Dustin Diamond, star of Saved By The Bell, has died aged 44 after a three-week battle with cancer, his agent has confirmed.
Diamond, who played Screech in the beloved show, was diagnosed with carcinoma in January.
“He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago,” Diamond’s agent Roger Paul said in a statement to Rolling Stone.
“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.”
Last month, Diamond was admitted to hospital in Florida with “pain all over his body,” his team revealed, speculating that it may have been cancer. The stage four lung cancer was subsequently confirmed.
In a statement to Metro, Diamond’s representatives confirmed the news. “Yes it is true he is in the hospital,” they said. “We are awaiting on more tests and then we can comment.”
They added: “Please say your thoughts and prayers for him.”
Diamond was not involved with, or recast in, the recent Saved by the Bell reboot which aired on Peacock last November.
The entertainment world is paying tribute to Diamond following news of his death. Actor Eric West tweeted: “Everyone my age grew up watching Dustin Diamond in ‘Saved by the Bell’. Screech was hilarious!
“I’m sorry to hear about his passing today. Dustin will always be a TV icon because ‘Saved by the Bell’ will live on and on. Rest well.”
Everyone my age grew up watching Dustin Diamond in 'Saved by the Bell’. Screech was hilarious! I’m sorry to hear about his passing today. Dustin will always be a TV icon because ‘Saved by the Bell’ will live on and on. Rest well. pic.twitter.com/CXUxgQaOUZ
— Eric West (@EricXWest) February 1, 2021
See a number of tributes to Dustin Diamond below.
SCREECH DUSTIN DIAMOND BUBBA YOU MAKE THE PEOPLE LAUGH AND HAPPY. RIP BROTHER pic.twitter.com/nOMJS9lTYE
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) February 1, 2021
Damn Man, Rest In Paradise Dustin “Screech” Diamond 🕊 pic.twitter.com/XPn1vwTxt3
— DJ First Class™ 🏁 (@1DJFirstClass) February 1, 2021
— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) February 1, 2021
This is a developing story…