Mark-Paul Gosselaar Talks Dustin Diamond's 'Shocking' Death
Mark-Paul Gosselaar is still processing the death of his Saved by the Bell co-star, Dustin Diamond. Gosselaar made an appearance on Tamron Hall, airing on Feb. 8, and talked about Diamond’s death on Monday following a battle with lung cancer.
Diamond died less than a month after his team first confirmed he had been diagnosed with cancer. A member of Diamond’s team later confirmed to ET on Jan. 21 that he was battling stage 4 small cell carcinoma, and had completed his first round of chemotherapy. His doctors were hoping that by undergoing chemotherapy, he would prolong his life a few more years.
Gosselaar said he and the rest of theSaved by the Bell cast — which includes Mario Lopez, Tiffani Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley and Lark Voorhies — are still shocked at Diamond’s sudden death at just 44 years old.
“Well, it’s always tough when someone passes away,” Gosselaar says. “I think it’s even more so when the individual is someone you know and the age of Dustin — it was only a few weeks ago that we heard about his diagnosis and for it to happen so quickly is shocking. Myself and the rest of the cast, we will get together at some point and sort of express our feelings, but yeah, it happened so quickly that we’re all just pretty shocked about it.”
The Mixed-ish star acknowledged that the two had lost touch in later years. Diamond did not appear in Saved by the Bell’s recent reimagining, which premiered on Peacock last year, to reprise his role as lovable nerd Screech.
“A lot of people may not understand that you can work with somebody for years — you can be very close, you see this person every day for an entire season of shooting and then once things wrap, the camera stops, you just drift apart,” he notes. “There’s no reason other than just things happen in life and before you know it, years have passed and I think that was what happened with Dustin with the rest of the cast. There was a time when I wasn’t talking with anybody on the cast.”
On Monday, Diamond’s Saved by the Bell co-stars paid tribute to him, including Gosselaar, who tweeted, “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.”
Lopez Instagrammed, “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.”
As for Berkley, she Instagrammed throwback pictures of Diamond as Screech, writing, “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 🙏🏼🤍✨.”
Meanwhile, Thiessen Instagrammed a more recent picture of Diamond, writing, “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. 💔.”
On Monday, Diamond’s team said he did not suffer during his final moments in a statement about his death.
“He was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago,” the statement read in part. “In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution. Dustin did not suffer. He did not have to lie submerged in pain. For that, we are grateful.”
Dustin Diamond, ‘Saved By the Bell’ Actor, Dead at 44
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