, he was cast as Big Z in Purple People Eater and caught a huge break months later when he stepped into the role of the annoying but loveable Samuel “Screech” Powers on Good Morning, Miss Bliss.

Appearing in 13 episodes of Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Diamond had cameos in The Wonder Years and She’s Out of Control before he was invited to reprise his role as Screech in the spinoff series, Saved By the Bell in 1989. Spending the next four years on the series, he appeared in specials like Saved By the Bell: Hawaiian Style and joined Zack, Kelly, Lisa, Slater and Jessie for Saved By the Bell: The College Years and Saved By the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas. In 1994, he reprised his role once again when he joined Mr. Belding in Saved By the Bell: The New Class, which lasted for six seasons.

By the new millennium, Diamond bid farewell to his childhood character and made cameos in Longshot, Jane White is Sick & Twisted, Big Fat Liar, Pauly Shore is Dead and Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star when opportunities simply stopped coming his way. Grasping for fame and desperately trying not to fall into child star oblivion, Diamond did the unthinkable and released his own sex tape—Screeched: Saved by the Smell—in 2006. Surprising many of his former fans, Diamond later sat down with Oprah Winfrey on Where Are They Now? and admitted that he thought the tape was a good idea at the time. “There was a stunt person,” he said of the intimate scenes. “I had to take a chance. What if that thing had made $3 or $4 million?”

The film obviously didn’t make millions and, instead, pushed Diamond further from the spotlight as he ventured into stand-up comedy and appeared in a string of reality and game shows like The Weakest Link and Celebrity Boxing 2. In 2007, he starred in Celebrity Fit Club and followed up the appearance as a contestant on Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling. Once again hoping to cash in on his former fame, he stunned his costars when he accused them of risqué behavior behind the scenes in his tell-all book, Behind the Bell. The book caused a huge rift between costars Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffany Thiessen and Mario Lopez with Lopez later confronting Diamond during an interview.

“I wanted to write a book about my life…,” Diamond claimed. “I was supposed to talk to a ghostwriter for 40 hours total; I talked to a guy for 90 minutes total. Another two weeks go by and I get something in the mail, I get a copy of the book. They fabricated a whole bunch of stuff… I kind of super railroaded on that.” As Lopez questioned his intentions and how the book painted an unflattering picture of the former friends, Diamond was quick to respond saying, “Imagine how I feel, I haven’t talked to Marc Paul or Elizabeth or Tiffany in ages, so I can’t imagine what they think, and I’m hoping this will clear it up. It wasn’t me, I didn’t write this. I was just as shocked and appalled.”

Things only became worse for Diamond who attempted to launch his music career with his band, Salty The Pocketknife, only to see the group break up after the release of their first album. In 2013, he joined a handful of celebrities on the 12th series of Celebrity Big Brother but even more trouble was on the horizon when he was arrested in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin on December 26, 2014. Carrying a switchblade knife, Diamond was accused of pulling the knife and stabbing a man during a bar brawl. While Diamond’s fiancée, Amanda Schutz, was charged on disorderly conduct and fined, Diamond was convicted of two misdemeanors and sentenced to four months in prison. Serving three months, Diamond was released on probation and has since worked to set the story straight.

“I had my pocket knife out…and the blade was right here and the guy came around me and grabbed my throat, and so he nicked his arm on the tip of it—it was a Band-Aid, the most expensive Band-Aid I’ve ever bought,” Diamond said. As for his time in prison, the experience certainly shook him up as the former Saved By the Bell star remarked, “It’s pretty daunting, it’s pretty scary going into that environment.”

Today, the 40-year-old actor is hoping to move forward. “I want to put the tomfoolery and malarkey behind me… for that clean slate. Time for a change,” he says and we couldn't agree more.

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