Yesterday, February 1, Dustin Diamond, who is best known for playing ‘Screech’ in Saved by the Bell, passed away at the age of 44. He died just a month after his stage 4 cancer diagnosis where it was revealed he had stage 4 lung cancer. Although quickly hospitalized, Diamond passed quickly — something his manager, Roger Paul, said was a blessing. “The only mercy [his diagnosis] 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.”
Former co-stars, other celebrities, and fans took turns to pay tribute to Diamond, who in his tenure on television as the loveable nerd at Bayside High School became an indelible part of pop culture. Here are some of those tributes.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who is starring in the ‘Saved by the Bell’ reboot alongside Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez, took time to pay tribute to their work together on set.
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Looking back at our time working together, I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce. A pie in your face, my comrade.
— Mark-Paul Gosselaar (@MPG) February 1, 2021
Tiffani Thiessen, another former co-star, posted a tribute to Diamond and the tenuous grip we all have on life on Instagram.
Some who appreciated Diamond’s work ethic and professionalism, like Danny Strong.
The first TV show I ever did was Saved By The Bell: The New Class. I was star struck to be working with Dustin Diamond and he couldn't have been nicer to me even giving me advice when it was clear I was nervous. Thank you, Dustin, for the kindness and the tips. #RIPDustinDiamond
— Danny Strong (@Dannystrong) February 1, 2021
Tori Spelling, who would gain her fame on 90210 but who worked with Diamond on Saved by the Bell as a youngster, wrote a sweet tribute to their “young love.”
And of course, Mario Lopez, the actor who has perhaps had the most successful post-Saved by the Bell career who will also be making a return in the new reboot of the show, paid a loving tribute to Diamond on his own social media page.
While loss is simply a reality of spending time on this Earth, that doesn’t mean that when it happens, it hurts any less. Hopefully, Diamond isn’t in pain and those who grew up with him on set or in their personal lives can remember him fondly.