On Monday, it was reported that Saved By the Bell alum Dustin Diamond died after a battle with cancer. He was 44. In light of this tragic news, several of Diamond's former co-stars have spoken out in order to pay tribute to the late star. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who starred as Zack Morris alongside Diamond's Screech on Saved By the Bell, took to Twitter to honor his late friend.
On Twitter, Gosselaar wrote that he was "deeply saddened" to hear about Diamond's death, calling the late actor a "true comedic genius." He went on to send his thoughts and condolences to those who were closest to the Saved By the Bell alum. Gosselaar then reflected on his time working alongside Diamond. He noted that he will dearly miss "those raw, brilliant sparks" that Diamond was unique for.
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.— Mark-Paul Gosselaar (@MPG) February 1, 2021
The Mixed-ish star wasn't the only member of the Saved By the Bell family who paid tribute to Diamond on Monday. His former co-stars, Tiffani Thiessen and Mario Lopez, also took to social media shortly after news broke that Diamond had passed away. Thiessen's statement read, “I am deeply saddened by the news of my old co-star [Dustin Diamond] passing. Life is extremely fragile and it’s something we should never take for granted. God speed Dustin.” Similar to Thiessen, Lopez's statement also touched upon the notion of fragility, particularly as Diamond's death at 44 comes only weeks after he first shared his cancer diagnosis.
“Dustin, you will be missed my man,” Lopez wrote alongside a photo of him and Diamond. “The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on.” The late actor's representative confirmed to TMZ that Diamond passed away on Monday. His death comes weeks after he announced that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 small cell carcinoma that began in another part of his body and metastasized in his lungs. Diamond's rep said that the actor's health began to rapidly deteriorate within the last week. He was reportedly taken off of breathing machines in an attempt to move him into hospice care. Diamond died with his girlfriend by his side.