Decades after the NBC series "Saved By The Bell" changed lives and then ended, Dennis Haskins, the actor that played Richard Belding on the series, is now 70 years old. Take a look at his life after the series.
The year was 1989, and actor Dennis Haskins appeared on screens for the first time as Principal Richard Belding in the NBC teen sitcom, "Saved By The Bell."
Not long after, he soon became a fan favorite with his famous catchphrase, "hey, hey, hey, what is going on here?" Now, after so many years since the show ended, the lovable actor is now 70 years old.
Dennis Haskins at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts on August 25, 2018 | Photo: Getty Images
HASKINS ON "SAVED BY THE BELL"
NBC's "Saved By The Bell" was a teen sitcom that chronicled the lives of six teen friends as they navigated the woes of being teenagers while attending high school.
Before his role on "Saved By The Bell," Haskins worked hard to make sure that he landed the role. Having auditioned for it seven times, he eventually appeared as Belding on the series in 1989.
The show, which was initially started as "Good Morning, Miss Bliss" on the Disney Channel, featured Haskin's character, Belding, as the principal of the school on which the show was based on.
Recently, actor Dustin Diamond, Samuel "Screech" Powers in the series, passed away at the age of 44 due to lung cancer.
To Zack (played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and his friends, Mr. Belding often swayed between being the responsible authority figure that urged them to be better students.
He was also the friendly adult that they could turn to whenever one of their mischievous plans went awry. Also known for his common phrase, "Go to class, learn something," Belding became an unlikely friend to the show's main friendship squad.
He also established himself as a lovable and relatable character. "Saved By The Bell" ran for four seasons from 1989 till 1993 and came to a halt after 86 episodes of having its many fans' hearts.
LIFE OUTSIDE THE SHOW
For Haskins, quite a number of things happened outside his NBC show. While avid viewers enjoyed Dennis Haskins' "Saved By The Bell" journey, he was also working on other projects, including 1988's "Hiroshima Maiden," and the 1990 drama, "The Image."
After "Saved By The Bell" ended, he later reappeared in many spin-offs, including "Saved By The Bell: Hawaiian Style," "Saved By The Bell: The College Years," Saved By The Bell: The New Class," and "Saved By The Bell: Wedding In Las Vegas."
LIFE AFTER THE SHOW
After the show ended, Haskins appeared in 2001's "Max Keeble's Big Move" and the 2002 horror movie, "The Stoneman." Most recently, he has starred in the 2018 comedy, "Bennett's Song," and the 2019 dramas "Abstruse" and "Clemency."
In 2014, a year after Haskins reunited with his former co-star Tiffani Thiessen who played Kelly Kapowski, the actor made headlines when he openly slammed the Lifetime biopic produced by Dustin Diamond, "The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story."
According to him, the drama did not reveal any truth about what happened behind the curtains and simply cooked up stories to earn a few bucks.
In 2019 when the show celebrated its 30th anniversary, the actor reminisced about the tight bond that all the actors shared and the mutual respect they had for each other.
In 2020, when the cast returned for a reboot, fans were shocked to find that the popularly-loved Belding was nowhere to be found. Although not officially explained, his absence from the reboot was popularly deduced to the character either being retired or relocated.
HASKINS' DEATH HOAX
In 2014, the internet was rocked when news that Dennis Haskins died started to circulate. Someone reportedly cooked up a story about him passing away in a car accident.
The actor had no idea until friends and colleagues started calling him to confirm whether he was alive or dead. He eventually came out to debunk the rumors and expressed how hurt he was.
HASKINS' SWEET COLLEGE STORY
It is not every day that a 65-year-old graduate from college. However, Haskins defied all odds in 2015 when he obtained his bachelor of arts degree in theatre at 65 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The actor was very proud of his achievement and took to Instagram to celebrate with a precious selfie of himself smiling during the ceremony. He captioned:
"It's official, Tassel moved from right to left! I'm a graduate! #UTC #TheaterandSpeech #GoMocs.”
MOURNING A CO-STAR
Recently, actor Dustin Diamond, Samuel "Screech" Powers in the series, passed away at the age of 44 due to lung cancer. The late actor's former co-stars trooped to social media to pay tribute to him.
While this tragedy did strike the cast of the show, the show still remains unforgettable, and Haskins still remains everyone's favorite principal.
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