Dustin Diamond, the actor who played the character Screech on NBC’s Saved by the Bell, has died at the age of 44.
What was his cause of death? TMZ reported that Diamond had lung cancer.
Diamond was diagnosed with stage four cancer only three weeks before his death. According to The Sun, Diamond was told he had terminal cancer – specifically, small cell carcinoma – but doctors said he might live even two years or as little as a few weeks.
Sadly, the shorter estimate ended up being the case.
Here’s what you need to know:
Two People Close to Diamond Were With Him When He Died
Diamond’s “condition had greatly declined since last week, and he was taken off of breathing machines in an attempt to get him to hospice care,” said spokesperson Roger Paul, to NBC News.
He revealed: “There were two people very close to him by his side when he passed away.” Those people were not named.
He died on Monday morning, February 1, 2021, according to NBC News.
Tragically, a Friend Outlined Diamond’s Final Wishes the Same Day He Died
A close friend outlined Diamond’s final wishes to The Sun. However, Diamond’s death was announced the same day that interview ran.
In that story, the friend told The Sun that Diamond wished to go to Disney World and talk to the bassist from the Band, Tool, which was his favorite.
The friend, Dan Block, told the Sun, “We do not have any specific timelines, but we know that Dustin needs a miracle to overcome the small cell carcinoma he’s been diagnosed with. He was told weeks to 5 months is the average but a small percentage of people have lived one to two years with it being stage 4. We are hoping that he is one of the people to outlive the odds and that we get as much time with him as possible.”
Diamond Was First Hospitalized in January
The end came quickly after diagnosis for Diamond. According to TMZ, the cancer metastasized from elsewhere in Diamond’s body and moved into his lungs.
He first ended up in the hospital in Florida in January after experiencing “pain all over his body and a general sense of unease,” reported TMZ. Then came the cancer diagnosis.
According to Diamond’s IMDB profile, he attended Zion Lutheran School in Anaheim, California, and started playing the role of Screech when he was in the 5th grade. Originally the role was for a television series called Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which became Saved by the Bell. He also appeared in The Wonder Years; all were 1980s era television programs. He also played in a band and was on some reality television programs, such as Fox’s Celebrity Boxing 2.
Fans who grew up watching Screech on television offered tributes on social media. “As a 90s kid who grew up watching Saved by the Bell everyday after school, the death of Dustin Diamond hits home. Man cancer…sucks,” wrote one.
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