Dustin Diamond has died at age 44, reports TMZ, news that comes fewer than three weeks after he went public with a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis. A rep told TMZ the actor, best known for playing Saved by the Bell's Samuel "Screech" Powers, died Monday morning. CNN confirmed the news, and the AP had this from rep Roger Paul: "Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful." Diamond's girlfriend was reportedly with him at the time of his death. On Jan. 21, the AP reported that Diamond had finished his first round of chemo after being hospitalized in Florida.
He appeared in reality TV series including Celebrity Fit Club, The Weakest Link and Celebrity Boxing 2. In 2015, he was sentenced to four months in jail over his involvement in a Wisconsin barroom stabbing. "Dustin was a humorous and high-spirited individual whose greatest passion was to make others laugh. He was able to sense and feel other peoples' emotions to such a length that he was able to feel them too—a strength and a flaw, all in one," Paul added. (Saved by the Bell co-stars earlier reacted to news of Diamond's diagnosis.)