Dustin Diamond who was best known for playing the beloved character Screech in the long running teenage drama Saved By the Bell has died at just 44-years-old following a battle with stage four lung cancer, according to multiple reports.
NBC News reported that Dustin passed away Monday, February 1st.
"He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago.
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Dustin played the beloved charecter Screech on Saved By the Bell
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," according to NBC's statement.
Co-stars reactions poured in, with Mario Lopez, who played A.C. Slater leading off with tributes to Instagram.
"Dustin, you will be missed my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on..." Mario wrote with a sweet photo of his friend.
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Co-star Tiffani Thiessen, who played Kelly Kapowski shared to Instagram: "I am deeply saddened by the news of my old co-star Dustin Diamond's passing. Life is extremely fragile and it’s something we should never take for granted. God speed Dustin."
Mark Paul Gosselaar, who played Zack Morris in the iconic show, released a statement to TV Line following Dustin's death.
"I’m 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's statement read.
Mario had also been in touch with Dustin in the weeks leading up to his death.
Original Saved By the Bell cast with the exception of Elizabeth Berkley
Mario said of Dustin's condition in January: "I connected with Dustin earlier this evening and although the news of his diagnosis is heartbreaking, we remain positive that he'll overcome this.
Praying for him & his family and for a speedy recovery. God Bless."
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