Saved by the Bell star Dustin Diamond has died of lung cancer

Florida - Dustin Diamond, the actor best known for playing the character Screech in Saved by the Bell, passed away on Monday after his battle with lung cancer.

Dustin Diamond, best known for playing Screech in Saved by the Bell, has died of cancer at the age of 44.
Dustin Diamond, best known for playing Screech in Saved by the Bell, has died of cancer at the age of 44.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Press

Diamond, who revealed on January 14 that he had Stage 4 cancer, died in a Florida hospital Monday morning, his manager Roger Paul told the LA Times.

Diamond had small-cell carcinoma that spread to his lungs.

According to a statement from Paul, "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."

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The former child star famously portrayed the geeky character Samuel "Screech" Powers on NBC's 1990s sitcom Saved by the Bell. Later in his career, he repeatedly made headlines for a number of post-show scandals, including a 2006 sex tape titled Screeched and a Wisconsin bar fight for which he was arrested.

"We are aware that Dustin is not considered reputable by most," his agent said on Monday. "He’s had a history of mishaps, of unfortunate events. 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 stemmed from loss and the lack of knowledge on how to process that pain properly," he continued.

Following the actor's passing, "Screech" trended on Twitter as several co-stars, celebrities, and fans flooded social media with tributes. Many said they grew up with Diamond’s character in Saved by the Bell.

"An unpredictable spitfire who always left us shocked, but never left us bored"

Diamond was also known to be a professional wrestling fan and played bass in the alternative metal band called Salty the Pocketknife.

His agent described him as "a character in and of himself: an unpredictable spitfire who always left us shocked, but never left us bored. We are thankful he trusted us enough to share his genuine, authentic self with our team. We wish you knew him in the way that we did."

Diamond is survived by his mother and his girlfriend.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Press

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