Diamond was admitted to the hospital in January after feeling pain all over his body. He was diagnosed with cancer and able to complete a round of chemotherapy last week, however, it was all too late. His health quickly declined from there.
Friends and family are understandably devastated over his sudden death, including many of his former costars. Here are some responses from Diamond's Saved by the Bell castmates:
Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Dustin Diamond on 'Saved by the Bell' | Facebook
Despite their rumored rivalry, Mark-Paul Gosselaar still voiced his sympathy on Twitter after Diamond's death. The actor who is best known for playing Zack Morris on Saved by the Bell had this to say about his former co-star:
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Looking back at our time working together, I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce. A pie in your face, my comrade.
People were quick to point out the irony of his tweet as Diamond had stated publically on numerous occasions that Gosselaar and his other co-stars weren't exactly kind to him. One Twitter user pointed out that Diamond hadn't seen most of his co-stars since he was 16-years-old:
While many comments on Gosselaar's tweet are negative, some point out that the actor wasn't required to take care of Diamond. They were coworkers, and just because they played best friends on the show doesn't mean they got along when the cameras weren't rolling.
Tiffani Thiessen showing off her toned abs back in the '90s | Facebook
Tiffani Thiessen, who played Kelly Kapowski on the '90s hit show, took to Instagram to express her grief. In an Instagram post alongside a photo of Diamond she wrote:
I am deeply saddened by the news of my old co-star @realdustindiamond passing. Life is extremely fragile and it’s something we should never take for granted. God speed Dustin. 💔
Like Gosselaar's post, Thiessen's also received some hate. In addition to people pointing out that the actress hadn't seen her former co-star in decades, they also questioned why Diamond hadn't been invited to appear on the Saved by the Bell reboot.
Mario Lopez shared this throwback from his interview with Dustin Diamond | Facebook
Mario Lopez was one of the few Saved by the Bell cast members to reconnect with Diamond after the show ended. The actor who played A.C. Slater not only posted a tribute to the actor on his Twitter page, but he also honored Diamond's memory with an exclusive interview with Variety. According to Lopez, the two were still in touch saying:
I actually just spoke with him a couple of weeks ago. He was reluctant to go in [to the hospital] for a while because he didn’t know if anything was going to get out. And I said, ‘Bro, that’s foolish, you’ve got to get in there and take care of yourself and forget what people are saying.’ ... When all of this was happening, I was optimistic that he would make a recovery, but it was obviously too late.
It's clear from Lopez's interview that he is still in shock over the loss of his friend. He mentions that those working on the Saved by the Bell reboot were hoping to get Diamond to appear in season 2, but clearly, it's too late for that. Instead, Lopez plans to push for a tribute episode.
Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano | Facebook
Elizabeth Berkley, who portrayed the tightly wound feminist Jessie Spano, also paid tribute to Diamond. Along with a few photos of her and Diamond from their days on Saved by the Bell, posted this to her Instagram feed:
I’m grateful to have gotten to create with Dustin when we were at the beginning of our dreams coming true. I will hold onto those sweet memories and the laughs we shared. He was a truly gifted talent. Rest In Peace 🙏🏼🤍✨
There are very few comments on Berkley's post, likely due to a privacy setting she has in place. For this reason, it's hard to say if she received any hate from fans or not, but likely she did.
Lark Voorhies shared this throwback of her and Dustin Diamond | Instagram
Lark Voorhies, who played Lisa Turtle and Screech's love interest on Saved by the Bell, may have been Diamond's closest costar at the time of his death. While she hasn't posted on the actor's death just yet, she shared the photo above to her Instagram page along with this comment a few weeks ago after learning he was sick:
I’d like to take the time to send special love and special best wishes to Dustin Diamond, who is one of my dearest friends. Dustin, all the many in your close circle who know you to be the great person that you are, are truly pulling for you and praying for the best outcome. -Lark Voorhies ❤️
Voorhies also released a public statement saying:
Words cannot express the grief that I am feeling right now. Dustin and I had a warm and special friendship, he was a caring gentleman, and my memories of him will always be cherished. I am so very sorry he is gone. But it’s exceptionally sad for his close loved ones who have do deal with his tragic death and their own great loss. My heart goes out to them at this trying time.
Tori Spelling as Violet Bickerstaff on 'Saved by the Bell' | Instagram
Tori Spelling first appeared on Saved by the Bell in season 2 as the nerdy Violet Bickerstaff. At just 14-years-old, she went on to become Screech's girlfriend, making Diamond Spelling's first on-screen romance. Spelling wrote a heartfelt tribute on Instagram saying:
My 1st onscreen love Dustin Diamond got his Angel wings today...
Before there was David and Donna there was Screech and Violet. Dustin was my first on-screen kiss. He welcomed me with open arms onto the set of Saved By the Bell. 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. Such a young gentleman. He was kind, smart, and always making everyone laugh. He was a great scene partner. He was a really good guy. I’m sad after the show we never had much contact aside from occasionally running into each other at events. I’m glad he’s out of pain. He’s an icon to me professionally and personally. RIP Samuel love, your Violet ❤️
Other Saved by the Bell alum who responded to Dustin Diamond's passing include:
Ed Alonzo (played Max)
Danny Strong (played Stanley on Saved by the Bell: The New Class)
Peter Engel ('Saved by the Bell' executive producer)