Dustin Diamond, 44, has officially been diagnosed with cancer. The Saved by the Bell alum’s team confirmed the sad news in a Facebook announcement on Jan. 14, five days after he was hospitalized in Florida over the weekend of Jan. 9, which his rep confirmed with HollywoodLife. “At this time we can confirm that Dustin does have cancer,” the new statement read, which added, “Dustin Will disclose more information once it is available and a plan moving forward is made.”
Dustin is open to receiving cards and letters in the wake of his diagnosis (his team provided mail and email addresses, which you can see in the post above). The end of the announcement read, “We ask everyone to respect Dustin’s privacy during this difficult time . All positivity and prayers are appreciated.”
Dustin was specifically diagnosed with “stage four” cancer and is now “undergoing chemo,” his rep said in another statement provided to Entertainment Weekly, who called the situation “serious.” The rep added, “By next week, we’ll have a much better understanding of the severity of his condition and what treatments he will need so that he’s comfortable.”
The rep added that the Saved by the Bell alum was feeling “fine” on Jan. 14, and elaborated, “He was fading in and out, feeling sleepy and tired. On top of all this he also has shingles, so he’s been in a lot of pain.” HollywoodLife has reached out to Dustin’s rep for comment.
Dustin had reportedly been suffering from pain “all over his body and a general sense of unease” before he was taken to the hospital, according to the original report from TMZ. At the time, the medical team was “concerned” these pains were caused by cancer, the report added.
Fans shared their condolences on Twitter and shared GIFs of Screech, the beloved character that Dustin began playing in 1987 on the Disney Channel sitcom Good Morning, Miss Bliss. He reprised the role for Saved By The Bell, Saved by the Bell: The College Years, and Saved By The Bell: The New Class up to 2000. Dustin was the only original cast member not asked back for Peacock’s Saved by the Bell reboot that premiered in Nov. 2020. His co-star, Elizabeth Berkley (who played Jessie Spano) did hint on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, however, that Dustin’s return could be “something to explore” if the show gets another season.
Dustin ran into controversy when he published a tell-all book about his days on the Saved by the Bell set in 2009, which included wild allegations about hookups and drugs centered around his co-stars. Screech’s actor later insisted that it was all written by a ghostwriter and told his former co-star Mario Lopez in a 2016 Extra interview, “Imagine how I feel, I haven’t talked to Mark-Paul [Gosselaar] or Elizabeth or Tiffani [Thiessen] in ages, so I can’t imagine what they think, and I’m hoping this will clear it up. It wasn’t me, I didn’t write this. I was just as shocked and appalled.”