Saved by the Bell star Dustin Diamond died Monday after a three-week fight with cancer, according to his spokesperson. He was 44.
“Dustin did not suffer,” Roger Paul said in a statement. “He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.”
Diamond — best known for playing Screech on the hit ’90s sitcom — was hospitalized last month in Florida. His team disclosed later that he had carcinoma.
Former co-star Mario Lopez took to Twitter to say farewell: “Dustin, you will be missed, my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted.”
Saved by the Bell aired from 1989 to 1993. Spinoffs included Saved by the Bell: The College Years, Good Morning, Miss Bell and Saved by the Bell: The New Class, which Diamond starred in. Video-streaming service Peacock launched a sequel last fall, which featured many from the original cast, including Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez, Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, but not Diamond.
He starred in a handful of reality television series including the 5th season of Celebrity Fit Club, The Weakest Link and Celebrity Boxing 2. In December 2013, Diamond appeared on an episode of OWN’s Where Are They Now? and became a house member in the 12th season of Celebrity Big Brother.
Dustin, you will be missed my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on… <a href=”https://t.co/BnxY9XgN5g”>pic.twitter.com/BnxY9XgN5g</a>
Diamond was sued several times for delinquent taxes and in foreclosure proceedings for missing mortgage payments. Aside from appearing on reality TV shows, he made a sex tape and produced a tell-all documentary on Lifetime TV called The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story. In 2015, he was sentenced to serve four months in jail for his part in a Wisconsin barroom stabbing.
“Dustin was a humorous and high-spirited individual whose greatest passion was to make others laugh,” said Paul in the statement. “He was able to sense and feel other peoples’ emotions to such a length that he was able to feel them too — a strength and a flaw, all in one.”