Dustin Diamond, loved by millions for his role as Screech on Saved by the Bell, has died following a battle with cancer. He was 44.
“Dustin’s death comes just a couple weeks after completing his first round of chemo after he was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell carcinoma … which is commonly referred to as lung cancer,” TMZ reported. “We were told the cancer started somewhere in Dustin’s body and metastasized in his lungs.”
Diamond was born in San Jose, Calif., on Jan. 7, 1977 and became a child actor. He was best known for his role as Samuel “Screech” Powers on Saved By The Bell from 1989-1994 and Saved by the Bell: the New Class from 1994-2000.
Few people knew that Diamond also formed the alternative metal band Salty The Pocketknife in the early 2000s. Diamond played the bass guitar and wrote much of the music.
“Dustin would appear in tons of other roles … including as the groom in 98 Degrees’ music video for their 1999 hit track, ‘I Do (Cherish You),'” TMZ noted. “He also appeared in 2 episodes of ‘The Wonder Years.’ He became infamous for directing his own sex tape in 2006 but later admitted to Oprah Winfrey it wasn’t him … but a stunt double.”