Saved by the Bell's Dustin Diamond Dead at 44 After Cancer Battle

The actor died Monday, after recently completing his first round of chemotherapy.

Dustin Diamond, most well known for his work as Screech Powers on ’90s sitcom “Saved by the Bell,” is dead. He was 44.

According to TMZ, the actor died on Monday morning — just a couple weeks after completing his first round of chemotherapy for stage four lung cancer. Diamond was initially hospitalized earlier this month. His health reportedly continued to decline over the past week.

“He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago,” his rep said in a statement. “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.”

Costar Mario Lopez shared a tribute to Instagram after his death, writing, “Dustin, you will be missed my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on…”

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After his diagnosis became public, Elizabeth Berkley posted that she was “sending all healing” his way, while Tiffani Thiessen shared a post reading, “Thinking of you, Dustin.”

Diamond got his big break playing Samuel “Screech” Powers on “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” from 1988-1989. That show became “Saved by the Bell,” on which he starred from 1989-1993, before starring on both “The College Years” and “The New Class.”

Diamond and Mr. Belding actor Dennis Haskins were the only original cast members who didn’t appear on the most recent “Saved by the Bell” revival on Peacock. His character was explained away as being on the international space station with his robot friend, Kevin. When asked about Diamond on a recent “Watch What Happens Live” appearance, Elizabeth Berkley said she hadn’t spoken with him “in a long time” and didn’t believe they’d talked “since we finished the show.” Fans were hopeful, however, he’d appear in the already-announced second season.

Following his time on all the “Saved by the Bell” series, Diamond released his own sex tape, shared sordid stories from the sitcom’s set in a tell-all book he later claimed was fabricated by a ghost writer. He also did a number of reality TV appearances, including “Celebrity Boxing 2,” “Celebrity Big Brother,” “Celebrity Fit Club” and “Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling.”

Off screen, Diamond was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct following a 2014 bar fight. He served jail time in 2016, before a probation violation landed him behind bars again just a month later. He had kept a low profile since.

“We want the public to understand that he was not intentionally malevolent. He — much like the rest of those who act out and behave poorly — had undergone a great deal of turmoil and heartache,” he rep said in a press release following his death. “His actions, though rebuke-able, stemmed from loss and the lack of knowledge on how to process that pain properly. In actuality, Dustin was a humorous and high-spirited individual whose greatest passion was to make others laugh. He was able to sense and feel other peoples’ emotions to such a length that he was able to feel them too—a strength and a flaw, all in one.”

“Dustin Diamond was a character in and of himself: an unpredictable spitfire who always left us shocked, but never left us bored,” the statement continued. “We are thankful he trusted us enough to share his genuine, authentic self with our team. We wish you knew him in the way that we did. We please ask that you give room for privacy to our team and Mr. Diamond’s family during this tragic time, as we grieve and remember the memories spent together. This loss is as much stinging as it is sudden.”

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