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

Associated Press

“Saved by the Bell” star Dustin Diamond died Monday after a three-week fight with cancer, according to his representative. He was 44.

“Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful,” the actor’s spokesman, Roger Paul, said in a statement.

Diamond, best known for playing the quirky, nerdy Screech on the hit ’90s sitcom, was hospitalized last month in Florida and his team disclosed later that he had cancer. Diamond 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.” Another co-star, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, called Diamond “a true comedic genius,” adding “I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce.”

“Saved by the Bell” aired from 1989 to 1993, and its related shows included “Saved by the Bell: The College Years,” “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class,” which Diamond starred in. A sequel was launched on Peacock last fall featuring many from the original cast, including Gosselaar, Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley and Tiffani Thiessen. Diamond was not included.

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