Actor Dustin Diamond, who became a teen TV icon portraying Screech on “Saved by the Bell,” died Monday from cancer.
Diamond’s camp announced the diagnosis just three weeks earlier.
Diamond’s longtime representative Roger Paul called the illness a “brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer” via a statement shared with HuffPost.
“In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution,” Paul added. “Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.”
NBC News reports the specific cancer was stage 4 lung cancer.
Diamond rose to fame in 1989 as the lovably nerdy Screech when “Saved by the Bell” premiered on NBC as a Saturday morning sitcom.
He went on to play the character in various series spinoffs including “Saved by the Bell: The College Years,” and “Saved by the Bell: The New Class,” but not the recent reboot on Peacock.
After his days playing Screech ended, Diamond became a reality show mainstay appearing in the fifth season of “Celebrity Fit Club,” “The Weakest Link” and “Celebrity Boxing 2.”
He also was a house member in the 12th season of “Celebrity Big Brother,” according to The Associated Press.
But Diamond had his struggles in real life: He was sued several times for delinquent taxes and in foreclosure proceedings for missing mortgage payments.
He also made a sex tape in 2006, but later told Oprah Winfrey he used a body double.
In 2015, Diamond was sentenced to serve four months in jail for his part in a Wisconsin barroom stabbing.
In his statement, Paul described Diamond as “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.”
Diamond was survived by his father and his girlfriend, Tash Jules, according to his rep.
Hayley Miller contributed reporting.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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