Dustin Diamond, who played Screech in the “Saved by the Bell” comedy franchise for more than a decade, has been diagnosed with cancer, a spokesperson said Friday.
“It’s very serious and he’s in a lot of pain,” the rep, who asked not to be identified, told HuffPost.
The actor has begun treatment as tests continued to measure the severity of the disease, according to the rep, who would not disclose the type of cancer.
“All positivity and prayers are appreciated,” Diamond’s team wrote in a statement on his Facebook page.
Diamond, 44, was admitted to a Florida hospital days ago after complaining of pain all over his body.
His career has been defined by his portrayal of the nerdy Screech in the original “Saved by the Bell” and two follow-up shows between 1989 and 2000. He was left out of the current reboot on Peacock.
The actor reportedly angered his former co-stars with a salacious 2009 tell-all book called “Behind the Bell.” He apologized for it on “The Dr. Oz Show” in 2016, saying it was doctored by a ghostwriter.
Other aspects of his life took a rocky turn as his celebrity waned, including the 2006 release of a sex tape (which he later said featured a body-double) and a 2014 arrest and jailing in connection with a barroom stabbing.
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