Vale: Dustin Diamond
US comedy actor, best known for Saved by the Bell, has died.
US comedy actor Dustin Diamond, best known for Saved by the Bell, has died, aged 44.
He died due to carcinoma on Monday morning in Florida, just three weeks after being hospitalised.
“In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution,” his agent, Roger Paul, said in a statement. “Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.”
Diamond shot to fame as the loveable geek Samuel “Screech” Powers on Saved by the Bell from 1989 – 1993, but he reprised the role for spin-offs The College Years / Wedding in Las Vegas and Saved by the Bell: The New Class. The character originally appeared in Good Morning, Miss Bliss for 13 episodes.
His other credits included Yogi’s Great Escape, It’s a Living, The Wonder Years, The Munsters Today and various appearances on Celebrity Big Brother, Celebrity Fit Club, The Weakest Link and Celebrity Boxing 2. Film credits include Big Top Pee-Wee, Pauly Shore is Dead, Joker’s Wild, and American Pie Presents: The Book of Love.
But there was also an infamous 2006 sex tape Screeched: Saved by the Smell. Later, he said that a “stunt person” stood in for him, with his face added during editing. He once told Oprah Winfrey that he was embarrassed by the tape and that the money “wasn’t worth what the fallout was.”
“Looking back now in my 30s, I realise that was really dumb,” he said. “People to this day look down on me. There’s a lot of people [who think] ‘how disgusting of you’ — and I didn’t really do it.”
He shared salacious behind-the-scenes tales about his TV show in the book Behind the Bell. After it came out, he said it was ghostwritten and he wasn’t given a chance to remove some of the stories that were created from some “offhand” comments that he had made to the real author.
Diamond was also arrested in 2014 and served three months in prison in 2015 for stabbing a man during a bar fight. He was arrested again in May 2016 for violating the terms of his probation.
Agent Roger Paul said his client was not intentionally malevolent. “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.”