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Dustin Diamond, 'Saved by the Bell' star, dead at 44

Dustin Diamond, who portrayed Screech on Saved by the Bell, has died at the age of 44. Photo by Rob DiCaterino/Flickr
Dustin Diamond, who portrayed Screech on "Saved by the Bell," has died at the age of 44. Photo by Rob DiCaterino/Flickr

Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Dustin Diamond, the actor best known for portraying Screech on Saved by the Bell, has died at the age of 44.

Diamond's representative Roger Paul confirmed his death to The Hollywood Reporter and Rolling Stone.

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Diamond was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in January. He then started chemotherapy.

"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 shift execution. Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful," Paul said in a statement.

"Dustin Diamond was a character in and of himself: an unpredictable spitfire who always left us shocked, but never left us bored. 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," Paul continued.

Diamond portrayed the nerdy Screech on Saved by the Bell for four seasons from 1989 to 1993, Saved by the Bell: The College Years for one season from 1993 to 1994 and Saved by the Bell: The New Class for seven seasons from 1994 to 2000.

The actor did not return for the Saved by the Bell revival, which launched on Peacock in November.

Diamond also appeared in Celebrity Boxing 2 where he fought Ron Palillo; Celebrity Fit Club; Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling where he got into the ring with Dennis Rodman and Frank Stallone, World's Dumbest and Celebrity Big Brother.

He also appeared in films Made, Pauly Shore is Dead, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Tetherball: The Movie, All Wifed Out and College Fright Night.

Diamond executive produced 2014 Lifetime film The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story and released book Behind the Bell, but later claimed the book was ghostwritten.

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New York Giants head coach Jim Fassel watches the Detroit Lions defeat his team, the New York Giants, at in East Rutherford, N.J., on November 19, 2000. The former Super Bowl-winning coach died on June 8 at the age of 71. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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