Dustin Diamond remembered by 'Saved by the Bell' co-stars

RACHEL GEORGE and HAYLEY FITZPATRICK
·4 min read

Tributes are pouring in for "Saved by the Bell" star Dustin Diamond, who died of cancer Monday morning.

Diamond was most famous for playing Samuel Powers (aka Screech) in the "Saved by the Bell" franchise for 13 years.

He appeared on four seasons of the series as well as spin-offs, including "Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style," "Saved by the Bell: The College Years" and "Saved by the Bell: The New Class."

Lark Voorhies -- who played Lisa Turtle, the high school crush of Diamond's character Screech on the series -- discussed their "warm friendship" in a statement obtained by ABC News.

"Words cannot express the grief that I am feeling right now. Dustin and I had a warm and special friendship, he was a caring gentleman, and my memories of him will always be cherished," said Voorhies. "I am so very sorry he is gone. But it's exceptionally sad," she said, for his close loved ones who have to "deal with his tragic death and their own great loss. My heart goes out to them at this trying time."

MORE: Dustin Diamond of 'Saved by the Bell' dies of cancer at 44

Diamond was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in January. His co-star Mario Lopez said despite those who took his illness as an "joke," he optimistically believed Diamond would make a full recovery.

"I actually just spoke with him a couple of weeks ago," Lopez told Variety. "He was reluctant to go [to the hospital] for a while because he didn't know if anything was going to get out. And I said, 'Bro, that's foolish, you've got to get in there and take care of yourself and forget what people are saying.'"

"It's incredibly hard to process," said Lopez about Diamond's passing. "And it's shocking because he was so young, he was only 44."

Lopez described Diamond as his "fun, goofy little brother" who "was an integral part of the chemistry and the comedy" on SBTB. "I don't know if it would have worked without him," he added. He also shared a post on Instagram mourning the loss of Diamond.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who played Zack Morris on the hit show, also issued a statement on Diamond's death.

"I'm 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."

Tiffani Thiessen also marked the loss of her late co-star by sharing a photo of him on Instagram.

"I am deeply saddened by the news of my old co-star @realdustindiamond passing," she wrote. "Life is extremely fragile and it's something we should never take for granted. God speed Dustin. đź’”"

Elizabeth Berkley, who played Jessie Spano on the series, said Diamond was a "truly gifted talent" in her tribute.

"I'm grateful to have gotten to create with Dustin when we were at the beginning of our dreams coming true," she shared. "I will hold onto those sweet memories and the laughs we shared."

Tori Spelling also shared an emotional post reflecting on her first "onscreen love Dustin Diamond." The actress appeared on "Saved by the Bell" as his love interest in 1990.

"Dustin was my first on-screen kiss. He welcomed me with open arms onto the set of 'Saved By the Bell," she wrote. "As one can imagine being the newbie on a hit show was overwhelming for a 14-year-old girl. He not only showed me around but made sure I was always ok."

She said the two didn't keep in touch often but did occasionally see each other at events.

"I'm glad he's out of pain. He's an icon to me professionally and personally," she wrote. "RIP Samuel love, your Violet."

Dustin Diamond remembered by 'Saved by the Bell' co-stars originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com