Sad news to report….
Dustin Diamond best known for playing the lovable Samuel “Screech” Powers on the hit NBC sitcom, “Saved by the Bell” — has died … TMZ has learned.
A rep for Dustin tells us he died Monday morning. His condition had greatly declined since last week, and he was taken off of breathing machines in an attempt to get him to hospice care. His GF was by his side when he passed away.
Dustin’s death comes just a couple weeks after completing his first round of chemo after he was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell carcinoma … which is commonly referred to as lung cancer. We were told the cancer started somewhere in Dustin’s body and metastasized in his lungs.
He was initially hospitalized in Florida in January after feeling pain all over his body and a general sense of unease. Unfortunately for the kid star … it turned out to be cancer.
Diamond “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,” said a statement from Paul and Diamond’s longtime management team. “Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.”
Diamond came to fame in the 1990s in the role of Samuel “Screech” Powers on “Saved by the Bell.”
He played the role of best friend and sidekick to the show’s decidedly nongeeky main character, Zack Morris, for 13 years on the original show and its spinoffs: “Good Morning, Miss Bliss,” “Saved by the Bell: The New Class” and “Saved By the Bell: The College Years.”
Though most of the show’s original cast returned to a reboot of the sitcom on the Peacock streaming platform, Diamond did not reprise his role.
Diamond wrote the 2009 book, “Behind the Bell,” which portrayed the cast in a less-than-flattering light.
He also made some enemies while appearing on the reality show “Celebrity Fit Club” in which he assumed the role of the villain. He also appeared on other reality shows like “The Weakest Link” and “Celebrity Big Brother,” and had later roles in “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star” and “American Pie Presents: The Book of Love.”
In 2001, Diamond filed for bankruptcy.
He was also arrested and convicted for his role in a fight at a Wisconsin bar in 2014, in which Diamond stabbed another bar patron in the armpit with a switchblade. He was placed in a work release program after beginning his four-month sentence and was freed a month early for good behavior.
The statement from Diamond’s managers said they had been working with him for more than 20 years.
“It goes without saying that our relationship cannot be categorized exclusively as business. He has become a larger part of our everyday life: a part of our family and friend circle,” the statement said.
“We are aware that Dustin is not considered reputable by most. He’s had a history of mishaps, of unfortunate events,” the statement continued. “His actions, though rebukable, stemmed from loss and the lack of knowledge on how to process that pain properly.”
“Dustin was a humorous and high-spirited individual whose greatest passion was to make others laugh. 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,” the statement said. “We wish you knew him in the way that we did.”