Actor Dustin Diamond, who is best remembered as Samuel “Screech” Powers from the classic teen TV show “Saved by the Bell,” died Feb. 1 after a recent lung cancer diagnosis. He was 44.
His management team posted to his Facebook and Instagram pages about his death, writing, “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.”
Here’s the post:
Diamond’s former “Saved by the Bell” castmates took to social media to remember him after his passing.
“Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius. My sincere condolences to his family and friends,” co-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who played Zack Morrison on the show and its spinoffs, tweeted. “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.”
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.
— Mark-Paul Gosselaar (@MPG) February 1, 2021
Mario Lopez, who played A.C. Slater on the 1989-1993 show, also posted on Instagram.
“Dustin, you will be missed my man,” he said. “The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on …”
Elizabeth Berkeley, who played Jesse Spano, also posted a sweet tribute.
“I’m grateful to have gotten to create with Dustin when we were at the beginning of our dreams coming true,” she said. “I will hold onto those sweet memories and the laughs we shared. He was a truly gifted talent.”
Lark Voorhies, who played Screech’s on-screen love interest, Lisa Turtle, told People that “words cannot experience the grief that I am feeling right now.”
“Dustin and I had a warm and special friendship, he was a caring gentleman, and my memories of him will always be cherished,” Voorhies said. “I am so very sorry he is gone. But it’s exceptionally sad for his close loved ones who have to deal with his tragic death and their own great loss. My heart goes out to them at this trying time.”
Echoing a similar sentiment, Tiffani Thiessen, who played Kelly Kapowski on “Saved by the Bell,” wrote on her social media, “I am deeply saddened by 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.”
Even Tori Spelling, who guest-starred in three episodes as Screech’s girlfriend Violet, weighed in on the loss of “her 1st onscreen love” on Instagram, saying, “I’m glad he’s out of pain. He’s an icon to me professionally and personally. RIP Samuel love, your Violet.”
After the “Saved by the Bell” spinoffs “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class,” Diamond appeared on a number of reality shows and had some rough patches including two stints in jail. He also appeared on several reality shows.
He wrote a tell-all book, “Behind the Bell,” as well. The 2009 book about his experiences on the set of the show included stories that depicted his co-stars in unflattering ways. He later apologized for it and claimed many of the stories were untrue.
A reboot of “Saved by the Bell,” which started airing on the Peacock streaming service in fall 2020, featured many original cast members but did not include Diamond.
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