Former Saved by the Bell star Dustin Diamond has died at the way too young age of 44.
Diamond’s best known role was Samuel ‘Screech’ Powers, resident geek and comedy foil at Bayside High in the high school comedy show that somehow became something of a global phenomenon, spawned a college set-spin off, a TV movie and even now a sequel series on Peacock.
Diamond reprised his role in follow-up series Saved by the Bell: The New Class, and Saved by the Bell: The College Years. But he did not appear in the recent revival series.
The actor reportedly passed away from cancer having been diagnosed just three weeks ago. Diamond’s agent, Roger Paul, 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.”
After the show ended Diamond was mostly known for reality TV stints. He eventually wrote a tell all book about his time on the show that led to some of his former castmates cutting him off. Bridges did appear to have been rebuilt lately as the feud was put behind them.
Diamond served three months in jail after he stabbed a man during an altercation at a bar in Wisconsin in 2014.
Hi co-stars have been paying tribute. Mario Lopez, known to fans of the show as AC Slater, said:
“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.”
Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who played Zack Morris, tweeted that Diamond was:
“…a true comedic genius, I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce”.
Diamond also appeared on the UK show Celebrity Big Brother in 2013.