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"Before there was David and Donna there was Screech and Violet."

By Rosy Cordero
February 01, 2021 at 05:55 PM EST
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Tori Spelling shared a touching tribute to her Saved by the Bell costar Dustin Diamond who died on Monday at 44 from lung cancer.

Spelling appeared on a handful of episodes of the popular NBC comedy following the adventures of students at Bayside High. The actress portrayed the character Violet Bickerstaff, a studious newcomer who won the heart of Diamond's Samuel "Screech" Powers, beginning in season 2.

Dustin Diamond and Tori Spelling
Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

Before Spelling went on to become a star on Beverly Hills, 90210, where she famously locked lips with Brian Austin Green's David Silver, she shared her first on-screen kiss with Diamond. When news broke of the actor's death, she joined other Saved by the Bell cast members in sharing memories of Diamond.

"My 1st onscreen love Dustin Diamond got his Angel wings today...," Spelling wrote on Instagram. "Before there was David and Donna there was Screech and Violet. Dustin was my first on-screen kiss. He welcomed me with open arms onto the set of Saved By the Bell. As one can imagine being the newbie on a hit show was overwhelming for a 14-year-old girl. He not only showed me around but made sure I was always ok. Such a young gentleman. He was kind, smart, and always making everyone laugh. He was a great scene partner. He was a really good guy. I'm sad after the show we never had much contact aside from occasionally running into each other at events. I'm glad he's out of pain. He's an icon to me professionally and personally. RIP Samuel love, your Violet"

Neither Spelling nor Diamond reprised their roles on the Saved by the Bell revival released in November by NBCUniveral streamer Peacock. The show explained his character's absence by saying Screech was living "on the International Space Station" with his robot Kevin. Prior to his death, Diamond's rep told EW the actor had been in talks to return if the show was picked up for season 2. Peacock confirmed the show was renewed for a second season on Jan. 19, just days after Diamond's hospitalization.

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