Whether they like it or not, when an actor plays an iconic character, that character stays with them for the rest of their life.
For a certain generation, Dustin Diamond will always be known as Samuel “Screech” Powers, one of teenagers on the 90’s high school sitcom, Saved by the Bell. He passed away from cancer earlier today, he was 44.
Looking on the show with adult eyes, I have a new appreciation for Screech. Unlike the rest of the main cast, he was not one of the “pretty people”. He was socially awkward, far from modelesque, and despite his academic intelligence, not always the brightest bulb in the box. Forever chasing after Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies), Screech never quite understood that the crush he had on her was one sided. But he had the biggest heart and never failed to be there for his friends.
Screech was more than just the comic relief. He was representative of many teenagers who want to be cool, but never completely figure out how to be cool.
Though his career profile after SBTB was not the same as his co-stars, he will always be remembered for being part of a show that defined a generation.
May his memory be a blessing. Z”l.