'Saved by the Bell' star Dustin Diamond dead at 44 after battle with stage 4 cancer

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Dustin Diamond, the actor best known for playing Samuel “Screech” Powers on the beloved coming-of-age sitcom “Saved By the Bell,” has died. He was 44.

The actor was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell carcinoma cancer last month.

The actor’s agent told Fox News that Diamond died on Monday “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,” Diamond’s agent Roger Paul said in a statement. “Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.”

Dustin Diamond passed away on Monday at age 44.
(Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

According to Paul, he last spoke to Diamond on Thursday.

“That was the last time he was coherent,” he shared. “He was in a lot of pain. [His health] went downhill from there.”

Some of Diamond’s “Saved By the Bell” co-stars took to Twitter to share their loss.

“Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius,” Mark-Paul Gosselaar tweeted. “My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Looking back at our time working together, I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce. A pie in your face, my comrade.”

“Dustin, you will be missed my man,” wrote Mario Lopez. “The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted.  Prayers for your family will continue on.”

“I am deeply saddened by I the news of my old co-star @realdustindiamond passing,” added Tiffany Thiessen. “Life is extremely fragile and it’s something we should never take for granted. God speed Dustin.

The actor’s team previously told Fox News that Diamond was “undergoing testing” at an “undisclosed location” for fear that he would be targeted by paparazzi.

The performer was hospitalized after feeling aches and pains throughout his body, TMZ previously reported.

“He’s always going to remain upbeat — that’s just who he is in that respect,” a member of Diamond’s team told Fox News at the time.

Diamond is “scared but hopeful” he’ll overcome what possibilities loom ahead following the battery of tests to determine the severity of what Diamond and his team fear could be cancer, the team member said.

Dustin Diamond is best known for playing Screech Powers on ‘Saved By the Bell.’
(Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Diamond portrayed Screech for 13 years. He also starred in several reality TV shows including Season 5 of “Celebrity Fit Club,” “The Weakest Link” and “Celebrity Boxing 2.”

He made cameo appearances in films such as “Made” (2001), “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star” (2003) and “American Pie Presents: The Book of Love” (2009). In December 2013, Diamond appeared on an episode of OWN’s “Where Are They Now?” and became a house member in Season 12 of “Celebrity Big Brother.”

He was not a part of the “Saved” reboot on NBC’s streaming platform Peacock.

Diamond has also been known to lend his time and resources to those hoping to break out in the acting business and is a regular among the comedy circuit in Los Angeles and New York City.

“Saved by the Bell” aired from 1989 to 1993, and its spinoffs included “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 many from the original cast, including Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez, Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Diamond was not included.

Dustin Diamond was no stranger to controversy.
(Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images)

Diamond has been sued several times for delinquent taxes and in foreclosure proceedings for missing mortgage payments. He appeared in 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 4 months in jail for his part in a Wisconsin barroom stabbing.

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“We are aware that Dustin is not considered reputable by most,” said Paul 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, though rebukeable, stemmed from loss and the lack of knowledge on how to process that pain properly.”

SAVED BY THE BELL — Pictured: (l-r) Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle, Ed Alonzo as Max, Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris, Dennis Haskins as Mr. Richard Belding, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Myrtle Spano, Dustin Diamond as Screech Powers, Mario Lopez as A.C. Slater.
(Photo by NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

“In actuality, Dustin was a humorous and high-spirited individual whose greatest passion was to make others laugh,” Paul continued. “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.”

“Dustin Diamond was 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,” added Paul. “We wish you knew him in the way that we did.  

“We please ask that you give room for privacy to our team and Mr. Diamond’s family during this tragic time, as we grieve and remember the memories spent together. This loss is as much stinging as it is sudden.”

Diamond’s girlfriend was by his side when he passed away, TMZ reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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