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Dustin Diamond, Who Played Screech on ‘Saved By The Bell’, Dead at 44

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There have been a lot of celebrity deaths recently, but Dustin Diamond’s seems sadder, even if you probably haven’t thought about him in years.

Dustin Diamond was, for lack of a better term, kind of a f**k-up. He released a sex tape which he later claimed featured a look-alike, he wrote a book that pissed off his former castmates and is probably why he wasn’t asked to be in the revival series and then claimed he didn’t write it and he went to jail for pulling a knife on someone in a bar fight. Which is actually pretty well-adjusted as former child actors go.

Dustin Diamond was also the only memorable part of Saved by the Bell aside from Elizabeth Berkley getting high on caffeine pills. I think a lot of us watched that show as kids and it was not very good, but Dustin Diamond made it at least watchable by being silly and awkward and weird. He was basically a cartoon character grafted onto a strange attempt at a teen drama like Degrassi with a laugh track.

More importantly, Dustin Diamond was only 44. That’s young. And he was diagnosed with cancer less than a month ago. And then he was just gone.

We’re honestly probably not missing out on a great oeuvre of unfinished works here, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t sad. He didn’t seem like a bad guy.

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