Diamond’s team announced on Thursday, January 14, that the 44-year-old actor received the diagnosis days after being hospitalized in Florida with an undisclosed illness. “We ask everyone to respect Dustin’s privacy during this difficult time. All positivity and prayers are appreciated,” a statement posted to Diamond’s Facebook account read.
The post included a mailing address where fans could send letters or gifts, but asked that “no autograph requests be sent to this address as that isn’t what it’s for.” Though few specifics were given about the California native’s condition, the team noted that the TV star will “disclose more information once it is available and a plan moving forward is made.”
On Friday, January 15, a rep for the Weakest Link alum told Us Weekly that the prognosis is “serious” and believed to be stage IV. “No matter what stage it is, cancer is a serious issue,” the rep explained. “He’s doing treatments — I say treatments because it can be more than chemo — and once he’s done the treatments, which will hopefully be sometime next week, we’ll have a better idea of how bad it is and the severity of what we need to do to help him heal.”
Diamond is best known for playing Samuel “Screech” Powers on Saved by the Bell, which aired for four seasons between 1989 and 1993. After the devastating news made headlines, Lopez, 47, posted a touching tribute to his former castmate on Instagram, reassuring fans that he was “praying” for Diamond’s “speedy recovery.”
“I connected with Dustin earlier this evening and although the news of his diagnosis is heartbreaking, we remain positive that he’ll overcome this,” Lopez added. The Access Hollywood host shared a picture of him standing beside Diamond on the Saved by the Bell set and another from a recent reunion.
Though several of the show’s original stars reprised their roles in the Peacock reboot, which debuted in November 2020, Diamond was not involved in the streaming project. While discussing the modern spin on the classic series, Elizabeth Berkley hinted that fans might be seeing more of Screech in the future.
“I don’t know if he will make an appearance. We’ll see if there’s another season. Maybe it’s something to explore, and I haven’t talked to him in a long time,” Berkley, 46, said during a November 2020 interview on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.
Scroll down to see how the Saved by the Bell cast is showing Diamond their support.