Dustin Diamond has sadly died at the age of 44. The Saved By The Bell actor best known for playing Screech in the hit sitcom, had recently been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. A rep for the actor confirmed the news to TMZ, revealing that the actor died on Monday morning, just three weeks after he was diagnosed. He was reportedly taken off breathing machines last week in hopes of transporting him to hospice care. His girlfriend was by his side at the time of his death.
Tributes have poured in for Diamond, with his Saved By The Bell co-star Mario Lopez tweeting: ‘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…’ In a statement, Diamond’s rep said: ‘We are saddened to confirm 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 publicist continued: ‘We’ve been working alongside Dustin over the last 21 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. 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 rebuke-able, 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.’ They concluded: ‘This loss is as much stinging as it is sudden.’ Confirming Diamond’s diagnosis earlier this month, his rep told Metro.co.uk at the time: ‘Yes it is true that Dustin has cancer, but he is still undergoing tests and we won’t know the true severity until these tests are complete.
‘Once we have our facts straight, Dustin will release a statement personally about what is happening. ‘In the meantime, we ask for fans’ continued thoughts and prayers, and hope for his speedy recovery.’ It was previously reported that Diamond had been hospitalised amid cancer fears, given his family’s history with the illness. On January 21, it was reported that Diamond had completed his first round of chemotherapy and was ‘keeping a positive outlook’. The TV star, who is best known for playing Screech in ’90s teen sitcom Saved By The Bell, fell ill earlier in January in Florida with a ‘pain all over his body’. – metrocouk