Cory Monteith, best known for his role as Finn Hudson on the successful Fox television musical series Glee, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on Saturday, sparking an outpouring of grief from fans, friends and colleagues on social media over the weekend. Monteith was 31.
The actor/singer was discovered by hotel staff when Monteith failed to make his check-out time. While Vancouver police have said there are no signs of foul play, the official cause of death is not yet known. An autopsy is scheduled for today.
The show and the Fox network made the following joint statement: “We are deeply saddened by this tragic news. Cory was an exceptional talent and an even more exceptional person. He was a true joy to work with and we will all miss him tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.”
Celebrities and co-stars have since flooded the Internet with words of grief and tribute. Ellen Degeneres tweeted, “My heart breaks for the friends and family of Cory Monteith. What a loss,” while co-star Dot-Marie Jones posted, “I have no words! My heart is broken…He was one amazing man that I will hold close to my heart forever.” One voice that has been notably silent is Monteith’s co-star and real-life girlfriend Lea Michele, with whom he had made his last public appearance last month. Representatives have requested the media to respect her privacy at this time.
Monteith’s earlier career was primarily as an actor, with small roles in films such as Deck the Halls and television shows like Smallville and Stargate SG-1. It wasn’t until his role on Glee that he became a vocal performer; however, as part of the Glee cast, Monteith made a record-breaking 206 appearances on the Hot 100 chart, more than Elvis Presley and Lil Wayne, as Billboard points out.
Cory Monteith was no stranger to struggle, having an admitted substance abuse problem that brought him to rehab at least twice. He last entered rehab in April of this year. It is currently unknown whether substance abuse played any role in his death.