(ROCKFORD ADVOCATE) — “Saved by the Bell” star Dustin Diamond died Monday after a brief battle with carcinoma. He was 44.
Diamond, who played Samuel “Screech” Powers in the teen sitcom, was hospitalized in Florida last month. It was later reported that the actor was bring treated for stage 4 cancer.
“Dustin did not suffer,” Diamond’s spokesman, Roger Paul, said in a statement. “He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful. 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.”
Originally called “Good Morning, Miss Bliss,” “Saved by the Bell” ran from 1989 to 1993 and spawned spinoffs, “Saved by the Bell: The College Years,” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class.” While Diamond appeared in the original “Saved by the Bell” projetcts, he did not join Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez, Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar in a series that launched last year.
After “Saved by the Bell,” Diamond made a variety of guest appearances, mostly in reality shows and commercials. He also released his own sex tape and made news in recent years for his role in a Wisconsin bar fight for which he served for months in jail. He also faced judgements for unpaid taxes.