(WJW) — Dustin Diamond, best known for his role as Screech on the popular 1990s high school comedy “Saved by the Bell,” has died. He was 44.
Diamond’s manager Roger Paul confirmed the news on Monday. TMZ was first to report Diamond’s death.
The 44-year-old was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 small cell carcinoma and was undergoing chemotherapy.
TMZ reports a source close to the actor told them Diamond died Monday morning after his “condition had greatly declined since last week.”
According to TMZ, Diamond’s dad and girlfriend were by his side when he passed away.
Diamond played Samuel “Screech” Powers on “Saved by the Bell” from the late ’80s to the ’90s. He told TMZ he was not asked to be on the show’s reboot which is streaming on Peacock TV.
According to Page Six, Diamond recently said his dying wish was “meet his idol Justin Chancellor, the British bassist from heavy metal band Tool,” and to visit Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World in Florida.
“Saved by the Bell” aired from 1989 to 1993, and its spinoffs included “Saved by the Bell: The College Years,” “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class,” which Diamond starred in. A sequel was launched on Peacock last fall featuring many from the original cast, including Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez, Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Diamond was not included.
He starred in a handful of reality television series including the 5th season of “Celebrity Fit Club,” “The Weakest Link” and “Celebrity Boxing 2.” In December 2013, Diamond appeared on an episode of OWN’s “Where Are They Now?” and became a house member in the 12th season of “Celebrity Big Brother.”
Diamond was sued several times for delinquent taxes and in foreclosure proceedings for missing mortgage payments. He has appeared on reality TV shows, made a sex tape and produced a tell-all documentary on Lifetime TV called “The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story.” In 2015, he was sentenced to serve four months in jail for his part in a Wisconsin barroom stabbing.
“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,” wrote Paul.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.