The TV world was shocked today by the death of Dustin Diamond, best known as Screech on the archetypal ’90s teen sitcom Saved By the Bell (and both of its spinoffs, Saved By the Bell: The College Years and Saved By the Bell: The New Class). Diamond was hospitalized just a few weeks ago, when he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. Less than a month later, he’s gone. Diamond was only 44 years old.

Most of his colleagues from Saved By the Bell have already reacted to their former co-star’s sudden passing. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who worked with Diamond the longest dating back to Saved By the Bell’s earliest incarnation — as the Disney Channel 1988 series Good Morning, Miss Bliss — wrote he was “deeply saddened” to learn about Diamond’s death. Calling him “a true comedic genius” he said he “will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce.”

Mario Lopez, who co-starred with Diamond on Saved By the Bell and appears on the current Saved By the Bell revival series on Peacock, posted a recent photo of Diamond when he appeared on Access Hollywood and wrote that “the fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted.”

Saved By the Bell co-star Tiffani Thiessen wrote that she was “deeply saddened by the news” of Diamond’s passing and also noted how life is “something we should never take for granted.”

On Instagram, Elizabeth Berkley posted a photo of Diamond from back in the Saved By the Bell days, with the caption “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. Rest in peace.”

Diamond did not appear on the first season of Peacock’s Saved By the Bell revival. With the series already renewed for a second season, it will be interesting to see how the show pays tribute to him. It has to do something.

Gallery — The Best TV Shows of 2020:

More From WGBF-FM