Dustin Diamond, the actor who played the role of Screech on the immensely popular 1990s school comedy series Saved by the Bell, has died at the age of 44. The news was confirmed by Diamond’s manager, Roger Paul.
Diamond, who recently revealed that has been diagnosed with stage four cancer, died earlier today, Monday, February 1st. While the actor believed he may have “one or two” more years to live, he lost his battle with cancer at a Florida hospital.
“In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution,” the actor’s agent, Roger Paul, confirmed in an official statement. “Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.”
Diamond’s representatives then confirmed the news in a separate statement issued to PEOPLE: “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.”
The statement added: “We’ve been working alongside Dustin over the last twenty-one years. It goes without saying that our relationship cannot be categorised exclusively as business. He has become a larger part of our everyday life: A part of our family and friend circle. We are aware that Dustin is not considered reputable by most,” the rep continued. “He’s had a history of mishaps, of unfortunate events. We want the public to understand that he was not intentionally malevolent. He–much like the rest of those who act out and behave poorly—had undergone a great deal of turmoil and heartache. His actions, though rebukeable, stemmed from loss and the lack of knowledge on how to process that pain properly. In actuality, 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.
“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.”
Born in San Jose, California, in 1977, Diamond began acting as a child and shot to international fame in the role of the teenage lovable nerd Samuel “Screech” Powers as part of the Saved by the Bell TV series. After solidifying his role as a major character in the show, Diamond would also appear in a number of the spin-off shows landing slots in a series of different feature films.
Away from acting, Diamond worked hard to express himself creatively, often turning his hand to stand-up comedy and often garnered large audiences. Elsewhere, Diamond was also a musician and he created the alternative metal named Salty The Pocketknife.