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Dustin Diamond, Saved By the Bell Actor, Dies at 44

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - MAY 16: Dustin Diamond visits "Extra" at Universal Studios Hollywood on May 16, 2016 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Dustin Diamond, the actor best known for his role as Samuel “Screech” Powers on Saved By the Bell, has died at the age of 44. The actor was hospitalized in Florida last month after experiencing body pain and underwent testing before it was determined he had carcinoma, a form of cancer that starts in skin tissue or organ-lining tissue.

A rep for Diamond confirmed the news of his death to SPIN. The statement said that Diamond 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.”

Born on Jan. 7, 1977, in San Jose, California, Diamond shot to fame for his role on Saved By the Bell. As the resident nerd of the group, Powers was the best friend of Zach Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). The beloved show ran from 1989 through 1993 and aired on NBC on Saturday mornings. Diamond also appeared in subsequent Saved By the Bell shows Saved by the Bell: The New Class and Saved By the Bell: The College Years.

Following Saved By the Bell, Diamond appeared on Celebrity Fit Club, The Weakest Link and Celebrity Boxing 2. He had an uncredited role in the 2001 Jon Favreau film Made and appeared in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.

In 2015, the actor was convicted of disorderly conduct after he stabbed another person at a bar in Port Washington, Wisconsin, with a switchblade on Christmas 2014. He was released in April 2016 after serving three months.

Diamond did not appear in the recent Saved By the Bell reboot that first aired on NBC’s Peacock last year.