Actor Dustin Diamond, best known for playing Screech on high school sitcom Saved by the Bell, has died at the age of 44. Diamond had been diagnosed last month with stage 4 small cell carcinoma, or lung cancer. He had been in treatment. His condition had greatly declined since last week, and he was taken off of breathing machines in an attempt to get him to hospice care. His GF was by his side when he passed away. In 1988, at the age of 11, Diamond was cast as Screech in Disney Channel show Good Morning Miss Bliss. “The hardest thing about being a child star is giving up your childhood. You don’t get a childhood, really,” he said in a 2013 interview.
Diamond had been sued several times for delinquent taxes and missing mortgage payments, and was sentenced to four months in jail after a bar altercation in 2014. The actor had also started a band known as Salty The Pocketknife and played himself in a number of low-budget films. Dustin would appear in tons of other roles … including as the groom in 98 Degrees’ music video for their 1999 hit track, “I Do (Cherish You).” He also appeared in 2 episodes of “The Wonder Years.” „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,” co-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar paid tribute to the actor in a statement.