“We are saddened to confirm 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,” Diamond’s rep, Roger Paul, confirmed to Us Weekly on Monday, mourning the actor who had become “a part of our family and friend circle.”
The statement continued: “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. “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.”
News of Diamond’s death comes shortly after a source told Us exclusively that the actor was experiencing “a lot of pain” as his condition continued to get worse. “It’s not good, it’s not good at all. He’s going to be in the hospital for a while. He’s getting through his treatments now. It’s tough, it’s very hard,” the insider said in January. “He’s going through a lot of pain, but he still keeps his spirits up. Right now, he’s just suffering. He has his ups and downs where he’s great one minute, but then he can be in a lot of pain — tears. It’s such an emotional time.”
Diamond’s team first revealed his diagnosis on January 14, days after the actor was hospitalized in Florida. His rep told Us Weekly, “The medical staff is currently running tests on Dustin and they’re hoping to get answers soon.” The following day, in a statement posted to his Facebook account, Diamond’s team revealed that he “does have cancer,” promising more details as information became available.
His rep told Us exclusively at the time, “It is serious,” confirming that the actor was receiving treatment after doctors revealed his diagnosis.
“No matter what stage it is, cancer is a serious issue,” the rep told Us. “He’s doing treatments — I say treatments because it can be more than chemo — and once he’s done the treatments, which will hopefully be sometime next week, we’ll have a better idea of how bad it is and the severity of what we need to do to help him heal.”
TMZ reported that Diamond had been “feeling pain all over his body and a general sense of unease” before his hospitalization. The former child star has a family history of cancer, as his mother died of breast cancer.
The California native was widely known for playing Samuel “Screech” Powers on the popular 90s sitcom. He originally started playing the character in 1988 on the Disney Channel series Good Morning, Miss Bliss. Though the series did not continue, the character immediately moved over to the NBC spinoff Saved by the Bell. The show aired from 1989 to 1993. He appeared in both spinoffs, Saved by the Bell: The College Years and Saved by the Bell: The New Class.
Diamond was married to Jennifer Misner, of Big Brother U.K. fame, from 2009 to 2013. He did not leave behind any children.