Speed Reads

R.I.P.

Saved by the Bell star Dustin Diamond dies at 44 after lung cancer battle

Dustin Diamond, the actor known for his role as Samuel "Screech" Powers on the classic sitcom Saved by the Bell, has died after a battle with lung cancer. He was 44.

Diamond died on Monday after being diagnosed with stage 4 small cell carcinoma, TMZ reports. He was reportedly hospitalized in January and completed his first round of chemotherapy weeks ago.

The actor starred as Screech throughout Saved by the Bell's original run, reprising the role in the spin-off Saved by the Bell: The College Years and Saved by the Bell: The New Class. He also had roles in series like The Wonder Years and appeared on Celebrity Big Brother among other reality shows. He served three months in jail after stabbing a man at a bar in 2014, CNN notes, and he wasn't brought back for Peacock's reboot of Saved by the Bell that debuted in 2020.

TMZ reports Diamond "was taken off of breathing machines in an attempt to get him to hospice care," and his girlfriend was by his side when he died on Monday morning.

The actor's spokesperson, Roger Paul, said in a statement to The Associated Press, "Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful." Paul also said, "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."