Dustin Diamond, known for playing Screech on ‘Saved by the Bell,’ dies at 44

Dustin Diamond visits "Extra" at Universal Studios Hollywood on May 16, 2016 in Universal City, California.
Dustin Diamond visits "Extra" at Universal Studios Hollywood on May 16, 2016 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Original “Saved by the Bell” star Dustin Diamond has died at age 44, Entertainment Tonight and CNN report.

“We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021 due to carcinoma,” the statement shared with Entertainment Tonight reads. “He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago. 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.”

Diamond had begun undergoing chemotherapy treatments after being diagnosed with cancer, according to his representative. Diamond, best known for playing Screech on the hit ’90s sitcom, was hospitalized earlier this month in Florida. Last week, his team disclosed he had cancer.

“Saved by the Bell” aired from 1989 to 1993, and its spinoffs included “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class,” both of which Diamond starred in. A sequel was launched on Peacock this fall featuring many from the original cast, including Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez, Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Diamond was not included.

Diamond has been sued several times for delinquent taxes and in foreclosure proceedings for missing mortgage payments. He has appeared on reality TV shows, made a sex tape and produced a tell-all documentary on Lifetime TV called “The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story.” In 2015, he was sentenced to serve 4 months in jail for his part in a Wisconsin barroom stabbing.


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