Saved By The Bell star Dustin Diamond dies after battle with lung cancer

Actor Dustin Diamond has sadly died aged 44 after battling an advanced form of lung cancer, it has been confirmed.

The actor, best known for his role as Screech on the 90s teen drama Saved By The Bell, was admitted to hospital in Florida in January.

Diamond's representative, Roger Paul, confirmed his death in a statement shared with Daily Star on Monday evening, branding his cancer as "relentless".

It read: "We are saddened to confirm of Dustin Diamond’s passing on Monday, February 1st, 2021 due to carcinoma. He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago.

"In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution. Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful."

Describing Diamond's death as "sudden," the statement continued: "Dustin Diamond was a character in and of himself: an unpredictable spitfire who always left us shocked, but never left us bored.

"We are thankful he trusted us enough to share his genuine, authentic self with our team. We wish you knew him in the way that we did.

"We please ask that you give room for privacy to our team and Mr Diamond’s family during this tragic time, as we grieve and remember the memories spent together. This loss is as much stinging as it is sudden."

Dustin began acting as a child, landing his breakout role as Samuel "Screech" Powers on Saved By The Bell at the age of 12.

The original show wrapped in the early 90s, but Dustin appeared in its various spin-offs, including Saved by the Bell: The New Class and Saved by the Bell: The College Years.

Later in life, he formed a metal band known as Salty The Pocketknife, playing the bass, though the group subsequently split due to disagreements between its members.

Over the years, Dustin has appeared on a number of reality shows, from the 12th series of Celebrity Big Brother to Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling.

In a statement released last month via Dustin's Facebook page, his rep confirmed the actor had been diagnosed with cancer.

It later emerged Diamond was battling stage four lung cancer, with his friends and girlfriend by his side in the hospital ward.

Since news of the actor's death broke, tributes have been flooding in from his many fans across the globe.

Diamond's representative, Mr Paul, has said the actor and comic was like a family-member to him over the course of their 21-year professional relationship.

He said: "It goes without saying that our relationship cannot be categorized exclusively as business. He has become a larger part of our everyday life: A part of our family and friend circle. 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. 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."

Paul added: "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. "

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