Dustin Diamond, the actor most known for his role as Samuel “Screech” Powers on “Saved By The Bell,” has passed away after a recent cancer diagnosis.
“We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021 due to carcinoma,” his publicist Roger Paul confirmed to USA TODAY. “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 portrayed the geek Screech on the hit show from the late 80s until 2000. He beat out over 5,000 other actors to get the part. “The hardest thing about being a child star is giving up your childhood. You don’t get a childhood, really,” he said during a taping of “Where Are They Now?” back in 2013. “You’re a performer, you have to know your lines and rehearse and practice, making sure you are the funniest and the best you can be. Because if you weren’t funny, you could be replaced.”
After “Saved By The Bell” ended, Diamond later went on tour as a stand-up comedian and appeared in multiple comedies, including Tetherball: The Movie, Big Fat Liar and Purple Purple Eater.
Last month, Diamond’s Facebook page revealed that he was hospitalized to undergo “medical testing” after being diagnosed with cancer. One of his reps revealed that he had started chemotherapy for stage four small cell carcinoma, a type of cancer in the cells that make up the skin or the tissue lining organs, such as the kidneys or liver.
Mario Lopez mourned his former “Saved By The Bell” co-star on Monday (Feb. 1). “Dustin, you will be missed my man,” he tweeted. “The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on…”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Diamond’s friends and family at this time. Rest in peace.