There is sad news coming out from the TV community today. Dustin Diamond, an actor best known for playing Screech on the iconic Saved by the Bell, has died at the age of 44.
Mere weeks ago, the news was announced that Diamond had a carcinoma. Now, the actors representatives have confirmed his passing in a statement to Variety:
“[Over the past few weeks], 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.”
There was a time when Saved by the Bell was one of the biggest shows in all of television, and it made huge stars out of many of its cast members. Think along the lines of Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen, and Mario Lopez. Diamond never had the same post-show career as some of his colleagues, who have also participated in a new revival streaming over on Peacock. Dustin, however, was a part of the follow-up series Saved by the Bell: The New Class, which aired from 1994 all the way up to 2000. He also appeared as himself in a number of reality shows, including Celebrity Fit Club in addition to Celebrity Big Brother. He was also an executive producer on The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story, which took a look at the behind-the-scenes inner workings of the show.
In one of the first statements about Dustin’s passing, here what Lopez had to say:
“Dustin, you will be missed my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on…”
We hope that moving forward, the new Saved by the Bell series will find a way to honor Diamond and the Screech character. He was so essential to the success of the original hit, and one of the reasons why it is still being enjoyed today by generations all over the globe.
Our thoughts go out to Diamond’s friends and loved ones during this difficult time. (Photo: NBC.)