Film and TV

Saved by the Bell's Dustin Diamond Is Dead at 44

Dustin Diamond in 2013.
Dustin Diamond in 2013. BigBrotherJunkie89/Flickr

Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on the classic '90s teen show Saved by the Bell, has died of cancer. He was 44 years old.

Diamond struggled after the end of Saved by the Bell: The New Class (in which Screech became Principal Belding's assistant): he directed and released his own sex tape (although he later told Oprah it was a body double), participated in reality shows like Celebrity Fit Club and The Weakest Link, and released a much-maligned tell-all book called Behind the Bell. (After receiving criticism for the book, Diamond said it was ghost-written.)

He also had brushes with the law, including arrests for possession of a switchblade, carrying a concealed weapon, and disorderly conduct.

It was announced last month that Diamond was undergoing treatment for small-cell lung carcinoma.
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Jennifer Goldberg is the culture editor and Best of Phoenix editor for Phoenix New Times.