Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on Saved By The Bell from 1989 until 1993, has passed away from lung cancer at 44. We first learned of Diamond’s diagnosis earlier this month, when it was announced that he had stage 4 cancer after being admitted to the hospital.
“We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, due to carcinoma,” Diamond’s talent agency told TVLine. “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 played Screech Powers, the loveable dork on Saved By The Bell, for most of its incarnations. He also played the role on the show’s pre-cursor Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Saved By The Bell: The College Years, Saved By The Bell: The New Class, and TV movies Saved By The Bell: Hawaiian Style and Saved By The Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas. Notably, he was not invited to participate in the recent reboot.
Over the years, Diamond also appeared on TV in The Wonder Years, It’s A Living, Celebrity Fit Club, The Munsters Today, Duck Dodgers, and Celebrity Big Brother. In film, he appeared in Made, Big Fat Liar, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Purple People Eater, She’s Out Of Control, Pauly Shore is Dead, and American Pie Presents: The Book of Love. He also spent time after-Bell on the road doing stand-up.
Over the years, Diamond did have some well-noted struggles. Among them are a 2009 tell-all book that portrayed his Bell co-stars in a negative light -which he later apologized to his cast mates for, stating the salacious stuff was added in by his ghostwriter, not Diamond-, and a 2015 three-month jail sentence after an altercation in a bar. He later sat down with his Saved By The Bell co-Star Mario Lopez and made it clear that he wants to get past everything and just move on.