Dustin Diamond has died. The 44-year-old passed away yesterday due to the cancer he was diagnosed with last month. According to his rep, his condition had declined greatly since last week, and he was taken off breathing machines in an attempt to take him to hospice care. His girlfriend, Tash Jules, was by his side when he passed. Dustin’s manager released a statement. “He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago,” he noted. “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.” Dustin was best known for playing Screech on “Saved by the Bell.” While he reprised the role in “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class,” he wasn’t asked to participate in the Peacock reboot of the show. He became a staple in reality shows, including “Celebrity Boxing 2” and “Celebrity Fit Club.”
His former Saved by the Bell castmates released statements about Dustin:
Elizabeth Berkley said, quote, "I'm grateful to have gotten to create with Dustin when we were at the beginning of our dreams coming true. I will hold onto those sweet memories and the laughs we shared."
Lark Voorhies said, quote, "Words cannot express the grief that I'm 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."
Mark-Paul Gosselaar called him a "true comedic genius," Tiffani Thiessen said she was "deeply saddened," and Mario Lopez said, quote, "You will be missed my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted."
In an interview with "Variety", Mario also said that they were hoping Screech could make an appearance on Season Two of the "Saved By the Bell" revival . . . but now he's pushing for there to be some kind of tribute. He said, quote, "I'd love a whole episode dedicated to some of his most iconic moments or something like that. We have a lot of very creative minds who can try to figure it out, but I haven't had those conversations yet." It's still unclear why he wasn't a part of the first season.Last year, Dustin said he wanted to do it, but never got a call. Apparently, there was still some bad blood over that "tell-all" book that he put out back in 2009.