Dustin Diamond, known best for his portrayal of a lovable nerd on “Saved by the Bell,” has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer after being hospitalized over the weekend, the actor's manager said Thursday.
Diamond, 44, was taken to a Florida hospital days ago after feeling unwell, his spokesman previously confirmed to NBC News. The former child star is awaiting test results to learn the exact location and nature of the cancer.
Diamond came to fame in the 1990s with his role of Samuel "Screech" Powers on “Saved by the Bell. He played the role of best friend and sidekick to the show’s main character and offered comic relief as a kind-hearted geek.
Though most of the show’s original cast returned to a reboot of the sitcom on the Peacock streaming platform, Diamond did not reprise his role. (Peacock is owned by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)
Diamond has had some public struggles since his departure from the show, including a 2001 filing for bankruptcy. He was also arrested and convicted for his role in a fight at a Wisconsin bar in 2014, in which Diamond stabbed another bar patron in the armpit with a switchblade.
He was placed in a work release program after beginning his four-month sentence and was released a month early for good behavior.