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'Saved By The Bell' Star Dustin Diamond Dies At 44

'Saved By The Bell' Star Dustin Diamond Dies At 44

The actor who had built a reputation for being an ill-tempered rebel died just a month after he was diagnosed with Stage-IV cancer.

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Dustin Diamond is evicted from the Celebrity Big Brother house at Elstree Studios on September 6, 2013. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

Dustin Diamond, popularly known for portraying "Scrooge" in the '90s sitcom Saved By the Bell has passed away. His death comes just three weeks after he was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell carcinoma last month. He was 44. His representative revealed that his girlfriend Tash Jules was by his side when Diamond passed. The actor's condition came to light in Florida on January 12 after he experienced pain throughout his entire body and was hospitalized and his health only deteriorated after going through a few rounds of chemotherapy, according to TMZ. "He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago," his representative said according to Daily Mail.



 

"In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution," he said, adding that the comedian did not suffer. "He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful." His co-stars from the classic sit-com paid tribute to the actor after the news broke. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who played Zack Morris on the show, called Diamond a "true comedic genius" and tweeted: "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."



 

 

Tiffani Thiessen, who played Kelly Kapowski took to Instagram and wrote: "I am deeply saddened by the news of my old costar @realdustindiamond passing. Life is extremely fragile and it’s something we should never take for granted. God speed Dustin." Mario Lopez, another one of his co-stars added a photo of himself with Diamond and wrote: "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..." Tori Spelling, who played Diamond's love interest in the series, posted a picture of the two together and wrote: "My 1st onscreen love Dustin Diamond got his Angel wings today..."



 

Diamond was a troubled actor who never seemed settled after his stint on TV as a teenager. Appearing on Oprah's Where Are They Now? in 2013 per the Mail, Diamond admitted to being lost at the age of 23. "The hardest thing about being a child star is that you are giving up your childhood. You don't get a childhood really." He added that he didn't know what he was going to do as the roles he would get were limited and were mostly "Screech clone stuff". "As I mature, I realize, wow, I was kind of going through my rebellious teens in my 20s." The actor built a reputation as a sort of a bad boy after he released a sex tape and also had a run-in with the law when he allegedly stabbed a man during a barfight during Christmas in 2014.



 

 

Despite the poor image, his team added that the Longshot actor "was not intentionally malevolent". In the statement, the rep said: "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." Born in 1977, Diamond was only 10 when he shot up to the stars with the role of Screech in the late 1980s as the side-kick to Zack Morris. After the show's end in 1993, it received a short-lived spinoff with Saved by the Bell: The College Years. Later the same year, another show Saved by the Bell: The New Class arrived and aired successfully for seven seasons. Here Diamond reprised his role of Screech from season 2 to 7 as Mr. Belding's assistant.



 

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