Dustin Diamond, an actor who played the role of Screech in the popular 1990s high school comedy “Saved by the Bell,” was announced dead on Monday by his manager Roger Paul.
According to Paul, Dustin Diamond died due to complications from cancer. He had just recently gotten his diagnosis. He was 44-years-old at the time of his death.
“He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago,” Paul said in a statement he provided to CNN. “In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution. Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.”
When the news of Dustin Diamond having cancer broke out, his manager informed the press that he’s client’s health was serious and that he was undergoing more tests at a Florida hospital at the time. Several days later, after announcing the news, Diamond underwent his first round of chemotherapy.
Diamond had been diagnosed last month with stage 4 small cell carcinoma, or lung cancer, and had been in treatment ever since his diagnosis.
The Saved by the Bell star was an actor and a stand-up comedian. He became famous for his role as Samuel ‘Screech’ Powers in the franchise that aired for more than a decade.
In 1988, at the age of 11, Diamond was cast as Screech in Disney Channel show Good Morning Miss Bliss, which after one season was changed to Saved by the Bell on NBC. It later became a long-running hit franchise. He continued to play the character until he was 23 in 2000.
The 90s hit show had been recently reimagined by the Peacock streaming service with some of the original stars, though Diamond wasn’t among those cast for the sitcom.
“The hardest thing about being a child star is giving up your childhood. You don’t get a childhood, really,” he said in a 2013 interview.
Dustin Diamond died at 44 due to stage 4 lung cancer
Despite rising to fame for his role as Screech in Saved by the Bell sitcom, Diamond went through some hard times with one of the most noticeable ones being the time he stirred controversy with his 2009 book “Behind the Bell,” in which he shared backstage stories about shooting the series.
In his book, he shared accounts of what went on backstage and most of it wasn’t pleasing, and often described it as less flattering to his costars. He later apologised for any damage caused. He also faced some legal troubles, serving three months in jail for stabbing a man during a 2014 altercation at a bar in Wisconsin.
The actor had also started a band known as Salty The Pocketknife and played himself in a number of low-budget films.
The year after the final iteration of Saved by the Bell aired, Diamond declared bankruptcy. He then appeared in a number of reality shows over the years, including “Celebrity Fit Club,” “Celebrity Boxing 2” and “Celebrity Championship Wrestling.”
Diamond’s “Save by the Bell” costars, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez and Tiffany Thiessen, paid tribute to the late actor on social media.
“Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius,” Gosselaar tweeted. “My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Looking back at our time working together, I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce. A pie in your face, my comrade.”
“Dustin, you will be missed my man,” Lopez wrote on Instagram. “The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on.”
“I am deeply saddened by I the news of my old co-star @realdustindiamond passing,” Thiessen wrote in an Instagram post. “Life is extremely fragile and it’s something we should never take for granted. God speed Dustin.
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