Saved by the Bell: Hayley Mills Talks Return, Remembers Dustin Diamond

While Good Morning, Miss Bliss remains a footnote as the first rebranded season of Saved by the Bell, the original series star Hayley Mills has fond memories of the Disney Channel series on its lone season in 1987 before its casting overhaul and rebranding to NBC. The cast of Miss Bliss proportionately featured as many adults as there was younger talent with Dennis Haskins, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Joan Ryan, Max Battimo, Dustin Diamond, Heather Hopper, Lark Voorhies, and T.K. Carter. While celebrating the 60th anniversary of her Disney film The Parent Trap, Mills spoke with Entertainment Weekly on work on the sitcom, whether she'd be open to a return for the Peacock sequel, and reflecting on the late Diamond.

Saved by the Bell: Hayley Mills on a Return, Remembers Dustin Diamond
Image courtesy of NBCU

Hayley Mills on Saved by the Bell Recognition

"The success of that series has been so great," Mills said. "I only did one season, but dear Mr. Belding [Haskins] carried it on while the kids just got bigger and bigger. It was fun, and I loved doing it. It's odd because even though I only did one season, it never did go away. [Laughs] What it did for me personally was that suddenly young kids who hadn't watched The Parent Trap or any of my Disney movies recognized me from Saved by the Bell. That one season gave me a whole new image on television." The actress admitted not feeling comfortable in doing regular sitcom work even with her prior experience on TV on shows like The Love Boat and Murder, She Wrote.

Hayley Mills arriving for The British Animal Honours 2013, Elstree Studios, London. 11/04/2013 Picture by: Steve Vas (Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com)
Hayley Mills arriving for The British Animal Honours 2013, Elstree Studios, London. 11/04/2013 Picture by: Steve Vas (Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com)

"It was a very different experience, working on a sitcom. I had never done that before, and it was really nerve-wracking," the Academy Award-winning actress recalled. "They re-write [dialog] up until the last minute. They'd give you a page and just as you're about to shoot and, 'Oh my God,' [we'd stop for changes]. It really keeps you on your toes! But the spontaneity, it's quite good for comedy." While her time on the series was brief, she did have fond memories of Samuel "Screech" Powers actor Diamond, who died in February.

Remembering Diamond and Will Mills Return?

"He was a really sweet kid. I'm very sad about that," Mills reflected. "I remember [Diamond] always being sweet and really funny. I was very fond of him, as I was all of them." While Haskins, Gosselaar, Diamond, and Voorhies were the only cast members to make the transition and the series setting changed from John F. Kennedy High in Indianapolis, Indiana to Bayside High in Los Angeles, California, the actress is open appearing on the NBCU streamer revival/sequel.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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