Saved By The Bell's very own "Screech" passed away suddenly on Monday after succumbing to his fast-acting cancer. Now Dustin Diamond's co-stars are saying their goodbyes.
Saved By The Bell Star Dustin Diamond's Sudden Death At 44
Dustin Diamond's manager Roger Paul told People that he had not been feeling well and had a "lump on his neck that he was ignoring. He was afraid of the public attention if he went to the hospital. But finally, his girlfriend took him and the doctors confirmed it was cancer."
The positive-minded actor was of course, "scared, but he tried to find the humor in it. He did chemo - he tried everything possible. But it didn't work. Dustin tried to be as positive as he could throughout everything - that's who he was - but he was scared. He didn't want to die."
Only three weeks ago Dustin was diagnosed with a "brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer. 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."
His girlfriend of one year, Tash, was by his side when he passed. Dustin was only 44 years old.
Saved By The Bell Cast Reacts To Dustin Diamond's Sudden Death
One of the first to publicly react to the heartbreaking news was Mario Lopez, a.k.a. "A.C. Slater" who posted photos of the two of them together saying, "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..."
Mark-Paul Gosselaar a.k.a. "Zack Morris," told People, "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."
Tiffani Thiessen ("Kelly Kapowski") posted to Instagram saying, "I am deeply saddened by the news of my old co-star @realdustindiamond passing. Life is extremely fragile and it's something we should never take for granted. God speed Dustin."
Lark Voorhies ("Lisa Marie Turtle") told People, "words cannot experience the grief that I am feeling right now. Dustin and I had a warm and special friendship, he was a caring gentleman, and my memories of him will always be cherished. I am so very sorry he is gone. But it's exceptionally sad for his close loved ones who have to deal with his tragic death and their own great loss. My heart goes out to them at this trying time."
Elizabeth Berkley ("Jessie" Myrtle Spano) posted, "I'm grateful to have gotten to create with Dustin when we were at the beginning of our dreams coming true. I will hold onto those sweet memories and the laughs we shared. Rest In Peace."
Saved By The Bell's creator Peter Engel was devastated by the news. He told People, "I was with him for 11 years since he was 11 years old. I had no idea he was that young when I hired him! Dustin was a comedy genius. The boy was brilliant."
"I've been known for not letting anyone change my words as a writer and he would come up and say let me try it this way and nine out of ten times I would end up doing it his way. When we were shooting the wedding in Las Vegas movie, I would ruin a scene by laughing so hard. I loved him, and he will forever be Screech to me. That character will live on forever."
Tori Spelling, who once played his on-screen girlfriend for a few episodes wrote on Instagram: "My 1st onscreen love Dustin Diamond got his Angel wings today. Before there was David and Donna there was Screech and Violet. Dustin was my first on-screen kiss. He welcomed me with open arms onto the set of Saved By the Bell. As one can imagine being the newbie on a hit show was overwhelming for a 14-year-old girl."
"He not only showed me around but made sure I was always ok. Such a young gentleman. He was kind, smart, and always making everyone laugh. He was a great scene partner. He was a really good guy. I'm sad after the show we never had much contact aside from occasionally running into each other at events. I'm glad he's out of pain. He's an icon to me professionally and personally. RIP Samuel love, your Violet."
Countless others in Hollywood gave tribute to the fun and bubbly star. He will be greatly missed.