Fans of the classic 90s show Saved By the Bell were thrown for a loop this morning upon learning about the passing of one of its beloved characters, “Screech.”
Dustin Diamond, the actor who portrayed the strange but lovable goofball from the NBC series that ran from 1989 to 1993, passed away earlier today at the age of 44 in Florida, following his bout with stage 4 lung cancer.
“We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021 due to carcinoma,” his reps from Roger Paul, Inc. said in a statement earlier today. “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’s actions weren’t always easy to take. Following his fame in the series, he self-produced a sex tape, wrote a tell-all book spilling the secrets on working on the show, and was even arrested in a bar fight back in 2014. However, the reps acknowledged these actions, stating that Dustin “was a character in and of himself: an unpredictable spitfire who always left us shocked, but never left us bored. We are thankful he trusted us enough to share his genuine, authentic self with our team. We wish you knew him in the way that we did.”
Along with his appearances in Saved By the Bell and some of its spinoffs, Diamond also appeared in such films as Made, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star and American Pie Presents: The Book of Love. He was also a subject on reality shows like Celebrity Big Brother and Celebrity Fit Club.
Our thoughts are with Diamond’s family and friends. We’ve included a memorandum clip below, highlighting Diamond’s best moments on the show.