As previously and tragically reported, Dustin Diamond is dead at the young age of 44.
The actor, who portrayed Samuel “Screech” Powers on Saved by the Bell, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer just a few weeks ago.
After he took a turn for the worse, and was placed under hospice care a couple days ago, Diamond passed away on Monday morning — with his girlfriend by his side.
Said a rep for the star in a statement:
“We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021 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. Dustin did not suffer.
“He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.”
Diamond grew estranged from most of his castmates in the many years since Saved by the Bell went off the air.
But many of them took to social media anyway in order to pay tribute to their late co-star.
Wrote Mario Lopez, who had recently been in contact with Diamond:
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…
Tiffani Thiessen also shared a photo to her Instagram page, adding:
I am deeply saddened by I the news of my old co-star @realdustindiamond passing. Life is extremely fragile and it’s something we should never take for granted.
God speed Dustin.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar Tweeted this message:
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius.
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.
Chimed in Elizabeth Berkley via her page:
I’m grateful to have gotten to create with Dustin when we were at the beginning of our dreams coming true.
I will hold onto those sweet memories and the laughs we shared.
Rest In Peace.
Tori Spelling, who also appeared on Saved by the Bell as Screech’s love interest Violet, shared a lengthy tribute to Instagram.
My 1st onscreen love Dustin Diamond got his Angel wings today.
Before there was David and Donna there was Screech and Violet. Dustin was my first on-screen kiss. He welcomed me with open arms onto the set of Saved By the Bell.
As one can imagine being the newbie on a hit show was overwhelming for a 14-year-old girl. He not only showed me around but made sure I was always ok.
Such a young gentleman. He was kind, smart, and always making everyone laugh. He was a great scene partner.
He was a really good guy. I’m sad after the show we never had much contact aside from occasionally running into each other at events.
I’m glad he’s out of pain. He’s an icon to me professionally and personally. RIP Samuel love, your Violet.
There was also this statement from Lark Voorhies:
Dustin and I had a warm and special friendship, he was a caring gentleman, and my memories of him will always be cherished.
I am so very sorry he is gone.
But it’s exceptionally sad for his close loved ones who have do deal with his tragic death and their own great loss. My heart goes out to them at this trying time.
And here is how the statement that announced Diamond’s passing concluded:
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. 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.