'Saved by the Bell' star Dustin Diamond dies at 44

By , Audacy

American television star Dustin Diamond has died at the age of 44 after a battle with stage 4 lung cancer.

Diamond died Monday morning, after his condition had greatly declined since last week and he was taken off breathing machines in attempt to get to hospice care, a rep for the actor told TMZ.

Diamond's girlfriend was with him at the time of death, the outlet reported.

The sitcom actor announced in January that he was undergoing chemotherapy at an undisclosed hospital in Florida after discovering a lump in his throat.

When Diamond first arrived at the hospital, he felt pain all over his body and had an overall sense of unease, TMZ previously reported.

His team later confirmed on Facebook that the actor was officially diagnosed with stage 4 small cell carcinoma, a form of cancer commonly found among smokers.

The actor underwent his first round of chemotherapy shortly after.

Former "Saved by the Bell" star Mario Lopez "connected" with Diamond before his death and posted about the interaction on social media.

"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," Lopez wrote alongside a throwback image of the pair.

Dustin Diamond’s representative Roger Paul told NBC News in January that Diamond was “looking forward to spending more time with his girlfriend, playing his bass guitar/video games, as well as making videos for his fans on social media."

Diamond is best known for playing the nerdy sidekick Screech Powers in the popular sitcom “Saved by the Bell” and its various spinoffs, including “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” which aired from 1993 to 1994.

Diamond was not part of Peacock’s revival series starring several original cast members.

In 2013, Diamond appeared on the 12th season on British game show "Celebrity Big Brother."

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