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Actor Dustin Diamond, who played Screech in the popular sitcom Saved by the Bell, has died from cancer at the age of 44, his representative has said.

Dustin Diamond had recently completed a first round of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with lung cancer last month.

The actor’s condition had deteriorated fast in the last week, said agent Roger Paul.

“Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful,” he said on February 1.

Saved by the Bell, a sitcom about a high school friends and their headmaster, ran for four seasons from 1989 to 1993 and was a global hit series. Dustin Diamond played Samuel “Screech” Powers.

Screech Jailed: Dustin Diamond Sentenced to Four Months in Jail over Bar Fight

Dustin Diamond arrested: Screech from Saved By The Bell charged with stabbing a man in bar fight

Co-stars have been paying tribute.

Mario Lopez, who played AC Slater in the sitcom, said: “Dustin, you will be missed, my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on.”

Mark-Paul Gosselaar, known to fans of the show as Zack Morris, tweeted that Dustin Diamond was “a true comedic genius” and said he “will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce”.

Dustin Diamond reprised his role in follow-up series Saved by the Bell: The New Class, and Saved by the Bell: The College Years. But he did not appear in the recent revival series.

He was also a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother in 2013.

Dustin Diamond served three months in jail after he stabbed a man during an altercation at a bar in Wisconsin in 2014.