Dustin Diamond, known for playing Screech on ‘Saved by the Bell,’ dies at 44

Entertainment
Dustin Diamond

FILE – In this May 29, 2015, file photo, television actor Dustin Diamond, center, leaves court in Port Washington, Wis., after being convicted of two misdemeanors stemming from a barroom fight on Christmas Day 2014. Diamond is undergoing chemotherapy treatments after being diagnosed with cancer, according to his representative. Diamond, best known for playing Screech on the hit ’90s sitcom, was hospitalized earlier this month in Florida. Last week, his team disclosed he did have cancer. (AP Photo/Dana Ferguson, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Dustin Diamond, best known for playing Screech Powers on the NBC sitcom “Saved by the Bell,” has died, the Associated Press has confirmed. He was 44 years old.

First reported by TMZ, Diamond was battling stage four cancer that metastasized in his lungs.

TMZ said Diamond’s girlfriend was with him at the time of his death Monday morning. Diamond played the lovable, nerdy sidekick of Zach Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) for four seasons from 1989-1992, and spin-offs “Saved by the Bell: The College Years,” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class,” from 1993-2000.

“Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful,” the actor’s spokesman, Roger Paul, said in a statement.

He was sentenced to four months in jail for stabbing someone on Christmas Day 2014 in Wisconsin bar brawl, and he served three months of the sentence. He was arrested again in 2016 for a probation violation stemming from the prior sentence.

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.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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