Dustin Diamond, Actor Known for Playing Screech on ‘Saved by the Bell,’ Dies at Just 44 Years of Age

Dustin Diamond who made the name “Screech” a household one died on Monday after a battle with stage four lung cancer. The actor was best known for playing Samuel Powers in the nineties sitcom for children, Saved by the Bell. TMZ was first to report his death after contacting a representative for the actor Monday afternoon.

The rep told the outlet that his condition had greatly declined over the last week and that a choice was made to take him off of breathing machines to get him into hospice care. The rep also relayed that he did not die alone and that his girlfriend had been by his side for the entire ordeal.

Just three weeks after he was diagnosed with lung cancer, David Diamond succumbed to the illness.

After learning about his stage four small cell carcinoma diagnosis less than a month ago, doctors advised chemotherapy which he had just finished his first round of two months earlier. Doctors discovered that his cancer had started somewhere else in his body but had metastasized in Diamond’s lungs.

The childhood star was hospitalized in January in Florida after feeling pain throughout his body and a general sense of unease. Unfortunately, the hospital stay lead to a diagnosis that no one ever wants to hear.

Diamond is famous for playing Screech on four seasons of Saved by the Bell as the character Zack Morris’ (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) nerdy foil who struggled to get any of Lisa Turtle’s (Lark Voorhies) attention or love.

After the lovable teens from Bayside High “graduated” the show was spun off as Saved by the Bell: The College Years and later Saved by the Bell: The New Class in which Screech played an assistant to Ms.Belding for many seasons of the show’s run.

NBC breathed new life into the franchise with yet another spin off of the show that airs on their streaming service Peacock. Although Diamond had shown interest in the project, the network passed on recasting the actor to reprise his role.

In fact, TMZ spoke with Diamond about the decision and he expressed an interest in returning for the show and was left clueless by the network’s decision to not bring him back, offering no explanation for the actor.

However, Saved by the Well was not the actor’s only claim to fame. He joined members of the nineties boyband 98 Degrees to appear in their music video as a groom at a wedding for the song “I Do (Cherish You).” Additionally, the star appeared on episodes of The Wonder Years.

In a strange publicity stunt in 2006, Diamond notoriously directed himself in a sex tape that certainly changed the public’s perception of the actor’s youthful persona. However, he later admitted to Oprah that it was not actually him in the video and he had instead used a stunt double to play him and that he later felt embarrassed for the project.

In addition to appearing in countless reality TV shows, he became known as a fairly confrontational character who did not win friends easily. This perception was cemented in some fans’ minds after the actor also served four months in jail for two misdemeanors: carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct.

Representatives for the actor even included in the statement they released after his death that stressed that “he was not intentionally malevolent.”

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In a life filled with highs and lows, countless fans will all remember the actor for his portrayal of the lovable sidekick Screech. And while there was certainly turmoil in his life, “a humorous and high-spirited individual whose greatest passion was to make others laugh,” the statement continued.

Hi Everyone! Team Dustin Here. We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021…

Posted by Dustin Diamond on Monday, February 1, 2021

Dustin Diamond was just 44 years of age. May he rest in peace.

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