Dustin Diamond, best known for his role as Screech in the hit sitcom “Saved by the Bell,” died on Monday morning following a hospitalization in January. The actor, who had Stage 4 lung cancer, was 44.
Following news of the actor’s death, co-stars and other prominent entertainment figures flooded social media with tributes, reflecting on how Diamond’s character in “Saved by the Bell” brought them joy in their adolescence and that they “grew up” with the show. “Screech” trended on Twitter, along with the news of Diamond’s death.
Diamond’s “Saved by the Bell” co-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar called the actor “
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Looking back at our time working together, I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce. A pie in your face, my comrade.
— Mark-Paul Gosselaar (@MPG) February 1, 2021
Mario Lopez, another “Saved by the Bell” co-star, shared photos of him with the actor, writing, “Dustin, you will be missed my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on…” Lopez also paid tribute to Diamond, saying, “he was like a fun, goofy little brother.”
Tiffani Thiessen, another co-star on the series, shared similar sentiments. “Life is extremely fragile and it’s something we should never take for granted. God speed Dustin,” she tweeted.
I am deeply saddened by I the news of my old co-star @realdustindiamond passing. Life is extremely fragile and it’s something we should never take for granted. God speed Dustin. 💔 https://t.co/r3NVsWK2K4
— Tiffani Thiessen (@TiffaniThiessen) February 1, 2021
Lark Voorhies, also on “Saved by the Bell,” told Variety in a statement, “Words cannot express the grief that I am feeling right now. Dustin and I had a warm and special friendship, he was a caring gentleman, and my memories of him will always be cherished. I am so very sorry he is gone. But it’s exceptionally sad for his close loved ones who have to deal with his tragic death and their own great loss. My heart goes out to them at this trying time.”
Elizabeth Berkley, who played Jessie on “Saved by the Bell,” said she was grateful to have known and worked with the actor at the beginning of his journey.
Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streamer, which recently revived the series, also paid tribute to the actor in an Instagram post: “[Diamond] will forever be a part of the Bayside family.”
Following his time on “Saved by the Bell,” Diamond was arrested in 2014 for stabbing a man during a bar altercation. He served three months in prison in 2015.
“We are aware that Dustin is not considered reputable by most. He’s had a history of mishaps, of unfortunate events. We want the public to understand that he was not intentionally malevolent,” his agent, Roger Paul, said in a statement. “He — much like the rest of those who act out and behave poorly — had undergone a great deal of turmoil and heartache. His actions, though rebukeable, stemmed from loss and the lack of knowledge on how to process that pain properly. In actuality, 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.”
Screenwriter Brian Lynch alluded to Diamond’s criminal history, writing that he wished he could have had “a second act where he turned everything around.”
Dustin Diamond brought so much joy to so many people for years. I wish he could have had a second act where he turned everything around.
— Brian Lynch (@BrianLynch) February 1, 2021
Cyrus Bolooki, drummer of rock band New Found Glory, said he will miss Diamond’s “random texts/videos of the most hilarious jokes” and lamented that he and the actor never played together. “Hope you get to keep playing music up in Heaven,” he wrote.
RIP #Screech @dustindiamond I will miss your random texts/videos of the most hilarious jokes and your absolute love for all things music. Sad that we never got to jam together. Hope you get to keep playing music up in Heaven.
— Cyrus Bolooki (@cyrusbolooki) February 1, 2021
See more tributes below:
Our hearts go out to the family, friends and fans of actor #DustinDiamond who passed away today at the age of 44 after a short battle with cancer. pic.twitter.com/YqiU3iB3VR
— Wendy Williams (@WendyWilliams) February 1, 2021
Rest In Peace, my friend. #DustinDiamond pic.twitter.com/56UOlc9Pac
— Erin Murphy (@Erin_Murphy) February 1, 2021
Saved By The Bell was a big part of a lot of our lives. From JFK to Bayside. Dustin Diamond made Screech an icon. RIP Legend pic.twitter.com/EMsClyJtd8
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) February 1, 2021
R.I.P Dustin Diamond aka “Screech”. Legend 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/tpLVCC1kN0
— Jeffsradamus (@JeffAllen71) February 1, 2021
RIP DUSTIN DIAMOND pic.twitter.com/npDj7Hx3X4
— Matt Cardona (@TheMattCardona) February 1, 2021
Dustin Diamond worked on @Yourprettyface and hung out with my sister and her husband alllll day, he stayed long after he was wrapped because they were such huge fans and he was human and funny the whole time
— Henry Zebrowski (@HenryLovesYou) February 1, 2021
SCREECH DUSTIN DIAMOND BUBBA YOU MAKE THE PEOPLE LAUGH AND HAPPY. RIP BROTHER pic.twitter.com/nOMJS9lTYE
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) February 1, 2021
Crazyyyy RIP Dustin Diamond!
We watchin Saved By the Bell all day in his honor! 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼
— Tim Chantarangsu (@TimothyDeLaG) February 1, 2021