Saved by the Bell star Dustin Diamond died Feb. 1, 2021 at the age of 44 due to complications related to stage 4 lung cancer, per TMZ. Diamond was hospitalized in mid-January 2021 for severe pain, which ended up being small cell carcinoma.
Upon hearing the news of his death, his co-stars and fellow actors expressed their sympathy for his family. “Dustin, you will be missed my man,” Saved by the Bell co-star Mario Lopez tweeted. “The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted. Prayers for your family will continue on.”
Tiffany Thiessen, another Saved by the Bell co-star, shared an image of Diamond on her Instagram page. “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,” she wrote with a broken heart emoji.
Series alum Mark Paul Gosselaar also wrote a tribute to Diamond, calling him a “true comedic genius.” He added, “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.” Gosselaar’s tweet stuck out because the two reportedly had not spoken in a long time. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what Dustin Diamond and Mark Paul Gosselaar’s relationship was really like.
Mark Paul Gosselaar didn't hold a grudge against Dustin Diamond
Mark Paul Gosselaar appeared on the Awards Chatter podcast (via Today) in March 2019, and opened up about his relationship with Dustin Diamond, saying he felt no ill will toward his former Saved by the Bell co-star. “Listen, I’ve worked with actors that I couldn’t stand being in the room with. Dustin is not one of those people,” he said. He added that if Diamond were to walk in the room, he would greet him kindly.
He also spoke about the controversial book published with Diamond as the author in 2009. The book, called Behind the Bell, described behind the scenes secrets from Saved by the Bell and included some head-turning accusations about Diamond’s former castmates, including the claim that Gosselaar used steroids, per Us Weekly. “I don’t even care about (an apology). Honestly, there’s nothing, like … I don’t take any of that stuff personally, especially when it comes to work,” Gosselaar said.
Diamond appeared on The Dr. Oz Show in November 2016 and seemed to apologize for the backlash caused by his book. “I’m sorry that this has taken advantage of me, the book and other situations,” he said. “But I’m sure that you’ve experienced downfalls as well in your time, and I’m still loving you guys.” He also stressed that he did not write the book, claiming a ghost writer fabricated many things, per ABC News.
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