Dustin Diamond, most famous for playing Samuel “Screech” Powers in multiple Saved By The Bell series, has died of carcinoma, a rep confirmed to ABC News. The actor, who was being treated in Florida, was 44.
“He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago,” the spokesperson said, noting that during those three weeks, the cancer “managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy…was…Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.”
Diamond played the part of the Bayside High School alum for thirteen years, including in Saved by the Bell: The New Class, and Saved By the Bell: The College Years.
However, Diamond didn’t join former Saved by the Bell cast mates Mario Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen and Lark Voorhies for the show’s latest revival on Peacock. In a recent episode, Lopez’s A.C. Slater said that Screech was currently in orbit, working on the International Space Station with his robot sidekick, Kevin.
In 2014, Diamond was sentenced to four months in prison for allegedly stabbing a fellow patron in a scuffle at a Wisconsin bar on Christmas Day; he was released a month early.
He later told Lopez, his SBTB co-star-turned Extra TV host, that jail is “not like what you see on TV, I’ll tell you that.” He added, “It’s pretty daunting, pretty scary going into that environment.”
In addition to Saved By The Bell, Diamond made appearances in a series of reality shows including Celebrity Fit Club and Celebrity Big Brother. On the big screen, he appeared in Jon Favreau‘s 2001 film Made, as well as Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.