Bayside High Says Goodbye to Screech

Mario Lopez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar react to death of 'Saved by the Bell' co-star Dustin Diamond
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2021 6:28 AM CST
Saved by the Bell Cast Says Goodbye to Dustin Diamond
This image shows, from left, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessica Spano, Mario Lopez as AC Slater, Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris in the reboot of "Saved by the Bell."   (Trae Patton/Peacock via AP)

As news of Dustin Diamond's Monday death settles in, his former co-stars from Saved by the Bell are paying tribute, per USA Today. "Dustin, you will be missed my man," Mario Lopez, who played AC Slater on the '90s sitcom, posted online to the guy best known to fans as Samuel "Screech" Powers. "The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted." Tiffani Thiessen, the show's Kelly Kapowski, also mentioned the concept of fragility in her message to Diamond, who died at age 44 of lung cancer. "Life is extremely fragile and it's something we should never take for granted. God speed Dustin," she wrote on Instagram, adding she was "deeply saddened" by his passing. That phrase, in turn, was echoed by Mark-Paul Gosselaar, SBTB's Zack Morris, who called Diamond a "true comedic genius."

"Looking back at our time working together, I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce," Gosselaar posted on Twitter. "A pie in your face, my comrade." Finally, Tori Spelling, who played Screech's girlfriend, Violet Anne Bickerstaff, reacted. "Before there was David and Donna there was Screech and Violet," Spelling wrote on Instagram, referring first to her character from Beverly Hills, 90210. "Dustin was my first on-screen kiss. ... As one can imagine being the newbie on a hit show was overwhelming for a 14-year-old girl. He not only showed me around but made sure I was always ok. ... RIP Samuel love, your Violet." A source tells Us Weekly that Diamond had briefly left the hospital early last week, only to be rushed back to the ER on Thursday night. Mark Diamond, the actor's father, confirms to the New York Times that the cause of death was small-cell carcinoma, and that his son died while being transferred from a Florida hospital to hospice care. (Read more Dustin Diamond stories.)

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