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So Diamond played Screech as a regular in four sitcoms, which might be a record.Since his 13-year run as Screech ended, Diamond released an instructional video Dustin Diamond Teaches Chess, worked briefly as a professional wrestler, played bass for a struggling rock'n'roll band called Salty the Pocketknife, and toured as a rather raunchy stand-up comedian.The Philadelphia native also penned the 1962 pop song "Palisades Park," a tribute to the old amusement park in New Jersey that was a hit for Freddy Cannon and figured high on Barris' list of career achievements.
The book was a dud upon its release but sold well when the film version, starring Sam Rockwell as Barris, was released.
Then NBC signed several of the kids from the show, including Diamond's "Screech", promoted them to high school, and resurrected the show as Saved by the Bell.
Scheduled on Saturday mornings, it was a hit with teenagers, and ran for four seasons before the network sent the cast to college -- and to prime time -- with Saved by the Bell: The College Years.
Barris often came off as a nut case, but he was an astute businessman.
As a pioneer of first-run syndication, he sold to stations after ABC canceled his shows, keeping them on the air.