8 TV Actors Who Turned Out Just Like Their Characters

Dustin Diamond / Screech Powers

Before Sheldon Cooper – before Carlton, Milhouse, and even Urkel – there was Screech Powers, “Saved by the Bell”‘s teenage nerd; a guy who was so horribly repellent, only Tori Spelling would date him.

From 1989-2000, for four incarnations of “Saved by the Bell” (including a few memorable specials, like the one in Hawaii with Staci Carosi and the Battle of the Sexes on the beach), Screech tucked his Zubaz into high-top Converse and was systematically rejected by token black hottie, Lisa Turtle. When the cool kids who allowed him to hang out with them finally moved on with their lives, Screech returned to Bayside High to work as an assistant to his best friend, school principal Mr. Belding. In the end, none of his friends seemed to really help him succeed, and people continued to laugh at him for the rest of the character’s life (as far as we loyal fans know).

The Real Dustin Diamond

When “Saved by the Bell: The New Class” was finally (finally) canceled in 2000, Dustin Diamond rested on the dregs of his laurels, appearing as “Himself” in shows you never saw, like “Star Dates.”

In 2006, he directed and released his own sex tape, Screeched – Saved by the Smell, which I also hope you never saw.

Some time after that, my friends ran into him in a bar in Boston, where he was selling t-shirts with his own face on them, trying to raise money so he wouldn’t lose his house to foreclosure. If any of them gave him one cent, they never admitted it.

With nobody helping him in the end, his career has fallen to just about where Screech’s did, being a walking punchline and, sadly, ending up on a depressing amount of VH1 shows.

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