Dustin Diamond, Saved By The Bell's Screech, Dead At 44

Dustin Diamond, Saved By The Bell's Screech, Dead At 44

Dustin Diamond, best known for playing Screech on NBC's beloved 1980s and '90s teen sitcom Saved By the Bell, has died, outlets are reporting. The 44-year-old actor was diagnosed with carcinoma, a kind of cancer, three weeks back and entered the hospital, Variety reports.

"In that time, it managed to spread speedily during his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution," Diamond's representatives mentioned in a statement. "Dustin did not suffer. He didn't have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful."

Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images
In January, his rep told NBC News that Diamond had begun chemotherapy for stage 4 lung cancer.

Diamond's showbiz break came in 1989, as soon as Saved By the Bell premiered and speedily became a fan preference among the teens and young people who watched it on Saturday mornings. His character, the geeky Samuel "Screech" Powers, was a mainstay and appeared in each season during its run, culminating in 1993. From then on, Diamond reprised Screech in the show's follow-ups, Saved By the Bell: The College Years, through 1994, and Saved By the Bell: The New Class, through 2000.

His post-Bell years were characterized by a host of appearances in films and television shows, often as himself, including on the reality programs Celebrity Fit Club, Celebrity Boxing, and Celebrity Big Brother. He also toured as a comedian and wrote a tell-all book, Behind the Bell, in 2009, an assignment he mentioned came about as a way to answer fans' lingering questions about the show and its behind-the-scenes stories. "Some folks are saying 'Oh, he's just attempting to dish on people,' yet I'm putting out what the audience is asking for," he told MTV News then. "Everybody's been asking these questions for years. So this is for the fans."

His Bell co-star Mario Lopez paid tribute to him on Twitter, writing, "Dustin, you will be missed my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family members will continue on..."

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