“Saved by the Bell” star Mark-Paul Gosselaar has opened up about his past relationship with his late co-star Dustin Diamond.
Diamond died in February at the age of 44 after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
“It’s no secret that the rest of the cast wasn’t very close with Dustin towards the end of his life,” Gosselaar said on an episode of the “Zack to the Future” podcast , reported Today. “The only thing I can say to that is there’s really nothing that caused that."
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Gosselaar, who played Zack Morris in the original sitcom and its recent Peacock revival, reminisced about the last time he ran into Diamond.
“We actually did a comic-con back in 2019, end of the year. Saw him. He looked healthy. Met his girlfriend,” the 47-year-old said. “We had a nice little conversation and we took some photos together with some of the fans. And that was it. We didn’t talk after that.”
“That’s just the nature of this industry that we’re in,” he said of losing touch with former co-stars.
“I’ve worked with a lot of people in my career and there are very few people that I still remain in contact with. I’ve really enjoyed almost everyone that I’ve worked with. I mean, I could count on one hand the people I would never call and don’t have too many nice things to say about them. Dustin was not one of them. I would reach out to him if he needed me, but over the years we kind of just drifted apart.”
Gosselaar also reflected on his time on set with Diamond.
“Looking back on the show, he was a genius when it came to this type of comedy,” he added. “For someone his age to do some of the things he does on the screen are brilliant.”
While Diamond was not part of the reboot of the series, there were plans for him to make an appearance in a future episode.
"I know that we were talking to get Dustin on the reboot for the second season,” he said. “There were even talks to get him for the first season, but COVID cut that short."
Despite growing distant, Gosselaar emphasized his admiration for Diamond and remembered the good memories he had with his former coworker.
“I just want people to know that he was an amazing actor on this show," Gosselaar said. "He was a good friend, but other than that, I don’t know much about Dustin ‘cause for 20-plus years we just were not in each other’s lives. But my memories of him are all positive. I feel for his family and friends and hoping he’s resting in peace.”
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