‘Saved by the Bell’ star Dustin Diamond diagnosed with stage 4 cancer
Dustin Diamond, known best for his portrayal of a lovable nerd on “Saved by the Bell,” has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer after being hospitalized over the weekend, the actor’s manager said Thursday.
Diamond, 44, was taken to a Florida hospital days ago after feeling unwell, his spokesman previously confirmed to NBC News. The former child star is awaiting test results to learn the exact location and nature of the cancer.
Diamond came to fame in the 1990s with his role of Samuel “Screech” Powers on “Saved by the Bell. He played the role of best friend and sidekick to the show’s main character and offered comic relief as a kind-hearted geek.
Though most of the show’s original cast returned to a reboot of the sitcom on the Peacock streaming platform, Diamond did not reprise his role. (Peacock is owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)
Diamond has had some public struggles since his departure from the show, including a 2001 filing for bankruptcy. He was also arrested and convicted for his role in a fight at a Wisconsin bar in 2014, in which Diamond stabbed another bar patron in the armpit with a switchblade.
He was placed in a work release program after beginning his four-month sentence and was released a month early for good behavior.
Dustin Diamond, ‘Screech’ of ‘Saved By The Bell’ has cancer
Multiple reports say the 44-year-old who played ‘Screech’ on ‘Saved By The Bell’ was taken to a hospital in Florida over the weekend.
Actor Dustin Diamond, known for his role as Samuel “Screech” Powers on “Saved by the Bell,” has been diagnosed with cancer.
A statement posted Thursday on his Facebook page confirmed the diagnosis. It said that Diamond will share details when he can.
“Dustin Will disclose more information once it is available and a plan moving forward,” the statement from Diamond’s team said. “We ask everyone to respect Dustin’s privacy during this difficult time. All positivity and prayers are appreciated.”
NBC News and Entertainment Weekly report that the 44-year-old was taken to a hospital in Florida over the weekend after he was not feeling well. His manager reportedly said Thursday that Diamond has stage four cancer.
#SavedByTheBell actor Dustin Diamond, who played #Screech, has received a stage four #cancer diagnosis and currently undergoing treatment at an undisclosed Florida hospital, @EW reportinghttps://t.co/SL8nuKLLOt — Daily Blast LIVE (@dailyblastlive) January 15, 2021
As the Associated Press noted in a 2014 profile, Diamond played “Screech” for a decade but then took on other projects – including a combative appearance on the reality show “Celebrity Fit Club,” in an effort to break away from his Bayside High School persona.
He later executive produced Lifetime TV’s “The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story” and took part in the off-Broadway parody “Bayside! The Musical!" He played himself.
Diamond also has dealt with legal issues. He was sentenced to four months in jail in 2015 for his part in a Wisconsin barroom stabbing. He has also been sued several times for delinquent taxes and in foreclosure proceedings for missing mortgage payments.
‘Saved by the Bell’ alum Dustin Diamond has been diagnosed with cancer
“Saved by the Bell” alum Dustin Diamond has been diagnosed with cancer.
Days after Diamond’s Facebook page revealed he was hospitalized to undergo “medical testing,” Diamond’s representative Roger Paul confirmed his diagnosis to USA TODAY.
“We are still doing more tests," Paul said Thursday. “Once we know, we will have an idea of how to approach it. Right now it is a very serious situation. I’m asking everyone for thoughts and prayers.”
Diamond’s Facebook page also confirmed the news.
“At this time we can confirm that Dustin does have cancer,” reads a statement posted on @RealDustinDiamond’s Facebook. “We ask everyone to respect Dustin’s privacy during this difficult time. All positivity and prayers are appreciated.”
It’s not clear what type of cancer Diamond is battling.
According to TMZ, Diamond was hospitalized over the weekend in Florida after “feeling pain all over his body.”
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Diamond is best known for playing Samuel “Screech” Powers on the TV sitcom “Saved by the Bell” from the late 1980s until 2000. Diamond later toured as a stand-up comedian and appeared on reality TV shows and in a few small movie roles.
However, life after Screech Powers hasn’t been easy for Diamond.
He put his name on the controversial 2009 memoir, “Behind the Bell,” which painted an unflattering picture of his fellow actors and their allegedly sordid adventures behind the scenes of the show. Among other things, he claimed to have had sex with thousands of women.
The book was strongly challenged by critics and former co-stars. Diamond acknowledged in December 2013 that the book was ghost written by an author who exaggerated and fabricated anecdotes from innocuous statements Diamond made in interviews.
In 2015, he was found guilty of two misdemeanors – carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct with a concealed weapon – in connection with a stabbing during a brawl. He was cleared of the felony charge of second-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Diamond was sentenced to 120 days in jail and 15 months of probation and released from jail in April 2016 a month early, for helping with jail cleanup work. By late May 2016, he was jailed for what corrections officials described as a probation violation after a urine test was positive for oxycodone.
Contributing: Doug Stanglin
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