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

HAYLEY FITZPATRICK and STEPHEN IERVOLINO
·3 min read

Actor Dustin Diamond has died at the age of 44.

A representative for the "Saved by the Bell" actor confirmed his death from carcinoma on Monday.

"We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021 due to carcinoma," the statement read. "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 was most famous for playing Samuel Powers (aka Screech) in the "Saved by the Bell" franchise for 13 years.

This includes 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."

He didn't join former "Saved by the Bell" castmates Mario Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen and Lark Voorhies for the new revival on Peacock.

PHOTO: Dustin Diamond played the role of Screech Powers in the television show 'Saved By The Bell.' (NBCUniversal via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: Dustin Diamond played the role of Screech Powers in the television show 'Saved By The Bell.' (NBCUniversal via Getty Images, FILE)

Throughout his career, Diamond appeared in films including "Made" (2001), "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" (2003), "American Pie Presents: The Book of Love" (2009) and more.

The California native also made cameos in several reality television programs, including "Celebrity Fit Club," "The Weakest Link," "Celebrity Big Brother" and "Celebrity Boxing 2."

Earlier this month, a representative for Diamond revealed the actor had been hospitalized in Florida and was suffering from cancer. His representative said he was undergoing testing at the time and would reveal details on his condition in the future.

"He's just trying to keep his spirits up," his rep shared. "It's not an easy thing -- it's a tough journey he's going to go on right now, so we just want everybody to give him thoughts and prayers."

PHOTO: In this May 16, 2016, file photo, Dustin Diamond visits 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, Calif. (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: In this May 16, 2016, file photo, Dustin Diamond visits 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, Calif. (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images, FILE)

The actor's life was not without controversy. In 2014, he was sentenced to four months in prison for allegedly stabbing a fellow patron in a scuffle at a Wisconsin bar on Christmas Day; he was released a month early.

He later told his former SBTB co-star-turned Extra TV host Mario Lopez of jail, "It's not like what you see on TV, I'll tell you that. It's pretty daunting, pretty scary going into that environment."

A representative for Diamond acknowledged his controversial past in his statement announcing Diamond's death.

"We are aware that Dustin is not considered reputable by most. He’s had a history of mishaps, of unfortunate events," the statement said. "We want the public to understand that he was not intentionally malevolent. He--much like the rest of those who act out and behave poorly—had undergone a great deal of turmoil and heartache. His actions, though rebukeable, stemmed from loss and the lack of knowledge on how to process that pain properly."

Diamond married Jennifer Misner in 2009 and reportedly separated years later. Diamond did not have any children.

Dustin Diamond of 'Saved by the Bell' dies of cancer at 44 originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com