Canadian actor Cory Monteith, 31-year-old heartthrob of Fox’s musical comedy television series Glee, was found dead on Saturday in his hotel room in Vancouver, reported the police. In the series, Monteith played Finn Hudson, a high school football player-turned-enthusiastic singer for the Glee club.
Police and paramedics found no signs of foul play and the cause of death was not clear, British Columbia Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said at a news conference.
Monteith began his career in a number of small roles leading up to a recurring part between 2006 and 2007 in the ABC Family science-fiction drama Kyle XY and another role around the same time on the MTV series Kaya. But Glee, a show set in the small town of Lima, Ohio, was Monteith’s breakthrough.
Monteith’s representatives issued a statement, saying, “We are in shock and mourning this tragic loss” but offered no details on the possible cause of death. Monteith had talked openly about his struggle with substance abuse, and he completed voluntary treatment for unspecified substance addiction at a rehab facility in April. He had also been treated in a facility at age 19.
Asked whether Monteith had died of a drug overdose, Vancouver Police Department Acting Chief Doug LePard said he would “not discuss anything that we might have found in the room at this time.”
The actor grew up in Victoria, British Columbia and told Parade magazine in 2011 that he had a serious drug problem during his teenage years for which he received treatment.
Other people were in Monteith’s Pacific Rim Hotel room on Friday night but evidence, including fob key entries, indicated he returned to his room by himself early on Saturday and was alone when he died, said the police. He was due to check out of the hotel later that day.
Vancouver police also said Monteith left his hotel with three friends on Friday night, returning alone around 2:15am, reported the Globe and Mail newspaper. The actor had been dead for several hours when his body was discovered by the police officials and paramedics after they answered an emergency call. An autopsy was set for Monday.
Friends and colleagues expressed shock after having seen Monteith who they said seemed fine in recent weeks.
Adam Shankman, who directed Glee episodes, told CNN, “I had several interactions with him yesterday where he said that he was doing amazing. He even said I am feeling fantastic. I’m like everybody else, really devastated and confused by what happened.”
A big part of Glee was his character’s on-again-off-again romance with Glee club star Rachel Berry, an aspiring entertainer played by Lea Michele. Monteith and Michele followed in the footsteps of their fictional counterparts by dating in real life. They appeared publicly together as recently as last month at a charity ball.
A representative for Michele said she had not issued a statement following Monteith’s death. Reuters
Celebs, co-stars react to Cory Monteith’s death
Cory Monteith, may your spirit be at peace, and may you fly with the angels ... Heartbreaking, my prayers are with all of his loved ones!
Kim Kardashian @KimKardashian
Just heard about the death of Cory Monteith. So sad. Prayers for his family. Praying for Lea too! Words can’t describe what they must be feeling.
Katy Perry @katyperry
Rest in peace Cory. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones. Our prayers are with you.
demetria lovato @ddlovato
#RIPCoryMonteith ... So unbelievably tragic. Please #prayforLea
zooey deschanel @ZooeyDeschanel
This is such sad news about @CoryMonteith — what an absolutely tragic loss of a very talented young man.
Ellen DeGeneres @TheEllenShow
My heart breaks for the friends and family of Cory Monteith. What a loss.
Glee cast members
Iqbal theba @iqbaltheba
I have spent last night hugging my 10-year-old. May God give us the strength to deal with this tragedy. I love u Cory.
Ricky Martin @ricky_martin
I just heard the news. This is so sad. My heart goes out to his family and friends, especially Lea Michelle. Rest in peace Cory #RipCoryMonteith
Dot-Marie Jones @dotmariejones
I have no words! My heart is broken. Cory was not only a hell of a friend, he was [also] one amazing man that I will hold close to my heart forever.
Kristin Chenoweth @KChenoweth
RIP CoryMontieth. You will be loved. Always.
Lauren Potter @TheLaurenPotter
I am totally heartbroken right now. I love Cory so much this hurts my heart.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.
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