Saved By The Bell's Dustin Diamond Dies At 44

The actor lost his battle with stage 4 lung cancer.

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Actor Dustin Diamond, best known for his portrayal of a lovable nerd on popular '90s NBC sitcom Saved by the Bell, has died in hospice according to TMZ. It was recently revealed in mid-January that Diamond had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. At that time, he was taken to a Florida hospital a few days after reportedly feeling unwell.

Diamond came to fame with his role of Samuel "Screech" Powers on Saved by the Bell--the role of best friend and sidekick to the show's main character and offered comic relief as a kind-hearted geek. The actor's declining health was likely a reason for Screech not having a presence in the recent Peacock revival series. Aside from Diamond and Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding), many familiar faces returned to the series including Mario Lopez (Slater), Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie), Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack), and Tiffani Thiessen (Kelly).

Diamond never quite broke away from being known as Screech, but he embraced a similar comic-relief geek role on reality shows including Celebrity Boxing 2 and Celebrity Fit Club. He also had a short-lived side career as a musician, performing with alt-metal band Salty The Pocketknife, which released a self-titled album in 2006.

TMZ has reported that Diamond's girlfriend "was by his side when he passed away."

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