Dustin Diamond lost his battle with Stage 4 lung cancer on Monday. The Saved By the Bell star who played Screech was 44-years-old at the time of his passing. In the hours since his passing, the stars from The Saved By the Bell cast have all paid their final respects to the late actor. Among a group that included Mario Lopez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tiffani Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley, who played Jessie Spano in the series, also paid tribute to Diamond with an Instagram post.
"I'm grateful to have gotten to create with Dustin when we were at the beginning of our dreams coming true," Berkeley wrote underneath a slideshow of photos of Diamond playing the role of Screech. "I will hold onto those sweet memories and the laughs we shared. Rest in Peace." On Jan. 15, Diamond was taken to a Florida hospital which later revealed the severity of his disease. Saved By the Bell made its return in 2020 on NBC's streaming service, Peacock, albeit without Diamond. His absence from the reboot was explained by his character living on the International Space Station with his robot, Kevin.
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Berkley was just one of the many Saved By the Bell cast members who shared tributes to Diamond following his passing. Gosselaar shared a statement with TVLine in which he called him a "true comedic genius." He said that the things he'll miss most about Diamond was the days they spent on set and the "raw, brilliant sparks" he would exhibit while acting. The man behind A.C. Slater, Mario Lopez, also paid his respects to him with a post on Twitter. "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." Thiessen also took to Twitter with a message, echoing the same words of Lopez that life is "extremely fragile" and is something no one should ever take for granted.
Saved By The Bell debuted in 1989 with Diamond appearing in 248 episodes across the franchise's reach. The reboot of the original, which features much of the original cast, came out on Nov. 25 with a 10-episode season. Berkeley, Gosselaar, Lopez and Thiessen all are back and all are likely to appear in the second season after it was renewed by NBC earlier this month.