Gone too soon.
Dustin Diamond died at the age of 44 on February 1, 2021, after battling stage IV small-cell carcinoma for less than a month.
alum was Saved by the Bell diagnosed with cancer three weeks prior, with his rep, Roger Paul, telling Us Weekly it was a “brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer” that spread “rapidly” through 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,” Paul confirmed to
Us after his passing. “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.”
News of Diamond’s death came shortly after a source exclusively told
Us in January that he had been in the hospital for “a while” in order to get cancer treatments. “It’s tough, it’s very hard,” the insider said. “He’s going through a lot of pain, but he still keep his spirits up.”
Saved by the Bell: The College Years alum received support from many of his former costars after announcing his cancer diagnosis, despite having a fallout with some after the release of his tell-all book, Behind the Bell, and his many ups and downs with the law.
“He received all the well-wishes from his
, and he’s been really happy hearing that stuff,” a source exclusively told Saved by the Bell costars Us last month. “It’s been nice that people have been reaching out.”
former NBC castmates shared kind words about the late actor shortly after news broke of his death.
“I’m deeply saddened to hear of the passing of
Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius,” , who played Zach Morris, said in a statement to Mark-Paul Gosselaar Us on February 1. “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.”
Scroll down to see Diamond’s life in pictures, including his ups and downs over the years.
Diamond made his acting debut in 1987, voicing the “Chubby Kid” in
Yogi’s Great Escape. The following year he played Deke in Big Top Pee-wee and Big Z in Purple People Eater. He also landed his first big TV show in 1988 on Good Morning Miss Bliss, which was the precursor to Saved by the Bell, at the age of 11.
The California native played Samuel “Screech” Powers on
Saved by the Bell from 1989 to 1992. His portrayal of the nerdy Bayside High School teen would later become his most recognizable role.
Diamond reprised his role of Screech in the first
Saved by the Bell spinoff in 1993, Saved by the Bell: The College Years. The show, which aired for one season, followed the Bayside High students after they graduated high school and started college.
The actor entered the halls of Bayside High School in the 1994 spinoff
Saved by the Bell: The New Class. This time around Screech is Principal Richard Belding’s ( Dennis Haskins) assistant and one of the two major characters. The series ran for seven seasons, ending in 2000.
Diamond released his own sex tape,
Screeched — Saved by the Smell, in 2006, later revealing that he had a stunt double for the film and his face was added during editing.
In addition to roles in
Hamlet A.D.D. and A Dog for Christmas, Diamond took his talents behind the camera as a writer, director and producer. His biggest directing and writing credit came in 2009 with the documentary The Last Explorer.
Jennifer Misner in 2009, after meeting while he was on tour in Pennsylvania. The couple split four years later in 2013. He was later linked to Amanda Schutz.
The child actor penned a tell-all book,
Behind the Bell, in 2009, sharing stories about his life on the set of Saved by the Bell and behind-the-scenes tales of his former costars. He later admitted that he had a ghostwriter who “fabricated a whole bunch of stuff.”
The comedian appeared on multiple reality shows throughout his career, including 2007’s
Celebrity Fit Club, 2008’s Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling, 2013’s Celebrity Big Brother and 2013’s Big Brother’s Bit on the Side.
Dustin Diamond Teaches Chess and Screeched, Diamond landed his biggest executive producer credit with 2014’s . “I think when this movie comes out, it’s going to surprise people because it’s not salacious, it’s not dirty, it’s not negative,” he told the The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story Daily Beast in August 2014 of the Lifetime movie. “It’s embracing all the positive things that happened and clarifying certain things. I think everyone’s going to like it, including the other cast members.”
Dominic Chan/ WENN.com/MEGA
Celebrity Big Brother U.K. alum was arrested in December 2014 in Wisconsin after allegedly endangering an unnamed victim’s life during a bar fight that resulted in a stabbing. He was sentenced to four months in jail in June 2015 after being convicted a month prior on two misdemeanor counts related to the case — carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct.
Diamond confirmed in January 2021 that he was diagnosed with cancer after being hospitalized earlier in the month.
Us confirmed in January 2021 that Diamond was diagnosed with stage UV small-cell carcinoma. The actor died less than a month later, on February 1, at the age of 44.