Saved By The Bell star Dustin Diamond dies at 44 following battle with stage four lung cancer
Dustin Diamond – best known for playing Samuel ‘Screech’ Powers on NBC’s hit sitcom Saved by the Bell – has died following a short battle with stage four lung cancer.
The 44-year-old actor died on Monday just three weeks after being diagnosed, his representative said.
Diamond died with his girlfriend by his side.
He was diagnosed with cancer after being hospitalized in Florida last month after experiencing pain throughout his entire body.
He was officially diagnosed with stage four small cell carcinoma.
His condition is believed to have deteriorated rapidly in the last week after going through his initial rounds of chemotherapy.
RIP: Saved By The Bell star Dustin Diamond dies at 44 amid Stage Four cancer battle; seen in 2016
A source told TMZ that he was taken off breathing machines to get him to hospice care.
‘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,’ a statement from his rep said confirming his death.
‘Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.’
Diamond’s rep noted the actor’s history of mishaps throughout his career, which included a sex tape and a run-in with the law, but said he was a ‘humorous and high-spirited individual whose greatest passion was to make others laugh’.
His hit show: On Saved By The Bell; (l-r) Mario Lopez as Alabert Clifford ‘A.C.’ Slater, Dennis Haskins as Mr. Richard Belding, Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle, Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zachary ‘Zach’ Morris, Diamond as Screech Powers
Tough setback: Dustin’s hospitalization was reported on January 12, and just says later, a representative for the actor confirmed the news. His rep said: ‘At this time we can confirm that Dustin does have cancer’; seen in 2012
Diamond, who was born in 1977, was 10-years-old when he started acting. He was cast in the role that would be his claim to fame – Screech, the geeky sidekick to popular kid Zack Morris – in the late 1980s.
Saved by the Bell, which centered around Morris and his friends at Bayside High School in California, premiered in 1989. Typically airing on Saturday mornings, the popular show was aimed at teens. It was made into movies and two spin-offs that included the group at college and a new class. Most recently, it was rebooted in 2020, but Diamond did not reprise his role.
After the show ended in 2000, Diamond’s career floundered and he later appeared on reality shows like Celebrity Big Brother.
In 2006, he released a sex tape called Screeched-Saved by the Smell that he directed and supposedly starred in. Diamond later claimed that it wasn’t actually him the video. Three years later, in 2009, he released a memoir called Behind the Bell, which painted an unflattering portrait of his fellow cast members. Diamond disavowed some of the more salacious details by blaming the ghostwriter.
On Christmas in 2014, Diamond got into a bar fight and allegedly stabbed a man in a town near Milwaukee. The next year, he was found guilty of disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon, and sentenced to four months in jail. He served three months and said later on that he was protecting his then fiancee Amanda Schutz.
The good ole days: Thiessen, Gosselaar, Diamond and Lopez in 1996
Better days: In 2002, Diamond posed during Celebrity Boxing 2 Weigh-In at KTLA Studios in Hollywood
Another TV show: Diamond and Courtney Stodden on Celebrity Big Brother in Britain in 2013