“Saved by the Bell” star Dustin Diamond died Monday after a three-week fight with carcinoma, according to his representative. He was 44.
“Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful,” the actor’s spokesman, Roger Paul, said in a statement.
Diamond, best known for playing Screech on the hit ’90s sitcom, was hospitalized last month in Florida and his team disclosed later that he had cancer.
“Saved by the Bell” aired from 1989 to 1993, and its spinoffs included “Saved by the Bell: The College Years,” “Good Morning, Miss Bell” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class,” which Diamond starred in. A sequel was launched on Peacock last fall featuring many from the original cast, including Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez, Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Diamond was not included.
He starred in a handful of reality television series including the 5th season of “Celebrity Fit Club,” “The Weakest Link” and “Celebrity Boxing 2.” In December 2013, Diamond appeared on an episode of OWN’s “Where Are They Now?” and became a house member in the 12th season of “Celebrity Big Brother.”
Diamond was 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 four months in jail for his part in a Wisconsin barroom stabbing.
“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,” wrote Paul.
Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press