He was 44.
“He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago,” Paul said in a statement he provided to CNN. “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.”
An actor and stand-up comedian, Diamond found fame playing Samuel “Screech” Powers for more than a decade on the “Saved by the Bell” franchise.
The teen series was recently reimagined by the Peacock streaming service with some of the original stars, though not Diamond.
He stirred controversy with his 2009 book “Behind the Bell,” in which Diamond shared backstage stories about shooting the series with some of his accounts being less than flattering to his costars.
He also faced some legal troubles, serving three months in jail for stabbing a man during a 2014 altercation at a bar in Wisconsin.
The actor has appeared in a number of reality shows over the years, including “Celebrity Fit Club,” “Celebrity Boxing 2” and “Celebrity Championship Wrestling.”
“Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius,” Gosselaar tweeted. “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.”
“Dustin, you will be missed my man,” Lopez wrote on Instagram. “The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on.”