Saved by the Bell star Dustin Diamond has died after a three-week fight with cancer, 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 on Monday.
Diamond, best known for playing Samuel "Screech" Powers on the hit '90s sitcom, was hospitalised last month in Florida and his team disclosed later that he had cancer. Diamond had carcinoma.
Former co-star Mario Lopez took to Twitter to say farewell: "Dustin, you will be missed, my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted."
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... pic.twitter.com/BnxY9XgN5g— Mario Lopez (@mariolopezviva) February 1, 2021
Another co-star, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, called Diamond "a true comedic genius," adding "I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce".
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Looking back at our time working together, I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce. A pie in your face, my comrade.— Mark-Paul Gosselaar (@MPG) February 1, 2021
Saved by the Bell aired from 1989 to 1993, and its related shows included Saved by the Bell: The College Years, Good Morning, Miss Bliss and Saved by the Bell: The New Class, which Diamond starred in.
A sequel was launched on Peacock last year featuring many from the original cast, including Gosselaar, Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley and Tiffani Thiessen. Diamond was not included.
He starred in a handful of reality television series including 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 Celebrity Big Brother.
Diamond was sued several times for delinquent taxes and in foreclosure proceedings for missing mortgage payments. He also 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 jail for his part in a Wisconsin bar room 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," Paul said.
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