May 18, 2022


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Mario Lopez wishes Dustin Diamond well amid cancer diagnosis

Dustin Diamond’s former Bayside High classmates are sending well-wishes after their “Saved by the Bell” costar was diagnosed with cancer.

Mario Lopez and Tiffani Thiessen, who played jock A.C. Slater and head cheerleader Kelly Kapowski, respectively, in the hit 1990s sitcom, both reacted Thursday to news that Diamond, who played the geeky Samuel “Screech” Powers,” had been hospitalized for cancer in Florida.

A representative for Diamond told Entertainment Weekly on Thursday that the cancer is Stage 4, and Diamond is receiving chemotherapy.

“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 posted Thursday on Instagram, along with a split photo of the pair during their “Saved by the Bell” days and more recently. “Praying for him & his family and for a speedy recovery. God Bless.”

“Thinking of you Dustin,” Thiessen wrote on her Instagram story.

Diamond’s team confirmed his diagnosis Thursday via Facebook after the 44-year-old actor was admitted to a hospital in his home state of Florida last week. According to a TMZ report earlier this week, Diamond was hospitalized after experiencing body pain.

“Dustin [will] disclose more information once it is available and a plan moving forward is made,” read Thursday’s Facebook update, which also included an address to which fans can send cards. “We ask everyone to respect Dustin’s privacy during this difficult time. All positivity and prayers are appreciated.”

Unlike Lopez and Thiessen, Diamond was not among the original “Saved by the Bell” cast members who returned for Peacock’s acclaimed 2020 reboot of the coming-of-age series. After starring as Screech, the performer went on to appear in multiple early “Saved by the Bell” spinoffs and penned a 2009 memoir about his time on the show called “Behind the Bell.”

In the recent “Saved by the Bell” revival, Lopez and Thiessen return to Bayside along with their costars Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack Morris), Lark Voorhies (Lisa Turtle) and Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie Spano).