Saved by the Bell actor Dustin Diamond finished his first round of chemotherapy after he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last week. The 44-year-old actor, who played Screech on the series, was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell carcinoma, his representative told TMZ. This is usually considered advanced lung cancer, but Diamond's team said his cancer began in another part of his body and metastasized in his lungs. He remains hospitalized and will have another round of chemotherapy soon.
Diamond's representatives told TMZ he can start physical therapy soon and he still has a positive outlook. He is hoping to spend time with his girlfriend, as well as playing his bass guitar and video games. He also plans to release videos for fans on social media. His reps revealed Diamond was diagnosed with a form of cancer last week. They also shared a statement with fans on his Facebook page. "At this time we can confirm that Dustin does have cancer. Dustin will disclose more information once it is available and a plan moving forward is made," his team said. They also provided an address fans can send cards or letters to. "We ask everyone to respect Dustin’s privacy during this difficult time. All positivity and prayers are appreciated," his reps added.
Diamond was first hospitalized in Florida when he felt pain all over his body, his reps told Entertainment Tonight two days before they learned he had cancer. In October, he felt a lump in his throat and thought he had thyroid cancer, they said. He was afraid to go to the hospital at that time because of the coronavirus pandemic. His doctors hope chemotherapy will help Diamond live a longer life, but they have not said if his cancer is terminal, his reps told ET.
The actor is best known for playing Screech in Saved by the Bell and the follow-ups, Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style, Saved by the Bell: The College Years, and Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas. He even appeared in the 1994-200 series Saved by the Bell: The New Class. However, he did not return for the new Peacock revival, simply titled Saved by the Bell. Mario Lopez, who played A.C. Slater on the series, shared a message on Instagram after his friend's diagnosis was reported. "He received all the well-wishes from his Saved by the Bell costars, and he’s been really happy hearing that stuff,” a source close to Diamond told Us Weekly. “It’s been nice that people have been reaching out.”
"I connected with Dustin earlier this evening and although the news of his diagnosis is heartbreaking, we remain positive that he’ll overcome this. Praying for him & his family and for a speedy recovery," Lopez wrote, alongside photos of himself with Diamond on the Saved by the Bell set and a more recent photo with his co-star. "God Bless." Tiffani Thiessen also told fans she was "thinking" about Diamond, reports Us Weekly.