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Saved By The Bell Star Dustin Diamond Dead At 44

Dustin Diamond Death Saved By The Bell Screech Dead

We are in absolute shock. Screech is gone…

Saved By The Bell star Dustin Diamond, who rose to fame as Samuel “Screech” Powers on the ’90s megahit teen sitcom, has died at the age of 44.

Just over two weeks ago, the former child star was hospitalized with pain all over his body — and received a diagnosis of stage four cancer. Dustin immediately started chemo, but it was too late.

Related: Dustin Was ‘Really Happy’ His Co-Stars Reached Out Following Cancer Diagnosis

In a statement to Buzzfeed News, Diamond’s reps said things moved unbelievably fast in the short time after the diagnosis:

“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.”

At least we have that to be thankful for.

As Screech, Dustin was often the conscience of Saved By The Bell. The nerdy and kindhearted counterpart to selfish schemer Zack Morris served as both the brains of his best friend’s harebrained scams and as the heart when it came time to learn a valuable lesson. For millions of fans, it was his moral compass they aspired to… if not his unique ’90s fashion sense.

Screech Saved By The Bell
(c) NBC/YouTube

In the years after the show, Dustin himself served as more of a cautionary tale.

He had falling-outs with his castmates — those of whom he was even friendly with — and ended up writing a scathing tell-all book about his experience on the show, full of drugs and teen promiscuity. Much of the substance of the memoir has been denied vehemently by his former co-stars.

He also became known as a one of those celebrities who was always in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, boxing with other former teen stars, selling a sex tape based on his TV persona, and getting arrested multiple times — including for a knife fight in a bar.

But we don’t believe that will be the end of Dustin’s story.

The show has been rerun for decades and has proven its staying power with multiple generations. It will never really go away — meaning a part of Dustin will live forever, too. And our hope is that everyone will remember that kindhearted kid that still lived inside the infamous man he became.

RIP, Dustin. You will be missed.

[Image via James Shaw/WENN/NBC/YouTube.]

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Feb 01, 2021 11:59am PDT

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