(CBS Los Angeles) – Actor Dustin Diamond, best known for his role as lovable geek Samuel “Screech” Powers on TV’s “Saved By The Bell”, has died, according to a spokesperson.
Diamond, 44, begun undergoing chemotherapy treatments last month after being diagnosed with cancer, a representative told the Associated Press.
A spokesperson for Diamond released a statement to Entertainment Tonight that read in part: “We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021 due to carcinoma. 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.”
Airing on TV from 1989 to 1993, “Saved By The Bell” led to spinoffs such as “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class,” both of which Diamond starred in.
A sequel was launched on Peacock this fall featuring Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez, Tiffani Thiessen, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and others from the original cast, but Diamond was not involved in the project.
Lopez tweeted his condolences for Diamond’s family: “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.”
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… pic.twitter.com/BnxY9XgN5g
— Mario Lopez (@mariolopezviva) February 1, 2021
He recently faced litigation for delinquent taxes and was in foreclosure proceedings for missing mortgage payments on his home.
In addition to “Saved By The Bell”, Diamond has appeared on reality TV shows, made a sex tape and produced “The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story” on Lifetime TV.
He served 4 months in jail in 2015 for a conviction involving a barroom stabbing in Wisconsin.